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Posted at 9:12 PM ET, 08/22/2006

Paramount Cuts Ties to Tom Cruise

By Liz Kelly

Cruise at the June Japanese premiere of "Mission: Impossible III." (Reuters)

The Wall Street Journal tonight reported that Paramount Pictures has ended its 14-year business relationship with Tom Cruise, citing his off-screen behavior:

"As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal," [Viacom Chairman Sumner] Redstone was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal report e-mailed to reporters. "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount. (Full Story)

The past year has been a public relations fiasco for Cruise, an outspoken Scientologist, who in 2005 criticized Brooke Shields for using antidepressants to treat postpartum depression and tangled with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show about prescription drugs (video via TMZ.com). His whirlwind romance to Katie Holmes and subsequent birth of daughter Suri have been somewhat mysterious, with rampant speculation about Katie's conversion to Scientology and estrangement from her own family.

The Hollywood Reporter has more details, specifically citing Paramount's relationship to Cruise/Wagner Productions:

CAA released a statement saying it had terminated negotiations with Paramount on behalf of its client Cruise/Wagner because the producers are opting instead to finance their company independently with the help of two hedge funds.

Cruise/Wagner's latest production was "Mission:Impossible III."

Cruise's production partner Paula Wagner called Redsone's comments about Cruise "outrageous and disrespectful" and told Variety they have raised a revolving fund of $100 million from two hedge funds and are striking out on their own.

Conflicting details continue to trickle out: In an interview with the Associated Press, Wagner said it was she and Cruise who walked away from Paramount and secured independent financing for their company while E! Online is reporting that Paramount offered Cruise and Wagner a $2 million-a-year deal, much less than the previous terms -- rumored to be closer to $10 million each year.

More Information:
Cruise's Filmography (IMDB)
Cruise/Wagner Productions Projects (IMDB)
Cruise Biography (Wikipedia)

By Liz Kelly  | August 22, 2006; 9:12 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TomKat  
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Next: Morning Mix: Cruise's Business Too Risky for Paramount

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