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Video: The Power of Tom Cruise

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msnbc.com
updated 3/29/2006 2:13:56 AM ET 2006-03-29T07:13:56

The battle between Tom Cruise and Scientology and its foes is heating up.

Cruise and Scientology have been in the news lately because of an allegedly censored “South Park” parody of the religion — and now Scientology and the “Top Gun” star are being blamed for a woman’s death.

“Thanks, Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology, for your expert advice on mental health,” blasts an ad in LA Weekly. The ad goes on to say that a woman was killed “by the schizophrenic son she was told to treat with vitamins instead of psychiatric care.”

The ad refers readers to a Web site, which provides details on the case of Jeremy Perkins, a 28-year-old schizophrenic who stabbed his mother to death. Perkins was a staunch Scientologist and his mother was a counselor in the church — which opposes psychiatry and psychiatric drugs and “believes modern psychiatric medicine derives from an ancient alien civilization’s plot to drug and enslave humanity,” notes the site.

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A spokesman for the Celebrity Center of the Church didn’t respond to requests for comment by deadline.

Weighty matter
Kristin Davis says pressure to stay thin led her to binge eating while on “Sex and the City.”      

The actress says that early in her acting career, she was in a show — which she didn’t name — where she was told she was too fat.

“Everyone would talk about their diets and working out and what it made me do was go to craft services — where all the food for the cast and crew was — and I would eat,” the former “Melrose Place” star told the Scottish Daily Record. Then she found out that a producer thought she was too fat. “I decided that I was going to be very tough and run seven miles, three times a week. I was killing myself. My ankles hurt, my knees hurt and I was working 18-hour days.”

Later, Davis got signed to "Sex and the City," the HBO series based on a book by Candace Bushnell. “Who do you play? You can’t play Candace because you’re way too heavy,” a reporter asked Davis.

“I tried not to cry and said I had to leave,” Davis said. “I immediately walked to the drug store and bought a bunch of cookies because that was my reaction... to rebel and say, ‘to hell with you, I’m going to eat what I want.’”

Notes from all over
Susan Sarandon says that Sean Penn is a bad influence on her sweetie. “[Tim Robbins is] more prone to partying when Sean Penn is in town; and with this bar [that he’s opening with some members of the New York Rangers], he’ll be up really, really late,” Sarandon tells the April issue of More magazine. The actress, who turns 60 this year, also says she may get work done on her neck, but will avoid Botox. “As my neck starts to go, I’d be tempted to do something, but I would never be tempted to touch my eyes, I’m just too afraid,” Sarandon says. “The Botox thing — I have nothing against people doing it, but I need my face to move. I was watching a movie, and I couldn’t figure out what was so odd. Then I realized the poor actress was howling, but nothing was moving. It gives a very Kabuki-esque edge to the performance.”  . . . Donald Trump, who just became a father for the fifth time, says that Britney Spears’ rumored second child might be a career goof. And it doesn’t sound like the Donald is a fan of Spears' hubby, Kevin Federline. “What has happened to Britney?” Trump asked. “She’s put her very successful career on hold to get married and have a baby. Lots of women do that but there’s something that just doesn’t look right here. The husband? I don’t know. I’ve just never been a big fan. I hope he’s OK. He certainly seems to be spending lots of her money.”  . . . British actor Toby Stephens says he took great umbrage when he was compared to Hugh Grant. “A lot of British actors went [to Hollywood] and were told that they were ‘sort of like Hugh Grant,’ which was incredibly depressing,” Stevens told the London Telegraph. “I was like ‘[bleep] that!’”

Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop Mondays through Thursdays on MSNBC.com

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