It might have been one of Hollywood's least convincing marriages, but the freshly torn asunder union of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is shaping up to be a VERY convincing divorce. Trust me, guys, if you've only got time to be a bit obsessed with ONE showbiz divorce this summer, make it this one.
I'm unashamedly glad that this one is a humdinger. I was sick to death of all the 'amicable' divorces in Hollywood. Not just because I love a scrap, which I do, but because all these high-fiving goodbyes served as a grim reminder of how far removed the lives of the rich are from the rest of us. I can see that it would be easy to have an 'amicable' divorce when it simply involves asking some suit to split your hundreds of millions, deciding who wants the villa on Lake Como and who gets the Californian vineyards, and scheduling in no less time with the kids than you spent with them already.
Divorce is a little bit harder on the rest of us, so it's nice to see that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, of all people, are keepin' it real. Okay, it would have been a little bit more normal if the reason for all the agro was that Katie Holmes has filed for sole custody of their six-year-old daughter, Suri. But Suri is only part of the story.
As you well know, in addition to being one of Hollywood's most bankable stars, Tom Cruise is the world's Most Famous Scientologist, and in this dynamite vid on Gawker, he provides a useful precis of the religion. (On Twitter at the weekend, Rupert Murdoch was more succinct, describing Scientology as 'something creepy, even evil'. And that's coming from MURDOCH.)
Whatever sadness her mommy and daddy's divorce brings to sweet little Suri, that's nothing compared to the harm done to Scientology. The Church! Won't somebody think of the CHURCH?
In a very juicy piece for The Telegraph, Damian Thompson points out that "Katie Holmes has filed for divorce in New York, where it is thought she stands a better chance of being granted sole custody than in Scientology-saturated California. The message sent out from her supporters is unequivocal - and one calculated to appeal to parents everywhere: she wants to drag little Suri out of the strange world of auditing, E-meters and "Thetans" - floating souls trillions of years old who inhabit human bodies."
Whilst it would be hard to be surprised by anything Scientologists do anymore, because it's ALL so frickin' weird, and whilst a TomKat split is also not a huge surprise, what HAS surprised everyone is just how kick-ass Katie Holmes is being. She's not just fighting for custody; she's fighting for PR supremacy. Check out the current cover of People.
As Lainey, one of my favourite gossipy insiders, observes "Not surprisingly, the magazine is going heavy on Katie leaving Tom, especially since Katie's team gave them an advance on the announcement, confirming with them first that she'd filed for divorce. It's just another in a series of very smart moves from Team Holmes. If you secure the PEOPLE angle, you're more likely to win the MiniVan Majority."
If you like media wargames, watch this space...
Scandinavia does not fancy Rihanna anymore
You know what I never, ever get bored of? Musicians getting confused onstage about what country they're in. What's not to love about seeing the adoring smiles of 50,000 concert-goers fade into stony irritation? Now Rihanna has pissed off Sweden by a) being a decidedly non-Scandinavian 45 minutes late and b) offering her condolences for the Anders Behring Breivik shootings (which were in Norway).
Also this week: Justin Bieber just graduated, reminding us all how crazy-young he is and how comparatively old and unsuccessful we all are. Have a great day!