Revenge of the trophy wife

Sumner Redstone's much younger wife finds Tom Cruise's behavior unacceptable, so she has him fired.

Published August 25, 2006 6:42PM (EDT)

Reportedly "incensed" at Tom Cruise's increasingly batty behavior, Paula Fortunato persuaded her media mogul husband, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, to fire Cruise for his unacceptable conduct. Britain's Daily Mail reports that Fortunato, 43, told her husband, 40 years her senior, that Cruise had "forever turned female fans off him" and that she "never want[s] to see another Tom Cruise movie again."

Redstone recently issued a statement saying, "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal. His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount." The Daily Mail guesses that "recent conduct" refers to Cruise's escalating public allegiance to Scientology, which includes criticizing Brooke Shields for using postnatal antidepressants, and his outrageous demand that Katie Holmes give birth in silence.

Here is a woman generally dismissed as a trophy wife calling the shots on the career of one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. I guess she's telling us to take that trophy and shove it.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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