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Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 13:38 GMT
Can celebrity couples survive?

Hollywood film stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have announced they are to separate after more than 10 years of marriage.

A spokesman for the couple cited career pressures as the reason for the separation.

The breakdown of the marriage will send shockwaves around Hollywood - and the world of showbusiness in general. In a recent survey the pair were named as the celebrity couple who set the best example of wedded bliss.

Can couples in the spotlight survive? Is a 10-year marriage good going for Hollywood celebrities?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Their marriage lasted a long time by today's standards

Tamara Preetchardikov, UK/Russia
What's the fuss, exactly? Their marriage lasted a long time by today's standards (even compared to those not in the public eye). Just because they didn't grow old and die together ... It's a success story if you ask me.
Tamara Preetchardikov, UK/Russia

The press does, in fact, spend far too much time covering the private lives of celebrities, catering to those who would live vicariously. At the same time, the disposal marriages of celebrities are an all-too-pointed comment on our era in which commitments to family and community take second place to momentary self-gratification.
S. D. Yana Davis, US

It's funny how much insight we have on a relationship between two people we don't even know. Celebrities shouldn't be looked to for solving our own problems. Society's fascination with people on the screen is the cause of many problems in our society today.
Sarah, USA

Who cares? The only marriages that matter to me are mine, my family's and friends'.
Graeme, England

I feel sorry for Nicole and the kids

Bob, UK
As an ex-Scientologist I know why the marriage failed - Scientology. In my opinion one of the nastiest things ever invented by man. But don't worry about Tom - the first rule of the big 'S' is survive, and he will. I feel sorry for Nicole and the kids.
Bob, UK

They went into that marriage with their 'Eyes Wide Shut'. It was 'Far And Away' the most farcical coupling in Hollywood history. A very stormy marriage, by all accounts. Oh yes, lots of 'Days Of Thunder' in their house, I can tell you. Oh yes!!
Peter Myear, UK

These days it just seems so easy to break up and go your own separate ways. As for all these 'pressures', well doesn't everyone go through them? I have been married just under 2 years and have been placed under immense pressure from family due to marrying someone from a different religion. It's much easier to walk away, but much harder to stay together.
Sonia, England

10 years is about the time when the passion goes from a marriage. This must happen to millions of married couples. Those who survive beyond that time develop something else in their relationship to replace that. You have to really work at that. Don't blame them, it's just life. Incidentally I think she is a better actor than he is. Did anyone see her in the BBC drama Bangkok Hotel a few years ago? She was fantastic and the story was absolutely gripping.
Lesley McLean, England

The sanctity of marriage has long since disappeared

Ahmad Siraj, Malaysia
The understanding of marriage in today's Western society is no longer based on true love, selflessness and loyalty. It is more grounded on lust and trying to boost one's ego in the eyes of the other. The sanctity of marriage has long since disappeared. Today we witness endless shows of hypocrisy and pretension laced with selfish material interest. Irreversibly, the Western concept of family is bent on the path of self-destruction.
Ahmad Siraj, Malaysia

What a shame about the break up. It was inevitable that this marriage was going to end in divorce. It was interesting to see the behavioural body language displayed by Tom and Nicole at the premiere of "Eyes Wide Shut" in Sydney, Australia. The whole crowd was screaming to get Tom's attention, yet the attention paid to Nicole was very small in comparison to her husband. I feel sorry for Nicole because she knew that she could never ever compete with her husband's "popularity". Thanks Tom for signing my autograph. Wish you all the best
Sonia, Sydney, Australia

It appears from what we hear in the USA that it is not as if they don't love each other. Nor does it have to do with their careers. It is sounding like that it concerns their religious beliefs. He is a Scientologist and she wants to raise their kids Catholic. She is not too keen on being a Scientologist. It has been brewing for months.
Russ Black, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Unfortunately it's not just Hollywood that takes marriage so lightly anymore

Sandy Mackenzie, Australia
The wedding vows should be changed from "'till death us do part" to "'till we're sick of each other". I'm now waiting for the news that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones have separated. And, unfortunately it's not just Hollywood that takes marriage so lightly anymore.
Sandy Mackenzie, Australia

If they really loved one another, they would still be together.
Maria O' Grady, Ireland

I always thought how could a woman married to Tom Cruise look so miserable, sad and discouraged? I guess we know why now!!
Anne Gillam, Canada

Let's not be fooled into believing that 'career pressure' is the real reason behind the split. It's like when a band split up citing 'musical differences' as the cause, when the truth is usually a lot uglier.
Steve Burt, Sweden ex UK

I don't think enough people are giving Tom and Nicole credit for being so civilised about it. Just compare how they're handling their break up with how Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan handled theirs.
mrwarmth, USA

