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Nicole Kidman: Marriage to Tom Cruise 'Kept Me From Being Sexually Harassed'

In an op-ed for The Cut, the actress talks about her experience of being married to a megastar at 22 years old.

by Danielle Kwateng-Clark
Oct 15 2018, 8:51pm

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Nicole Kidman has rarely said anything about her relationship with Tom Cruise, until now. In a short op-ed for The Cut, the actress opens up about her marriage to the Top Gun actor at 22 years old. The couple was married from 1990 to 2001 and have two adopted children together.

"I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me—it was protection," Kidman says about the union. "I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it’s almost like I had to grow up."

Kidman goes on to share that while she was shielded from sexual harassment because she was married to one of the world's biggest actors, she did experience predatory behavior at other points in her life.

"Of course I’ve had #MeToo moments—since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely. I’m open and raw," the 51-year-old says. "I want to have my well of experience and emotion tapped into, used—and I’m not just talking about sexual harassment. I’m talking about loss, death, the full array of life. But it has to be by the right people so it’s not abused again."

Kidman joins the growing list of actresses who, in the context of the #MeToo movement, have shared their unique experiences of navigating Hollywood. Some of the movement's biggest impacts have come from the public outpouring of personal experiences of sexual assault, new understandings of the language commonly used to talk about the effects of sexism, renewed solidarity in shared experiences, and accounting for situations like Kidman's that reflect how power differentials can affect women in both overt and less direct senses.