Nicole Kidman’s hidden heartbreak: Actress insists she has ‘unconditional love for Bella, 31, and Connor, 29, who she adopted with Tom Cruise

Nicole Kidman’s hidden heartbreak: Actress insists she has ‘unconditional love for Bella, 31, and Connor, 29, who she adopted with Tom Cruise


As Nicole Kidman proudly appeared on the red carpet with her husband Keith Urban and their grown-up daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret when she was given a lifetime achievement award, two of her family members were notably not present.

Connor and Isabella Cruise, 29 and 31 respectively, are Nicole’s children from her first marriage to Hollywood titan Tom Cruise. But as Kidman accepted the gong from the American Film Institute at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday and paid tribute to the ‘loves of her life’; her husband and daughters, Connor and Isabella were not mentioned.

When Cruise and Nicole divorced in 2001 following an 11-year marriage, joint custody of the children was given to the parents. However, behind closed doors, the adopted children reportedly remained ‘loyal to their father’ and decided to live with him, meaning they were raised in the controversial church of Scientology.

Nicole, now 56, hasn’t been pictured publicly with her eldest two children since 2007, and she was reportedly left ‘devastated’ after the pair didn’t attend her father’s funeral in 2014.

It had also been reported she was eager for Connor and Bella to attend the ceremony this weekend as she received America’s highest honour for a career in film.

As Nicole Kidman received an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award this weekend, she appeared on the red carpet with the daughters she shares with Keith Urban, Sunday Rose, 15, and Faith Margaret, 13

While Connor, who is believed to be ‘extremely loyal to his dad’ Tom, 61, didn’t appear to show Nicole any public support for her achievement, daughter Bella liked one of her mother’s Instagram posts about the award.

Despite a reported rift between Nicole and her eldest children – something Connor and Bella deny – the actress has previously spoken of her ‘unconditional’ love for Connor and Bella, in light of their ‘choices to be Scientologists’.

The A-list couple adopted Connor and Isabella in the early 1990s after Nicole suffered an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage – and was told as a result she might find it hard to conceive.

She previously opened up in an interview with Tatler about her fertility issues with Cruise, and how she felt a ‘yearning’ for children.

Bella Kidman Cruise, 31, is now based in London. She ‘liked’ a post celebrating her mother’s accolade on Instagram
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise adopted Connor and Isabella in the early 1990s after Nicole suffered from an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage

‘The loss of a miscarriage is not talked about enough. That’s massive grief to certain women,’ she said. 

She did not address her relationship with her adopted children in the interview – however Nicole did speak about the motherly instinct; whether one’s children are biological or adopted.

She said: ‘Whether you’re an adoptive mother, whether you’re a foster mother, whether you’re a biological mother – it’s the emotion of attaching to a child and helping to guide them and rear them [that is important].’

It has been suggested that the church of Scientology may be the reason for the distance between Nicole and her older children.

In her book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, ex-Scientology member Leah Remini claimed that Nicole was labelled a ‘suppressive person’ or ‘SP’ by the church after leaving.

After the Hollywood couple divorced in 2001, the children were said to have been ‘loyal to their father’ and chose to live with him

Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David, who himself renounced the religion, previously told that there is a ‘toxic’ policy of ‘disconnection’ operating within the church.

Speaking to the website in 2016, five years before he passed away, Ron (who was estranged from David) explained that the disconnection policy sees Scientologists cut off contact with any family member who leaves the church. He claimed it happened to him, not only with son David, but also with his two daughters, Denise and Lori. 

A year earlier, a controversial documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief made claims about the church in interviews with former members who have since left.

One of the allegations made in the film was that Scientologists conspired to ‘facilitate the break up’ of Tom Cruise’s second marriage to Nicole Kidman because the head of the church, David Miscavige, was suspicious of her.

Kidman was listed as a ‘Potential Trouble Source’ because her father was a psychologist in Australia, according to the Daily Beast.

Gibney’s film claims that Kidman, who was raised Catholic, convinced Cruise to distance himself from the Church of Scientology between 1992 and 2001.

It also alleges that during the filming of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Cruise wasn’t returning Miscavige’s phone calls, even though he was the best man at the actor’s wedding.

Marty Rathbun, a former senior executive of the Church of Scientology, said an aggressive campaign was launched to break up the couple.

It included wiretapping Kidman’s phone and psychoanalysing Cruise and his movements around the clock.

The personal information they gathered was then passed to Miscavige.

Rathbun even states that the Church of Scientology ‘re-educated’ Cruise’s adopted children, Connor and Isabella, so they would turn against their mother in a bid to make Cruise’s custody case stronger.

