Tom Cruise’s faith in Scientology was nurtured at a secretive Southern California desert compound that catered to the actor’s needs around the clock, a newspaper has reported.
Long before Cruise jumped onto talk-show host Oprah Winfrey’s couch or blasted Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants, the Hollywood star undertook intensive study and counseling at the compound in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, citing present and former Scientologists.
Behind the guarded gates of the 500-acre compound near Hemet, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles, Cruise had a personal supervisor to oversee his studies in a private course room, ex-members said.
“I was there for eight years and nobody stayed long at all, except for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman during that period,” Bruce Hines, who left in 2001 after three decades in the church, told the newspaper.
Cruise and Kidman were married in 1990; they were divorced in 2001. He is now engaged to Katie Holmes.
The 43-year-old actor refused a request for an interview, the newspaper said.
Cruise stayed at the resort for weeks at a time, arriving by car or helicopter, the Times reported.
The ex-church members said Cruise stayed in a bungalow near a golf course and had a special staff to prepare his meals, do his laundry and handle other tasks around the clock.