The Star (Canada): Morton’s Tom Cruise tell-all says nothing
Author does rehash of ancient tabloid stories and offers no proof for more lurid allegations”

“The book … is a sore disappointment for those of us who’d hoped we might learn something new and exciting about the not-so-tall movie star.”

“While a person’s religious affiliation is of interest, here the delving into it comes across as a substitute for actually talking to people who have met Cruise during the last 20 years.”

Entertainment Weekly (USA): Book Review TOM CRUISE

Tom Cruise begins, ”If truth be told, Tom Cruise Mapother IV has always been something of a ladies’ man” (should any biographer open with ”if truth be told”?) and ends with this thunderclap: ”Perhaps the most complex character he has ever played is Tom Cruise himself.” Between those sentences resides a 323-page air sandwich.”

“But Morton’s on-the-record sources — grade-school ”friends,” former neighbors, disgruntled ex-Scientologists — are many rings away from his chosen bull’s-eye. The lack of fresh material is manifest in desperate stretching (Cruise went to high school in Glen Ridge, N.J., and a decade later, there was a rape case involving…Glen Ridge high schoolers!), family arcana (Cruise’s grandfather’s cousin’s academic works fill 8.3 cubic feet in a library — noted!), and the uncategorizably bizarre (after reading that Church leader David Miscavige is ”two years older if two inches shorter” than Cruise, I felt two seconds older if two IQ points dumber).”

The New York Times: Tom Cruise and His Bully Pulpit /
The Columbus Dispatch: Author targets Scientology

“It goes without saying that biographers do not ordinarily assail their subjects’ religious beliefs with impunity. Nor do investigative reporters seize on Scientology as frequently as they might. Yet Mr. Morton has found a number of former Scientologists who are willing to speak freely, and in some cases vengefully, about the group’s purported inner workings. Mr. Morton’s eagerness to include their voices leads him to push the limits of responsible reporting. In the absence of any hard information whatsoever, for instance, he notes that if Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, now his wife, fed their daughter Suri the barley-based baby formula recommended by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, “they kept it secret.” ”

“The terminology and precepts of Scientology can be treated as exceedingly weird. And at times the book seems to go out of its way to misunderstand them. The phrase “merchant of chaos” has been used by Mr. Cruise to excoriate his father, and Mr. Morton treats it as a sinister epithet. Maybe it is. But it is also used by the literature of Scientology to describe those who profit by promulgating disturbing thoughts. Authorities on celebrity are not immune to this accusation.”

In German:

SPIEGEL: “Ein bisschen Wissen, ein bisschen Erfindung”

“Es war die ganz große Zeit des Andrew Morton: In den neunziger Jahren, vor allem direkt nach dem Unfalltod von Prinzessin Diana 1997, war der Sensations-Biograf der selbsternannten “Königin der Herzen” ein gefragter Kolumnist und Talkshow-Gast. Doch die Zeiten ändern sich: Wenn der 54-Jährige dieser Tage wieder einmal in den Gazetten seiner englischen Heimat auftaucht, geht es häufiger um sein eigenes Leben als um die Reichen und Mächtigen, denen er in seinen Bücher nachspürt.

Nach der Scheidung von seiner Frau ging Morton vor zwei Jahren eine neue Beziehung mit der Unternehmerin Janie Schaffer ein, die einst die Unterwäsche-Kette “Knickerbox” mitgegründet hatte. Die Boulevard-Zeitungen amüsierten sich: Morton widme sich “nach der Königin der Herzen nun der Königin der Höschen”.

Mit dem Spott seiner früheren Kollegen und Anwürfen wegen seiner vermeintlich “bizarren” sexuellen Präferenzen hat der Autor ebenso leben gelernt wie mit den Klagen jener Stars, deren unautorisierte Lebensgeschichten er in den vergangenen Jahren niederschrieb. Seine gerade in den USA erschienene Biografie über Schauspieler und Scientology-Frontmann Tom Cruise macht da keine Ausnahme. Als “verleumderischen Angriff voller Lügen” brandmarkte ein Statement der Sekte das Buch, was angesichts des häufig überschäumenden Scientology-Jargons noch als milde zu gelten hat.