Hollywood personalities are legends in their own minds

Tahir Nawab, NY, USA
Hollywood personalities are legends in their own minds. Their lives are a circus where the spectators are only mindless adolescents and the impressionable, who seem to be so imbued by their glitzy lives. The fact of the matter is that these characters are simply high paid performers who with all the trappings of their wealth prefer to impart immorality and corruption, and have absolutely no positive impact upon any society.
Tahir Nawab, NY, USA

I think there's a lot more to the breakdown of Tom and Nicole's marriage than mere "career pressures", that's probably a nice way of saying they can't stand to be together anymore. I mean honestly, marriage is not supposed to be based on convenience, it's a lot of hard work and there should be room for compromise. Afterall, I've read about some celebrity couples who have decided that they wouldn't both be working on any projects at the same time, so no matter what, one of them is always free. Being a star must be a very difficult thing to manage along with a family, but I guess you just have to decide what's more important to you -your family or your career. It's such a shame, and those poor kids. How come parents never consider their kids when they make these awful decisions?
Folakemi Vaughn-Leigh, Nigeria

What about Mel Gibson? He has been married for years and years, and has seven children with his wife. You never hear any scandal about him - he seems to keep himself out of the public eye and put his family first.
Karen, UK

There seems to be a lot of speculation about the reason for the split but how can we know what goes on behind closed doors?
Laura Williams, Wales

My neighbours are separated too.
Pedro, USA

I feel very sad for Mr Cruise and Ms Kidman and I wish them all the best in their future. I am upset at the many people who are criticising their decision to separate. Who are we to speculate and judge why their marriage is faltering? All we know is what we hear on TV or read in the papers. Only Mr Cruise and Ms Kidman know the true reasons why they have made this decision and only they have the right to know! We should simply feel sadness at their difficult situation and leave it at that. It does not matter how famous, rich or beautiful they are; they are still a married couple and all marriages go through tough times. The bottom line is that it is their decision - one that we should respect. I'm sorry Tom and Nicole, and I wish you the very best.
Kathryn Oden, USA

Never met em! Don't know em! Could actually care less.
Ray, USA

M Smith, UK: What are you saying? "Nice" people live together happily forever and ever?
Louise, Switzerland

It's always sad when a marriage breaks up, whoever it is and for whatever reason

Lynne, UK
It's always sad when a marriage breaks up, whoever it is and for whatever reason. But look at Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward or John Thaw and Sheila Hancock, or even Prunella Scales and Timothy West. They seem to have managed to stay together, whatever the pressures put on them by their work.
Lynne, UK

But all said and done what "star" couples should not forget is that they're humans at the end of the day and have kids with same feelings as any other for their parents. Their duty towards their children must stand first in line that's part of the institution of marriage. Hollywood however does not seem to change its image as far as married life is concerned but one can only hope for the best.
Neha, India

I think celebrity couples' commitment is torn between maintaining their high profiled careers and keeping their relationship going. But we must remember this also happens all around us. If my next door neighbour decided to separate with his wife it won't be on the headlines of all the tabloids will it? It just makes it much more easier to 'crack' if you are in the limelight.
Sabina Jabry, UK

For one thing it is strange that celebrities seem to marry each other and therefore there lives are given that much more publicity. I think that these people should not get so much coverage about there private lives and we should concentrate on many more important issues that are happening in the world.
Shalim Ali, UK

I feel sorry for them because I have been divorce and through all the problems incurred but their situation is open to public opinion and so is worsened

Paul, England
I feel sorry for them because I have been divorce and through all the problems incurred but their situation is open to public opinion and so is worsened. However I agree with Ian in saying that they don't live a normal life and it should really be expected due to the pressures placed upon them
Paul, England

I think couples in the spotlight can survive a marriage. To be honest I think the press should mind their own business instead of poking their noses in to other peoples business. If they do not want to be together then that is up to them not the newspapers.
Louise Montgomery, Northern Ireland

Marriage is a commitment. Something that is very rare in Hollywood. I had high hopes for Tom and Nicole. I think that their separation is more to do with a weakness in self control. A married person makes a decision every day to love his/her spouse and to remain in that situation, once that conviction is gone, it is hard to stay together.
Wale Adesanwo, Nigeria

They probably finished the relationship a long time ago, it seems that celebrity couples are a good publicity stunt.
Sharon, Italy

If Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman value their relationship and the responsibility they bear for the children they chose to adopt, they should consider giving up the spotlight and focusing on their family life. With the money they have earned they need never have to work again and could easily give priority to their marriage if they are serious about it. Seems to me they have lost grip on what really matters.
Rosemary, USA

Well perhaps if the press let these people alone a bit and allow them to live normally that would help. But we're all to blame really, unfortunately a lot of us seem to think that just because they are celebrities, then we have a right to know what's going on in their lives, when we have absolutely no rights at all to interfere. Using the term "Celebrity Couple" sums it up really
Andrew Watson Netherlands

Perhaps if the media spent less time worrying about them and more time tackling real issues then the world might just be a slightly better place

