Tom Cruise Apologized To Brooke Shields After His Today Show Interview, But Did He Regret The Way He Handled Matt Lauer?

Tom Cruise is one of the world’s biggest movie stars. His star power began to rise in the 80s, when he starred in films like Risky Business and Top Gun. His star power extended into the 90s, when he starred in the Mission Impossible series. Cruise recently stuck gold again with his starring role in Top Gun: Maverick.

In the summer of 2005, Cruise was on a promotional tour for his film War of the Worlds. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and was looking to be the big blockbuster of the summer. However, the press tour would end up making headlines for everything except the movie.

A Media Firestorm Was Brewing Before Tom Cruise’s ‘Today Show’ Interview

Everything started to go wrong in late 2004. Cruise had fired his longtime press agent Pat Kingsley and replaced her with his sister, Lee Anne De Vette.

In April 2005, Cruise went public with his relationship with Katie Holmes. After the couple made out in front of the paparazzi in Rome, Cruise was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. His excitement over his new love was on full display as he gushed over Holmes. Cruise then took it a step further and jumped on the couch he was sitting on. The media had a field day with this now-infamous appearance.

Winfrey later explained the situation away as simply « delightful exuberance » and said she thought the coverage mocking Cruise was « really unfair. »

Tom Called Brooke Shields ‘Irresponsible’ For Using Antidepressants To Treat Her Postpartum Depression

Cruise has long been a member of the Church of Scientology. One of the church’s principles is their anti-psychiatry stance. It is a principle Cruise felt very passionate about. His passion, however, would come out in a way that would only fan the flames already brewing around Cruise.

Brooke Shields had recently given birth around this time. She was open about her painful case of postpartum depression. In addition, she also spoke about her use of antidepressants to treat it.

Cruise wasn’t happy about Shields’ decision, calling it « irresponsible » on Access Hollywood. Shields later spoke to People in response. Both actors have known each other since working together in the 1981 film Endless Love.

« I agree with him about his feeling on prescribing drugs to kids. We are in accord, » Shields said. « I don’t think Ritalin should be prescribed to kids. Postpartum depression is a different matter. I think I’m more qualified to talk about that (than he is). »

As he sat down with Matt Lauer on Today, Cruise spoke about his feelings toward Shields.

« I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever, » he began. « Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry, and when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in psychology. »

Cruise continued, « As far as the Brooke Shields thing, look, you have to understand, I really care about Brooke Shields – she’s a wonderful and talented woman, and I want her to do well, and I know psychiatry is a pseudoscience. »

Cruise then insisted that psychiatric drugs only « mask the problem, » Cruise added, « The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, okay. And she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt. »

Tom Cruise Later Made Amends With Brooke Shields And Spoke To Matt Lauer About Their Heated Interview

During their heated Today interview, Cruise uttered this quote that would become the clip seen on every news station covering it.

« Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. You’re glib, » he said. « You don’t even know what Ritalin is. »

Lauer even responded to Cruise during the interview by saying, « I’m not prescribing Ritalin, Tom, and I’m not asking anyone else to do it. »

Cruise later made amends with Lauer during a 2008 appearance on the Today Show. Cruise said that he regretted the way he came across.

He called his comments a mistake, saying, « I learned a lesson. I think I learned a really good lesson. »

Cruise also said that he would like his work to take precedent over his religious beliefs.

« I’ve been a Scientologist for 25 years. I think there’s a time and place for it. [But] when people are tuning in to hear about my movie, that’s what I’m here to talk about … I’m here to entertain people. That’s who I am and what I want to do. Certain issues and things have a time and a place in the proper environment. »

Shields was also invited by Cruise to his 2006 wedding to Holmes, which she attended.