Nicole Kidman says marriage to Tom Cruise “kept me from being sexually harassed”

The Academy Award winner opens up about her marriage and struggles in Hollywood

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut (Warner Bros.)

It’s been ages since Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were an item — both in real life or even in the press. However, the Big Little Lies star has opened up about her past marriage in a new op-editorial for New York Magazine.

“Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I’m always reluctant to talk about,” she tells writer Holly Millea, “because I’m married now to the man who is my great love [Keith Urban], and it almost feels disrespectful. That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me — it was protection.”

Cruise and Kidman wed in 1990 following their work on Tony Scott’s incredibly underrated stunner, Days of Thunder. They adopted two children and eventually divorced in 2001, two years after working together on Stanley Kubrick’s even more incredible Eyes Wide Shut. At the time, Kidman was incredibly overjoyed over the split.

“I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed,” Kidman continues. “I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it’s almost like I had to grow up.”

While Kidman happens to wax nostalgic about her past with Cruise, the piece itself revolves around the struggles women face in Hollywood with regards to power and corruption, something Kidman is incredibly forthcoming about.

“Of course I’ve had #MeToo moments — since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely,” Kidman confesses. “I’m open and raw. I want to have my well of experience and emotion tapped into, used — and I’m not just talking about sexual harassment. I’m talking about loss, death, the full array of life. But it has to be by the right people so it’s not abused again.”

She’s not wrong. Kidman is currently working on Charles Randolph’s forthcoming true life drama about scumbag incarnate Fox News chief Roger Ailes. She’ll play former anchor Gretchen Carlson alongside stars John Lithgow, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie, which will no doubt turn heads in our current political climate.

Despite her success, Kidman admits that power is always a struggle for her, concluding: “Winning an Oscar for The Hours, in 2003, I didn’t even notice the power then. I don’t know if it’s my self-esteem, but I still struggle to stand in that place and say, I’ve earned this.’ That’s probably good, because it keeps me in a state of wonder and humility and going, Wow! You want me?”

Read the full piece here and revisit her dynamite on-screen chemistry with ex-husband Cruise below in the aforementioned Days of Thunder. It’s a charming piece of filmmaking.