Ian, UK
I don't care about the lives of Hollywood "stars". I can't empathise in any way with them since they do not live a real life in the real world. Perhaps if the media spent less time worrying about them and more time tackling real issues then the world might just be a slightly better place.
Ian, UK

So all those comments about them having no onscreen chemistry were well founded then? Marriage is as much a mythical construct as any of these Hollywood stars. It's just church and state interfering in our love lives again.
Martin Bentley, UK

At the end of the day...what does it matter to us? It is their marriage, no one else's!
Jenny, UK

Perhaps this divorce is a shame. But remember: it's just a movie.
Simon Keiler, UK

The problem with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman is they love money more than each other. They have tons of money and they have options a lot of us don't have. The option to be together as much as they'd like. Most of us have to work to survive and our families suffer as a result but they have a choice to go with each other in their film making. They can alternate so they can be together, so this excuse is worthless, if they were truly committed then their relationship and family would come first and should. I think it's sad that they are taking their marriage vows so lightly.
Lisa, USA

Unfortunately for the rich and the beautiful an eventual life apart seems inevitable, however knowing this, why do they have to go on and adopt a couple of children, and damage their lives in the process!! Children are for life ,not just for newspapers!!
Christine Carson, Japan

Earthquakes in India, impending war in the middle east, and countless other tragic situations around the world and I am supposed to worry about two vapid celebrity's personal lives?
Robert, USA

It just goes to show that you can't have it all - something invariably has to give. In this case presumably, both Tom and Nicole were reluctant to reduce the number of multi-million dollar films they starred in to spend more time as a family. And let's face it, if there's not enough of an incentive to ease down on the mutual workload for the sake of two children - then the chances of doing so for the sake of a partner seem also very slim.
Rebecca Southwell, UK

I actually heard through the grapevine that Kermit left Miss Piggy for a rather attractive salamander last summe

Sonia, England
I actually heard through the grapevine that Kermit left Miss Piggy for a rather attractive salamander last summer, Richard you should read more newspapers
Sonia, England

As far as I know, Kermit and Miss Piggy are still going strong...
Richard N, UK

Come on, most of these high profile relationships (with the possible exception of the Beckhams who must be really good actors or really in love) are fabricated for the benefit of their careers. Maybe the Cruises are just another example of this.
Alex Banks, Wales, Living in Sweden

It is so sad to see a marriage break because of two individuals seeking their OWN career goal. Amicable or not, this is the break up of another family unit, and that can't be a good thing. I'm sad for the two children who WILL suffer because of this (if it were just the two of them then I wouldn't bat an eyelid).
Christopher Laird, Japan

It seems like this Hollywood community is so tightly knit - You only ever see inter-marriages: Actors and Actresses only ever seem to marry other Actors and Actresses, rock stars or supermodels. No wonder marriages don't last if they are based on the superficiality and glamour.
Caroline, UK

What business is it of ours?
Phil, United Kingdom

Great Shame, both seem to be very nice people.
M Smith, UK

I don't know why the spotlight is on Hollywood stars ,they are the same as the rest of us. There are so few partnerships that work these days I blame the ugly face of materialism and the constant feeling that you should explore different relationships and not have one partner. Nothing seems to last these days and that is very sad.
Lou, UK

Ten years is certainly good going for a celebrity couple

Eddie Talbot, UK
Ten years is certainly good going for a celebrity couple. However to break up a marriage of this length and solidarity blamed on "career pressures" does not seem right to me. Both Cruise and Kidman have the rare power to command film companies to bend to their whims regarding film locations and money so that they can be near each other. The media have laid off them more recently after a bad patch a few years ago, so what's the problem? I wouldn't mind their luxurious lifestyle.
Eddie Talbot, UK

It has always seemed weird to me that high profile entertainers appear, on the whole, not to be able to keep their marriages together. There are some obvious exceptions (Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, for instance), but they only seem to prove the rule. But I recently saw a documentary where, as an aside, someone mentioned that working with an attractive co-star in a film or stage production, leads to close, temporary and extremely intense relationships. I don't know whether to sympathise or applaud!
Mark M. Newdick, USA/ UK

What a shame, they seemed well suited. You have to question though if you are not seeing each other then that's not much basis for a marriage. What's curious though is that neither of them would have to work another day of their lives! They could have given up showbiz and concentrated on the marriage. They obviously didn't want that as much as the showbiz life.
James, UK

We live in a disposable society

Joan Carter, UK
We live in a disposable society. People are superficial and a lot of Hollywood couples' relationships are a strategic career moves. Egotistical battles go on between married couples in the entertainment business.
Joan Carter, UK

If career pressures are ending the marriage and you care about the marriage, drop the career. All it takes is effort - and let's be honest, they aren't likely to need the money, are they? They clearly can't be bothered to work at it.
Russell Long, UK

Who cares?
M.P. Marshall, UK

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See also:

06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Cruise and Kidman to separate
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Cruise and Kidman: Broken dream
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