It’s hard to believe that any man wouldn’t appreciate being with Nicole Kidman, but in 2001 Tom Cruise, always an odd case, did the unthinkable.
Suddenly and without warning, the “Top Gun” actor announced he wanted out of their 10-year marriage. As Kidman said in her court response to Cruise’s divorce filing, her husband refused to discuss the problems in their marriage or go to counseling, the Daily Mail reported.
Within 24 hours, Cruise’s publicists told the world about their split, claiming it was “amicable”; Cruise would cryptically say later, “Nicole knows why.”
Kidman was left feeling “stunned and alone,” in part because she was far from her home country of Australia, The Daily Mail reported.
Fortunately, Kidman was able to seek comfort from fellow Aussie actor Hugh Jackman. In a new interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Kidman said she turned to both Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, to help navigate her shock and grief, according to the Daily Mail.
“When I got divorced, Hugh and Deb were so much a part of my healing,” Kidman, now 51, revealed in the interview. “They were some of my best friends through that period.”
Kidman said she actually got to know Furness first when she was a struggling teen actress in Hollywood, living on people’s couches and hoping for her big break. One of those breaks came when Cruise picked her to be his co-star in his 1990 race car drama, “Days of Thunder.” Kidman also became Cruise’s girlfriend.
“I do remember Tom Cruise ringing the house when she landed the (‘Days of Thunder’) role,” Furness, 63, said in the interview. “Nic was always very cool and took it all in her stride.”
A sordid backstory later emerged about Cruise’s alleged reasons for divorcing Kidman.
The “Mission: Impossible” star’s cryptic “Nicole knows why” comment may have been intended to make people suspect Kidman had been unfaithful, the Daily Mail said. But Cruise also may have been trying to obscure the alleged role that the Church of Scientology had in ending their marriage.
According to Alex Gibney’s 2015 HBO documentary “Going Clear,” the church pressured Cruise to break up with Kidman because she had resisted joining the organization. The church also sought to turn Cruise and Kidman’s adopted children, Isabella and Connor, against Kidman.
While Kidman has talked about her heartbreak following her divorce, her career flourished. She won acclaim for her film roles, including an Academy Award for “The Hours” in 2003 and later an Emmy and Golden Globe for HBO’s series “Big Little Lies.”
She also met country star Keith Urban, who also hails from Down Under, and married him in 2006. Kidman and Urban have two daughters, Sunday Rose, 10, and Faith, 8, and are based in Nashville, Tenn.
While Kidman sometimes mentions her children with Cruise in interviews, it is not thought that she is particularly close to them, according to the Daily Mail.
However, Kidman’s bond with Jackman and Furness remains strong. Kidman and Jackman co-starred in the 2008 romantic epic “Australia.”
More recently, she joined Jackman’s other good friends — including Cate Blanchett and controversial White House senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — at the 50th birthday party Furness threw for him in New York City in October.
Page Six reported that some “liberal types” were taken aback by the presence of the president’s daughter and son-in-law at the event. But a source told the column, “There was no snubbing. Everyone was polite.”
Kidman probably was polite, while Jackman later defended his friendship with Trump and Kushner, telling Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show, “They’re great friends. They’re unbelievably loyal.”
Kidman would probably say the same thing about Jackman and Furness.