The Condensed Tom Cruise
Slate reads the new Tom Cruise bio so you don't have to.
How dubious is Andrew Morton's long-awaited Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography? Well, the book is not for sale in the United Kingdom, due to that country's libel laws; and it's rumored that Scientology lawyers are already drawing up a suit against Morton's publisher, St. Martin's Press. If you're craving the inside (and blatantly unsubstantiated) scoop on Tom's private life, follow Slate's handy guide straight to the good parts.
Inside the Actor's Closet
Ever since that ridiculously homoerotic volleyball scene in Top Gun, the world has wondered about Tom Cruise's sexuality. But Andrew Morton's Tom is a hot-blooded heterosexual.
Page 13: One of Tom's first girlfriends, Carol Trumpler, still gets "misty-eyed" when she remembers her brief dalliance with the future star: "He was a very good kisser, very much at ease with it all. But what do you know at eleven?" Sadly for Carol, Tom got antsy pretty quickly. "I was trying to be a good girl, and when I didn't give in to his ways he moved on."
Page 68: Remember the sex-on-a-train scene in Risky Business? Morton alleges that "while Tom and Rebecca [De Mornay] were nervous before playing the scene, those who snuck onto the closed set are convinced that the answer to the question of 'did they, didn't they' really get it on on camera is a firm yes."
Page 195: High-school girlfriend Diane Van Zoeren doesn't give any credence to the "Tom is gay" rumor: "I don't get it. I find these stories just hard to believe. We romanced in my dad's Oldsmobile doing what you are not supposed to."
Page 34: Nancy Armel, another high-school flame, also remembers fooling around in a parked car. She told Morton: "I was black and blue from the gearshift."
Page 65: Tom tried to impress Nancy by taking her to the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, but he "was unaware of the story line—about two gay men living together in St. Tropez." According to Nancy, "he couldn't handle it. We had to leave before the intermission. It really bothered him. He was definitely homophobic."
Page 195: Morton claims that "Tom was uncomfortable around gay men. Those who saw him in the company of some of Nicole [Kidman's] gay friends, who included designer John Galliano, noticed that he was awkward and ill at ease, much preferring the company of jocks who talked about football rather than fashion."
Courtly Knight/Night Stalker
Page 259: Just one day after Sofía Vergara met Tom, Morton says the Colombian actress "faced a blizzard of phone calls, text messages, and e-mails." Tom also "sent her flowers, notes, and chocolates."
Page 263: Eventually, Sofía got freaked out by Tom's attentiveness and his faith. When Tom arranged for a trip to Clearwater, the Scientology center in Florida, she allegedly "stood him up, packing a bag and 'disappearing' for a few days." Tom, however, wouldn't let up: "For five days he left messages and texts, but she resolutely refused to return his calls."
Page 145: During their courtship phase, Tom sent Nicole Kidman "flowers, usually red roses, almost daily."
Juliet Lapidos is a former Slate associate editor.
Photograph of Tom Cruise on Slate's home page by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Overture.