Cruises Anwalt Bert Fields sprach “von verrücktem kranken Zeug. Der Mann sollte sich schämen”. Ausgeprägtes Schamgefühl gehört freilich nicht zu den herausragenden Eigenschaften des studierten Historikers. Sein Erfolg mit Dianas “True Story” – so der Buchtitel – fußte auf der gänzlich unkritischen Wiedergabe dessen, was ihm die Prinzessin durch Mittelsmänner in die Feder diktiert hatte.”

“Als Mortons Enthüllungsbuch “Diana – ihre wahre Geschichte” 1992 auf den Markt kam, avancierte der Autor über Nacht zum Staatsfeind Nummer eins. Wenn Journalisten wie der Diana-Biograf “in anderer Leute Seelenleben hineinpfuschen”, urteilte der britische Presserat, komme es zu einem “abscheulichen Schauspiel”.

Morton sei “nicht einmal als Bordell-Pianist” zu gebrauchen, donnerte der “Daily Telegraph”. Der Pressesprecher des Königshauses versuchte es mit Herablassung. “Sie kennen doch Morton”, näselte Richard Aylard, “ein bisschen Wissen, ein bisschen Erfindung”.”

“Dass Andrew Morton wegen seiner neuen Star-Biografie nun erneut mit teilweise harscher Kritik überzogen wird, dürfte ihn wenig stören. Hauptsache, er steht wieder im Scheinwerferlicht.”

Anyone interested in translating German into English? Send a comment!

Articles about the book before its publication
Cruise’s camp bashes Morton, unauthorized bio

Representatives for Tom Cruise wasted no time in speaking out against Andrew Morton’s new book “Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography,” saying that even though Cruise has been “a top star for 25 years, (Morton) never spoke to Cruise’s business partners, directors, studio executives, friends or family, and the list can go on.”

Morton, who has also written a number of dubiously sourced biographies and entered the public eye with his biography of Princess Diana, has been threatened with lawsuits from the Cruise camp at virtually every step of the publishing process. Morton goes so far as to claim that he’s been forced to vacate his home out of fear of retribution, but sources close to both Morton and Cruise claim the author knows he can’t back up many of the book’s claims.

Among the claims in the book is that Cruise is the de facto No. 2 leader of the Church of Scientology.

“The guy is a liar,” says one source who is very familiar with Morton’s writing process. “It’s shocking what little legitimacy any of his work has.” Indeed, even publishers in England — a country with very liberal libel standards — are wary of their countryman’s claim, and will not publish the book in England. Moreover, in 2005, Morton lost a libel case in Africa, and was made to pay Kenya’s Chief of Justice 45,000 pounds for a statement Morton made in his biography of former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi.

One of the more troubling aspects of the tome, according to insiders, is that this time around Morton involves Cruise’s children. “Anybody who would stoop as low as to insult Tom’s children deserves to be called out on the lies. He says that Suri was ‘conceived like Rosemary’s Baby,’ which is like calling her the devil. That’s outrageous and insulting,” says one source.

A variety of other issues in the book involve clear inconsistencies or falsehoods, according to Cruise’s camp:

In one instance Morton refers to Dustin Hoffman as Cruise’s best man in his wedding to Nicole Kidman then later claims that Cruise’s close friend (and noted Scientologist) David Miscavige was his best man.

Morton resurrects the rumor that Scientologists “planted a meadow of flowers for Tom and Nicole to run through.” For years, scores of Scientologist sources and non-Scientologist sources claim that the “meadow” existed long before Tom and Nicole’s union.

Morton claims that Miscavige accompanied Cruise and Holmes on their honeymoon. Not only was Miscavige spotted in London by a number of people at the same time he should have been with Cruise, but a source claimed to be on a plane leaving Italy after the wedding with Miscavige.

At best, Morton’s book is a best-of collection of Cruise rumors, most of which (if not all) have been refuted time and again. At worst, the book appears to be a personal attack on Cruise and his family. “He’s got an agenda, this is what Andrew Morton does. It’s just outrageous that he gets away with it.”

(Source: MSNBC, 7 Jan 2008)