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Following His Rant On The Today Show, Tom Cruise Showed Up To Brooke Shields’ Home

Tom Cruise
(The Things)

Brooke Shields’s entire life has been in front of a camera, whether acting or modeling. She grew up quickly and became one of Hollywood’s favorite people to watch and talk about.

The actress gave people plenty to discuss—from her controversial movie Pretty Baby to nothing coming between her and her Calvins and whether she was a virgin.

When Shields spoke out about struggling massively with postpartum depression after having her first child, she received much public praise because this issue wasn’t often discussed. However, Shields was met with tremendous pushback from Tom Cruise.

Shields and Cruise starred in Endless Love together in 1981—Cruise’s film debut. But, after Shields spoke out about postpartum depression, there was nothing but love between the two actors.

Brooke Shields released her book Down Came The Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, where she recalled not wanting to hold her daughter or feeling any “motherly instinct.”

She documented her journey to getting help and taking medication to combat this. She was widely praised for being candid about her process of getting help. But Tom Cruise had another opinion.

While doing press for his film War of the Worlds, Cruise spoke with Matt Lauer on The Today Show, where he openly shared his feelings about Shields’ journey.

Cruise called her use of medication “Ridiculous and Dangerous.” Cruise is perhaps the most famous Scientologist, a religion known to reject any drug-altering medication of any kind. But, he said he rejected medication and psychiatry before he was a Scientologist:

“I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist, I never agreed with psychiatry, and then when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I started realizing more and more why I didn’t agree with psychiatry.”

The actor continued his controversial comments: “When someone says (medication) has helped them, it is to cope; it didn’t cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever. I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman, (but) look at where her career has gone.”

He then says she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry, “The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, okay. She doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry.”

After this interview aired, Shields wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled War on Words.

“I WAS hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but after Tom Cruise’s interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show Today last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for the hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression. While Mr. Cruise says that Mr. Lauer and I do not ‘understand the history of psychiatry,’ I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression,” she wrote.

Shields wrote about Cruise’s “ridiculous rant” and said: “Comments like those made by Tom Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere. To suggest that I was wrong to take drugs to deal with my depression and that instead I should have taken vitamins and exercised shows an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression and childbirth in general.”

Cruise got a lot of pushback for his comments, but Shields had the perfect response. Shield recent Hulu documentary, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, follows her rise and navigation of fame. Spanning from childhood to today, Shields tells all. When the documentary gets to this moment, Shields reflects on how upset she was and her New York Times piece.

The documentary cuts to a clip of Cruise’s comments and multiple headlines, including “What Tom Cruise Doesn’t Know About Estrogen,” from the New York Times op-ed she wrote in response to Cruise.

Shields responded to Cruise’s comments by saying, “Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them.”

In her New York Times piece, Shields reflect on the good that’s come from her speaking out: “Since writing about my experiences with the disease, I have been approached by many women who have told me their stories and thanked me for opening up about a topic that is often not discussed because of fear, shame or lack of support and information.”

She then says some good can hopefully come from Cruise’s “ridiculous rant.” Shields writes, “Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians, and pediatricians, to screen for postpartum depression.”

After his comments and Shields’ New York Times piece, Cruise had to apologize. While on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Shields confirmed Cruise apologized.

“He came over to my house, and he gave me a heartfelt apology, and he apologized for bringing me into the whole thing and for everything that happened,” she said.

Shields continued, “And through it all, I was so impressed with how heartfelt it was. And I didn’t feel at any time that I had to defend myself, nor did I feel that he was trying to convince me of anything other than the fact that he was deeply sorry. And I accepted it.”

Cruises’ representatives confirmed the two had made up but said: “It is true that his friendship with Ms. Shields has been mended. He has not changed his position about antidepressants, which, as evidenced by the black label warnings issued by the FDA on these types of drugs, are unhealthy.”

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