Tom Cruise’s long-time friend and business partner, Paula Wagner, has released a statement supporting Cruise, following the release of Andrew Morton’s unauthorised biography on the star, and the widespread internet circulation of controversial video footage in which Cruise discusses his Scientology beliefs.
The nine-minute video, which was recorded for a 2004 International Association of Scientologists conference, shows Cruise explaining his beliefs and his dedication to being a Scientologist.
Wagner, who works alongside Cruise as the co-owner and CEO of their company United Artists Entertainment, released the following statement of support on Friday (January 18):
"I have known and worked with Tom for more than 25 years. He’s a rock-solid dependable partner, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for his talent, integrity, kindness, and dedication. Andrew Morton’s book is a disgraceful piece of gossip-mongering, filled with distortions and outright lies that no sensible person will take seriously. I am not a Scientologist, nor are most of the people Tom and I work with, but that doesn’t mean I can sit by silently while he is attacked for his religious beliefs. As a filmmaker and an American, I feel strongly that an individual’s religion should have no bearing on their professional life. I have always believed that Americans celebrated these differences, and to see the vitriol that has been directed towards my friend is truly discouraging. It’s easy to mock an out-of-context video, but that doesn’t change the fact that Tom Cruise is one of the hardest-working and nicest human beings I have ever known."
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Photo courtesy of United Artists.