When actress Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise on June 29, tabloid writers everywhere knew that this was their chance to be Cronkite. The muted swish of those papers being placed on some official’s desk was like a starter pistol: Media types were off in a race to print the facts of the breakup, followed up by another race to figure out what those facts actually were. The primary theory was that Scientology was to blame. Had Holmes had enough of the religion? Was she trying to protect Suri? Does all this have anything to do with the mysterious upper echelon of Scientologists (and possibly whale trainers) known as Sea Org? Is it okay to speculate wildly in a headline if there’s a question mark at the end? Not everyone agreed on the details.
Rumors flew as to the specifics of a ”marriage contract” that worked like some dictatorial five-year plan. Star branded this a ”divorce shocker!” but others claimed to have seen it coming, citing a line from an Elle interview in which Holmes said she was entering a ”new phase” (clear-cut evidence that she either was planning a divorce or is secretly a werewolf). TMZ then exclusively reported that Holmes was fearful that ”stalkers” from the Church of Scientology had been ”following her moves.” In fact, ”several ‘mysterious’ men and vehicles” were seen camped outside the actress’ apartment and ”following her when she’s out,” according to the gossip website best known for camping outside celebrities’ apartments and following them when they’re out. But don’t forget that otherology: numerology. Perez Hilton quickly pointed out that splits with all three of Cruise’s wives (Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Holmes) happened when they were 33, which is only 10 more than 23, a figure infamous among numerologists and fans of bad Jim Carrey movies. Even spookier, if you subtract Kidman’s age then from Holmes’ age now, you’re left with zero, which is exactly how much sense any of this makes.
While the two main parties largely kept mum, a parade of friends, pals, chums, sources close to the couple, and sources close to sources close to the couple poured out of the woodwork to give their expert opinions. Naturally, you might assume that the anonymity of these sources only speaks to their insider status, but that may not be the case. ”Usually those ‘close friends’ are just manicurists or store clerks,” a source close to a popular supermarket weekly told EW, before adding, ”Paper or plastic?” Holmes broke her silence on Independence Day — a coincidence pointed out by no one except everyone — and announced, ”I’m all right.” Then, on July 9, the two stars suddenly announced that they’d reached a divorce settlement. (Suri will reportedly live with Holmes, and Cruise will be given substantial visitation time.) Will this stop the stories? ”I doubt it,” says our inside source. ”Now will you please move? You’re holding up the line.”