Idol Chatter

suri2.jpgAndrew Morton, author of two biographies of Princess Di, is used to getting blowback from his subjects’ defenders. And he expected his new book on Tom Cruise to raise the considerable ire of both Scientology and Cruise himself. (His publisher, Pan-Macmillan, was so worried about legal repercussions that they won’t be releasing the book in celeb-friendly England, Australia or New Zealand.) What he didn’t expect, he tells Toronto’s Globe and Mail, was how the American press would come to Cruise’s defense, treating the book as a salacious, “News of the World”-style slam. Last week, for instance, MSNBC mistakenly reported that Morton’s book suggests that Suri Cruise was conceived using the frozen sperm of dead Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Morton, whose other bios have included Monica Lewinsky and Madonna, bristles at the idea that he’s a rumor-monger. True, he depicts Cruise as a calculating striver, but, he tells the Globe and Mail, “I have actually done him the service of treating him as a character seriously and treating his faith seriously.” In fact, says Morton, it’s impossible to write about Cruise today without addressing his faith, calling Cruise and Scientology “inextricably linked.” Says Morton, “He’s morphed from being one of the more outstanding film actors of his generation to this kind of celebrity advocate on behalf of his faith.”

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