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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Cruise and Paramount sever ties
Tom Cruise
Cruise was recently named the world's most powerful celebrity
Hollywood star Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have ended a 14-year working relationship, with both parties claiming to have chosen to sever ties.

The film studio told the Wall Street Journal it had decided not to renew its deal with the star because "his recent conduct has not been acceptable".

His opinions on use of anti-depressants and his relationship with Katie Holmes have made headlines in the past year.

But his business partner Paula Wagner said they chose to leave Paramount.

She said Cruise/Wagner Productions had been planning to set up independent financing for their films "for a long time".

"For us this is a very new and exciting direction," she told the Associated Press. "We look forward to working with all the studios."

Acrimonious

In a separate interview with the Reuters news agency, Ms Wagner responded to comments made by Sumner Redstone, chairman of Paramount's parent company Viacom, to the Wall Street Journal.

"Whatever remarks Mr Redstone would make about Tom Cruise personally or as an actor have no bearing on what this business issue is," she said.

A still from the film Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible III did not live up to box-office expectations

"There must be another agenda that the studio has in mind to take one of their greatest assets and malign him in this way."

During the past decade, Cruise's films - which include the three Mission: Impossible movies - have generated more than $2 billion (1.5 billion) worldwide.

But the third Mission: Impossible film put in a relatively disappointing performance at the box office.

Despite this, the 44-year-old actor was named the world's most powerful celebrity by US magazine Forbes earlier this year.


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