The “Boy Erased” star politely emphasizes she really doesn’t like talking about that marriage, though.
Nicole Kidman clarified Monday morning what she meant when she said in a recent interview that being married to Tom Cruise served as "protection" from sexual harassment in Hollywood.
She told "Today" co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie that it wasn’t just her ex-husband’s power as a top leading man in Hollywood that insulated her from tinseltown’s seedy underbelly, which has become more public since the Harvey Weinstein scandal. It was family life.
"I’m saying, because I was married at 23 years old, I wasn’t going to parties or I wasn’t going out a lot," she said. "I was pretty much at home. I had my first child at 25 and I was a married — I was in a family. So my sense of being in the world was — I was working, or I was at home."
Kidman and Cruise met on the set of the movie "Days of Thunder" and were married in 1990. They adopted two children together before getting divorced in 2001.
When Guthrie pressed if she thinks "people were afraid to mess" with her because of Cruise’s status, she did admit that was a strong possibility and recognized the privilege she had in that situation.
"I think when you’re married to a very powerful male — I mean, I’m not in a male’s mind, but would you?" she asked. "When I say ‘protection,’ there is almost like a barrier. A lot of women don’t have that. A lot of people in the world don’t have that."
Kidman first broached the subject in an interview that The Cut published last week. "I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me — it was protection," Kidman said. "I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned."
But she only briefly reflected on her marriage to Cruise in both interviews, politely pivoting in the same manner.
"I also don’t like discussing exes and all of that, because I’m married," the Oscar-winning actress told the "Today" hosts. "I’m very happily married. I have two little girls, and I feel it’s almost disrespectful, one, to Tom, and disrespectful to Keith. So I try to stay in the here and now."
Kidman appeared on the NBC morning show alongside her "Boy Erased" co-star Lucas Hedges. The pair play mother and son in writer-director Joel Edgerton’s gay conversion therapy drama, which explores Kidman’s character struggling with her son’s sexuality and preacher husband’s decision to send him away because of it.
"Boy Erased" hits theaters Nov. 2.
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