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Thursday, April 06, 2006
Tom Cruise: "My Dad Abused Me"

As Tom Cruise prepares to be a proud papa again, he has implied that there's one man he definitely will not be taking lessons in daddyhood from.

His own father.

The War of the Worlds star says in the upcoming issue of Parade magazine that his father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III, who died in the mid-'80s of cancer, was abusive.

"He was a bully and a coward. He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you," Cruise said. "It was a great lesson in my life--how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang!"

Even when he was a child he felt that his dad was someone to watch out for. "For me, it was like, 'There's something wrong with this guy. Don't trust him. Be careful around him.' There's that anxiety," Cruise divulged. His mother, Mary Lee, divorced his dad in 1974.

Cruise said he approached his father for a reconciliation (sometime between Risky Business and Top Gun), when Mapother was on his deathbed. "He would only meet me on the basis that I didn't ask him anything about the past," the 43-year-old actor said.

The estranged father and son reunited, but there was no closure to be had. "When I saw him in pain," Cruise reminisced, "I thought, 'Wow, what a lonely life.' He was in his late 40's. It was sad."

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