In a new interview with New York magazine, Nicole Kidman spoke about her marriage to Tom Cruise, in 1990 when she was just 22, and how it “kept [her] from being sexually harassed“.
Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I’m always reluctant to talk about, because I’m married now to the man who is my great love [Keith Urban], and it almost feels disrespectful.
That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me – it was protection. I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it’s almost like I had to grow up.
Cruise and Kidman met in 1989 on the set of racing drama Days of Thunder and were married for ten years. The pair divorced in early 2001. Cruise of course went on to marry Katie Holmes in late 2006, after the birth of their daughter Suri earlier that year. They split in 2012. Kidman, meanwhile, married her forever love Keith Urban in Sydney in mid-2006.
In the magazine interview, Kidman says she has nonetheless experienced “#MeToo moments” since she was young:
Of course I’ve had #MeToo moments – since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely. I’m open and raw. I want to have my well of experience and emotion tapped into, used – and I’m not just talking about sexual harassment. I’m talking about loss, death, the full array of life. But it has to be by the right people so it’s not abused again.
She also points to the importance of “women helping women“, directly naming Bright Star writer and director Jane Campion, as someone who has provided her with support. “We share … information, books, podcasts, ideas, tragedies. It’s very different from networking, which sounds clinical. It’s going, ‘I’m your safety net,’ or ‘I’m here if you need to vent.’”
Kidman’s interview is part of a series about ‘Women and Power’ – not empowerment, but women and their relationship to power – published in New York magazine this week. You can read more of the women’s stories, including interviews with Gloria Steinem, Lena Dunham, Laverne Cox, Carrie Brownstein and Anna Wintour HERE.