In the current season of “Big Little Lies,” Nicole Kidman plays a mother faced with the devastating possibility of losing her two young children in a vicious custody battle.
Fans of Kidman’s work on the HBO series may wonder how much the award-winning actress’s performance is informed by real-life trauma after considering new claims made by a former member of the Church of Scientology. In an interview with DailyMail TV, Sam Domingo said Scientology systematically worked to separate Kidman from the two young children she adopted with Tom Cruise after the actor — a leading church member — abruptly filed for divorce in 2001 after nearly 10 years of marriage.
“I know what techniques they used,” said Domingo, the daughter-in-law of famed opera singer Placido Domingo. She told DailyMail TV that she was a church member for 22 years and became friends with Cruise, Kidman and their two children, Isabella and Connor, by working as a supervisor at the International Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.
“The Cruise kids had no choice,” Domingo said, explaining that her children once were playmates with Isabella and Connor Cruise, now 26 and 24, respectively. “After the divorce, they were indoctrinated into Scientology and very much isolated.”
A Scientology spokesperson denied Domingo’s claims in a statement to DailyMailTV, saying she has been making false allegations about the church for a long time.
In her interview, Domingo also discussed other celebrity Scientologists. She said John Travolta tried to raise son Jett back to life after the 16-year-old suffered a fatal seizure in 2009 and that Jada Pinkett Smith was a celebrity recruiter for the church, despite repeated denials about being involved in Scientology.
Domingo’s description of the church working to estrange Isabella and Connor Cruise from their mother, because she had not embraced Scientology, is in line with previous reports about the end of Kidman and Cruise’s marriage.
A 2012 Vanity Fair investigation cited several sources who alleged that the church, under the leadership of David Miscavige, decided that Kidman “was its most dangerous type of enemy, a Suppressive Person (S.P.), who could threaten the spiritual well-being of Cruise and (their) two children.” Vanity Fair added that Isabella, then 8, and Connor, then 6, were reportedly given a course in identifying Suppressive Persons.
Over the years, Kidman, 52, has not been seen much in public with Connor or Isabella, who also goes by Bella. She also has said little about them in interviews.
Actress Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who has criticized the church on her show “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” touched on Kidman’s estranged relationship with Isabella and Connor in her book, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.”
Remini said that after attending Cruise’s 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes, she was riding in a car with the siblings and asked if they had seen their mother recently. Isabella reportedly said: “Not if I have a choice. Our mom is a (expletive) SP.”
Kidman’s relationship with Isabella and Connor became a source of scrutiny when she failed to mention them — but mentioned her two younger daughters with second husband Keith Urban — while accepting acting honors for “Big Little Lies” at the Emmys in September 2017 and at the Golden Globes in January 2018.
Kidman somewhat broke her silence about the relationship in an interview in November with Australia’s Who magazine. The actress said: “They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them.”
Domingo explained that she felt motivated to speak up about Kidman’s alleged estrangement from her older children after seeing Isabella Cruise being “used” as “a poster girl” for Scientology in promotional materials the church in London issued in March.
The “Top Gun” star’s daughter appeared to position herself as a top recruiter for the organization by publishing a testimonial about her “auditing adventure,” according to the Daily Beast and journalist Tony Ortega, a Scientology expert who published the testimonial on his Underground Bunker blog.
Isabella Cruise explained in her testimonial, which was shared by email with other Scientologists, that training to become an auditor had changed her life.
An auditor is a trained Scientology member who helps another member through an intense session of self-examination using a devise known as an E-meter.
“It turned out it was exactly what I needed,” wrote Isabella Cruise, who is married and lives in London. “This IS what I had been searching for. The missing piece. Suddenly everything began to make sense.”
Domingo told DailyMailTV that she had long kept quiet out of “loyalty” to Cruise, 57, and to his sister Cass Mapother, with whom she said she had also become friendly. But she was dismayed to see Isabella “being used for PR.”
“She’s Tom Cruise’s kid, it’s not fair what they’re doing to her and Connor,” Domingo said. “They have no choice but to be the poster kids of Scientology now.”