Brooke & Tom's War of the Words
By Sarah Hall
Thu Jun 2, 8:23 PM ET
Brooke Shields has officially engaged with Tom Cruise in what is fast becoming a celebrity war of the words.
After Cruise criticized Shields' use of antidepressants as "irresponsible" during an interview with Access Hollywood last week, Shields has suggested the leading man keep his opinions to himself.
"Tom Cruise's comments are irresponsible and dangerous," Shields said in London last week. "Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them."
Shields recently published Down Came the Rain, a personal chronicle of her struggle with depression following the 2003 birth of her daughter, Rowan. The memoir delves into the actress' use of Paxil as a form of treatment for her condition and is meant to inspire other women to seek help.
"Don't be ashamed, and don't disregard what you are feeling," Shields writes in the book. "I recovered only because I got help."
The actress has said she is currently in the process of weaning herself from the drug in order to try for a second child with husband Chris Henchy.
However, as a dedicated follower of Scientology, Cruise is of the belief that miNd-altering medications of any kind are "dangerous" and that women should treat conditions such as postpartum depression with "vitamins." Hence his stamp of disapproval on Shields' choice to use Paxil and to discuss that choice in her memoir.
"When you talk about postpartum, you can take people today, women, and what you do is you use vitamins. There is a hormonal thing that is going on, scientifically, you can prove that. But when you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that," the actor told Access Hollywood.
"When someone says [medication] has helped them, it is to cope, it didn't cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever," Cruise said.
Cruise went on to make a not-so-subtle jab at the former Suddenly Susan star's professional life.
"I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented women, [but] look at where her career has gone
Ouch. True, Shields' latest pilot, New Car Smell, was recently passed over by Fox, but the actress has been earning positive reviews in the role of Roxie Hart in the London theater production of Chicago.
Meanwhile, as anyone not living under a rock knows by now, Cruise's latest project, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, is scheduled to open June 29.
Though one would expect Cruise to become increasingly visible as the film's premiere date approaches, it turns out the public may actually see less of the actor than in recent weeks.
Paramount and DreamWorks have cut out the usual promotional press junket in favor of a smaller number of "preselected interview sessions," DreamWorks exec Martin Levy told the New York Times in an article published Thursday.
Speculation exists that Cruise's increasing passion for discussing both his religious beliefs and his feelings for new girlfriend Katie Holmes led to the decision to cut back on his promotional appearances.
Levy admitted that studio executives had expressed concern over Cruise's well-publicized, erratic May 23 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, during which Cruise bounced around the room, on and off furniture, sank to the floor and repeatedly announced his love for Holmes. (At least we can rule out mind-altering drugs.)
"You can have so much attention on a particular issue that maybe the movie doesn't get as much attention as it might," Levy told the Times of the appearance. "It's the topic of conversation for many reasons."
However, Levy denied that the choice to scrap the press junket had anything to do with Cruise, rather it was made because the movie had already received sufficient promotion.