Wanna know why it's only now that you think Tom Cruise is crazy? It's because he fired his publicist (Pat Kingsley - the head of Hollywood's most powerful PR agency) 14 months ago, and instead hired his Scientologist sister.
Now, I'm sure his sister is, you know, really good at PR and everything, but... well, read this piece in the Hollywood Reporter. Choice sections pasted below:
(Note: If Yahoo pulls the story down, you can also find it at the Hollywood Reporter website)
...his press was handled by the head of Hollywood's most powerful PR firm, PMK-HBH's Pat Kingsley, who kept the press from talking about Scientology.
Anyone who has ever dealt with Kingsley knows that going up against her takes guts and the full backing of your organization. That's because she's willing to use her entire arsenal to protect her most powerful clients. With the bat of an eyelash, she'd withdraw the cooperation of her agency's other stars, refuse to cooperate on other stories or ban a publication from getting another star interview. (It took Premiere magazine several years to work itself back into her good graces after one tough Mission: Impossible 2 story.)
Kingsley controlled the select magazine covers Cruise would do for each picture, the friendly interviewers he was most comfortable with, the photographers who shot him to look his best. Knowing that he didn't have much to say, she controlled his image, preserving his mystique as a movie star. Her PR philosophy has always been, "Less is more." Keep the fans guessing. Hold the star in abeyance. Keep everyone lining up clamoring for more.
But then, in March 2004, Cruise unexpectedly fired Kingsley. Why the break after 14 years in which the uber-publicist had guarded him fiercely? Kingsley's dictum to the press had always been, "Lay off Tom's religion." It was verboten to bring it up. But as he headed into his 40s, he wanted to talk about Scientology. It fell to Kingsley, at Warner Bros. Pictures' request, to instruct Cruise not to discuss Scientology during his European press tour for 2003's The Last Samurai.
The next time she met with Cruise was her last, though. When he left for Europe, she was not on his jet.
Cruise replaced her with someone he could trust to do what he wanted: his older sister and fellow Scientologist, Lee Anne Mapother De Vette, who had long functioned as his assistant and PR go-between at C/W Prods. And Cruise's press since PR amateur DeVette took over has been markedly different.
He can't stop talking about Scientology, which is, arguably, his star-sapping kryptonite. In August's Rolling Stone cover story, he took the writer on a tour of the famed Scientology Center. "He's such a zealot now," says someone who received one of his Scientology Christmas cards. "There are no halfway measures anymore. He's beside himself with trying to convert the world."
The other Cruise hot-button issue that Kingsley controlled with an iron fist -- backed up by legal action from attorney Bert Fields -- was the media's insistence on questioning his heterosexuality. The rumors kept reasserting themselves despite Cruise's 10-year marriage to Kidman and a three-year relationship with his Vanilla Sky co-star, Penelope Cruz.
After the Cruise/Cruz breakup, the star didn't date anyone seriously for a year. (This prompted scuttlebutt that he was asking women out and getting turned down.) Then he set up a meeting with 26-year-old actress Katie Holmes. "One minute, they were having a professional meeting," one observer says. "The next they were lovers."
It's still unclear why, in a ham-fisted maneuver, De Vette was compelled to orchestrate the April public outing of the Cruise and Holmes affair in Rome, where Cruise received a lifetime achievement award at the David di Donatello Awards. (War of the Worlds wasn't opening until June 29.) The press, accustomed to having to chase down every nugget of elusive star gossip, reacted by suggesting that the whole thing was fake. When Cruise went wild on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," fed by the intensity of his gaga female fans, he jumped on the sofa, knelt on the floor and virtually howled his love at the moon.
Even the reputable media, including Time, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, couldn't resist the story. It didn't help that Cruise's religious beliefs prompted him to criticize Brooke Shields during an "Access Hollywood" interview for relying on psychiatry and prescription drugs to treat postpartum depression. He was far better off when journalists complained that he was a lousy interview with nothing to say. While a tsunami of bad press has swept over him, there is no evidence to suggest that Cruise is aware of it.
That's the key thing... without Kingsley, there's no one powerful enough in the Cruise camp to stand up and say "no" to any of his ideas, and there's nobody surrounding him other than "yes men." He probably isn't even aware of the damage he's doing.