Neither of the adult children were present at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as their mother received the accolade

The Church denounced the allegations made in the explosive film upon its release. In a five-page letter to the Hollywood Reporter, the church said: ‘By our calculation, the film on average includes at least one major error every two minutes.’

However, it does appear that, since divorcing Cruise, Kidman’s relationship with their children has been more distant – and when her son Connor married in a Scientology ceremony in 2019, she was notably absent.

It was reported at the time that Cruise had prohibited his son from inviting Nicole to the occasion because of her status as a ‘suppressive person’.

At the time, an insider told Radar: ‘First, Tom would never even consider inviting Nicole to Connor’s wedding because she’s considered a ‘suppressive person’ by the church — and, second, he doesn’t want her there.’

They added that the Mission Impossible star turned his back on Nicole ‘a long time ago’ and has never looked back.

Despite not being seen in public with Bella and Connor since 2007, Nicole has spoken of her eldest children on occasion, revealing her enduring love for them.

Speaking to The Sun in in 2019, Nicole said: ‘Motherhood is about the journey. There are going to be incredible peaks and valleys, whether you are an adopting mother or a birth mother. What a child needs is love.

‘They have made choices to be Scientologists. It’s our job as a parent to always offer unconditional love.’ 

She also told Woman’s Weekly in 2014 that her children were ‘generous, kind and hardworking’, as she described her film Lion (in which she plays an adoptive mother) as a ‘love letter’ to them. 

However, the children have previously denied there is a rift within the family.

In 2014, Connor said: ‘I don’t care what people say. I know that me and mum are solid. I love her a lot. My family means everything.’

Speaking to MailOnline in 2016, Bella, who now lives in London with her IT manager  husband, said: ‘Of course [we talk], they’re my parents,’ she says. ‘Anyone who says otherwise is full of s**t.’

In 2012 she told New Idea: ‘I love mom. [Nicole’s] my mom. She’s great. I see her sometimes and I speak to her,’ adding ‘we’re a very close family. I love all of our family.’ 

Bella’s Instagram handle shows she also retains her mother’s surname – using Bella Kidman Cruise. 

Nicole’s relationship with the children she shares with Cruise is a stark contrast to that of his third wife, Katie Holmes.

She and Suri Cruise, 18, share an incredibly close relationship after the Dawson’s Creek actress retained full custody in the divorce agreement, and the pair moved to New York.

Although breaking free from the church of Scientology and divorcing its most influential member was a risky business, Katie Holmes had a secret weapon – her divorce attorney father, Martin Holmes. 

Although Cruise pays approximately $400,000 in child support to Holmes for Suri, he is said to have ‘no part’ in his daughter’s life
Katie has previously revealed how her daughter Suri comments on her outfits and has a ‘great eye’ when it comes to fashion
Katie Holmes’s father Martin, a divorce attorney, was reported to have ‘orchestrated’ the split between his daughter and Tom Cruise

People magazine reported Katie turned to Martin for advice before making any moves to split from Tom and that he ‘helped orchestrate his daughter’s sudden split’ from the actor. 

‘Marty is very rigid – it’s his way or the highway,’ a Toledo attorney who has worked with Martin told the magazine.

‘Marty believes there are only two sets of rules: the rules of the court and his rules, and he carries himself that way.’

Divorce documents at the time revealed that Katie Holmes would receive $400,000 every year from multi-millionaire Tom in the way of child support until Suri turns 18.

The Hollywood actor would also pay for Suri’s medical and dental expenses as well as her insurance, education costs and college tuition. The money is reportedly paid by electronic transfer.

Regarding Suri’s education, the couple agreed their daughter would not attend boarding school – which quashed rumours she would attend a Scientology-led institution.

Katie was granted sole custody of their daughter while Tom was allowed ‘meaningful’ visitation rights.

However, in a situation that appears to be the reverse of his relationship with Bella and Connor, Tom has not been seen out in public with his daughter for around a decade, and sources have claimed he now has little involvement in her life.

The last photo of the Top Gun actor out and about with his daughter was a trip to Disneyland in 2012, the year his divorce from Katie was finalised. 

That same year, the Hollywood titan was reported not to have seen his daughter for more than 100 days, between a holiday they took in August and Thanksgiving in November.

As Nicole raises her youngest children Sunday Rose, 15 and Faith Margaret, 13, with her second husband Keith Urban, she has notably kept the teenagers out of the limelight.

During her emotional acceptance speech at the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award Gala, she referred to the girls as the ‘loves of [her] life’.

Nicole added: ‘My daughters have never been anywhere publicly with me on a red carpet, tonight was their first night, so they’re here, Sunday and Faith.’ 


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