THERE’S something sad about the way things have turned out between Nicole Kidman and the two children she adopted with Tom Cruise.
The Hollywood A-list couple married in 1990 and welcomed daughter Isabella and son Connor into their lives when both kids were tiny.
This week we were told how Connor, now 24, won’t be inviting Nicole to his upcoming wedding.
It is being said that his powerful father doesn’t want his ex-wife to attend, although that has been denied by those close to Cruise.
Cruise is Scientology’s most high-profile follower, and when he and Nicole divorced in 2001, the children decided to live with him and embrace his beliefs.
Scientology was launched by a sci-fi author who claimed, among other things, that humans are vessels for the spirits of immortal “thetans” — frozen souls left on Earth by the galactic power Xenu.
Nicole never embraced those beliefs and — according to former Scientologist turned whistleblower, actress Leah Remini — was declared a Suppressive Person, which effectively made her the enemy.
I remember feeling desperately sorry for Nicole. When a couple divorce, the mother usually has custody of the children and I’m sure Nicole would have been devastated to be separated from them both for large chunks of time.
Remember, she was married to Tom for 11 years and mum to Isabella and Connor throughout their early childhood.
But she wasn’t invited to daughter Isabella’s wedding in 2015 — although to be fair, Cruise and the groom’s parents didn’t attend either. It was a quiet affair.
Bella, as she is known, has since set up home in a modest street in Croydon, South London.
She turned her back on the indulgent lifestyle of a Hollywood brat and has recently credited Scientology for saving her when she was “drowning in problems”.
No one wins in this kind of situation and I hope that lines of communication really have been kept open
When I feel like that, I usually phone my mum.
Nicole has maintained a dignified silence, which is to be admired, but inside she must surely be deeply hurt by this latest snub, because every mum wants to be at their child’s wedding.
I remember the first time I interviewed Nicole, in the early Nineties, when she had just gone public with her relationship with Cruise.
She bubbled over with love for him and was almost pinching herself at being lucky enough to find the man of her dreams.
Back then he was the most eligible bachelor on the planet. They seemed like a golden couple and, with the arrival of Isabella and Connor, appeared to be the perfect family.
Of course, there’s no such thing. We are all just trying to muddle through as best we can.
Nicole has gone on to rebuild her life and marry country singer Keith Urban.
They have two daughters, ten-year-old Sunday and Faith, who is eight.
Tellingly, when Nicole won a Golden Globe last year for her role in TV series Big Little Lies she thanked Urban and their two children but failed to mention Isabella and Connor.
Tom went on to marry Katie Holmes and they had a daughter, Suri, but that marriage also ended up on the rocks.
Again rumours abounded that Scientology was to blame. This has always been denied by the Cruise camp.
Katie is now dating actor Jamie Foxx and it is unclear how often her dad sees Suri. Perhaps they have meetings in private. I do hope so.
Whenever possible, kids need both their parents to give them unconditional love.
No one wins in this kind of situation and I hope that lines of communication really have been kept open — and that if Nicole hasn’t been invited to the wedding, as is reported, Connor doesn’t regret that empty chair where his adopted mum could have been sitting.
I breast my case
I APPEAR to have inadvertently sparked a debate after saying I always keep my bra on, even when I’m asleep.
This has divided the nation’s women into those, who love to whip off their bras as soon as they get through the front door, and people like me, who enjoy being constantly uplifted.
Obviously, I change my bra every morning and don’t wear anything underwired or overly padded that pushes your boobs up to your ears.
I do, however, seem to be in a minority when it comes to hanging loose versus being wrapped up.
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Honest Vanessa so brave
VANESSA FELTZ has a heart of gold and, despite going through some tough times over the years, always manages to bounce back.
She’s also incredibly candid, especially about her weight-loss battles over the years.
This week she revealed she had to have surgery to remove her gastric band, which had become embedded in her liver.
It had to be carefully extracted in a lengthy procedure that resulted in complications, and she ended up in intensive care.
In the past I mistakenly thought that having a gastric band or a bypass was a quick and easy way to lose weight.
It’s risky and you still have to make sure you eat in a healthy and sensible way.
Despite the problems she had with the band, Vanessa then decided to have a gastric bypass, and has since lost three stone.
She looks phenomenal, feels far more healthy and she’s got her energy back.
She could have kept quiet and let everyone think she’d been running ten miles a day and living on lettuce leaves, but that’s not her way.
I salute her honesty.
It’s good to see Vanessa back to her old self.
Diana is a peach
I BLINKING well love Diana Ross – and boy does she know how to throw a party.
Who else would have the clout to invite Stevie Wonder and Beyonce to sing Happy Birthday at their 75th celebrations?
And only Diana could look so utterly fabulous wearing this flamboyant, orange outfit that would have made anyone else resemble a giant bag of Doritos.
TAKE THAT fans always had their favourites, with Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams and Mark Owen the main pin-up boys when the group first found fame in the Nineties.
Fast forward 30 years and Howard Donald has blossomed from the shy one at the back to the most charismatic and fanciable.
He has emerged as the ultimate showman and, at the age of 50, is in the best shape of his life.
Take That are embarking on a 30th anniversary tour next month and Howard has also launched a solo career as a TV presenter.
Tonight at 8.30pm he fronts Mission Ignition, a Channel 4 show that is the perfect fit for such a petrolhead.
Two teams will compete to assemble a classic car and the first one to complete the giant jigsaw gets to drive it away.
Howard’s sheer love of all things to do with cars radiates throughout and he is clearly in his element.
It’s definitely his time to Shine.
Recall of duty
LET there be dancing in the streets. Line Of Duty is finally back – on BBC1 at 9pm – and we are in for weeks of being led up the garden path by genius writer Jed Mercurio and his cast.
Despite grilling Adrian Dunbar (Superintendent Ted Hastings) in a badly lit room with only polystyrene cups of cold coffee for company, I couldn’t get him to crack and reveal the identity of “balaclava man”, but he did hint things were going to be difficult for the no-nonsense lawman he portrays so well.
To be honest, I can’t see Ted being a wrong ’un, but as all of us Line Of Duty devotees know by now, nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Philip’s a rock for PM
HE might look like a mild-mannered headmaster, but I reckon Philip May feels like going into Parliament and giving all those bozos on both sides of the House a right good kicking.
He is fiercely protective of wife Theresa May, and will be one of the very few people to witness the real toll the Brexit talks have exerted on her.
The PM (for now) has tried very hard not to let the stresses of the job show in public, but we have all seen her exhausted face and heard her failing voice.
Any loving husband must be incandescent with rage at everyone who has stabbed her in the front and in the back.
Of course, she was wrong to declare an election in 2017 that handed influence to the narrow-minded DUP and she has made a right pig’s ear of the Brexit shambles.
But I don’t think any of the treacherous Tories or inept Labour frontbench would have done better.
I bet Philip just wants to take her away from it all and hold her hand while they run through some wheat fields together.
Meanwhile, if I was Boris Johnson, or any of those other clowns, I would make sure I was never left alone in a room with Philip May.