Film director Steven Spielberg has said actor Tom Cruise was "punished" by the media for his public displays of affection for fiancee Katie Holmes.
Spielberg directed Cruise (right) in the latest version of HG Wells' story
Spielberg, who made War of the Worlds starring Cruise, told Newsweek magazine he was "a little upset" by the media's reaction to the actor.
A recent poll claimed 60% of Americans thought the affair was a stunt.
Four people were arrested in London on Sunday after Cruise was squirted with water at the film's UK premiere.
Cruise and Holmes announced their engagement in Paris last week. He proposed at the Eiffel Tower.
Spielberg said Cruise had also "bared his soul" to him when the liaison began.
The debate began after Cruise's recent appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, in which he jumped on the talk show host's couch and punched the air.
Asked about the Oprah appearance, Spielberg said: "I was a little upset. Not at Tom, but at the press for making such a big deal out of a kind of small thing.
"Tom lost his cool because he was deliriously happy, and now he was being punished for his public display of happiness.
"What Tom did on Oprah was exactly what Tom did with me when he first told me about Katie Holmes. But the press didn't like the way Tom bared his soul."
The War of the Worlds film, loosely based on the science fiction novel by HG Wells, sees Cruise play a divorced father who must save his children when aliens come to destroy Earth.