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Ex Mimi Rogers Said Tom Cruise Explored Celibacy and Considered "Becoming a Monk"

"It looked as though marriage wouldn't fit into his overall spiritual need," she said post-divorce.

Back before he was jumping on Oprah's couch in celebration of his relationship with Katie Holmes or starring in movies with Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise was married to his first wife, Mimi Rogers. The two actors got married in 1987 and divorced three years later. Following the split, they both spoke out about their marriage, including Rogers making some surprising claims about Cruise's personal life. The Gung Ho actor once said that Cruise had explored celibacy and even considered "becoming a monk." Read on to find out more about the relationship and Cruise's reported focus on fulfilling his "spiritual need."

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Rogers and Cruise were married early in his career.

Tom Cruise in 1981
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rogers and Cruise first got together in the mid-'80s and met through friends, as reported by InStyle. In a Rolling Stone interview that took place when they were together, Cruise said of Rogers, "I care about my wife more than anything in the world. She's my best friend. I just really like being with her, you know? I love her."

But, the relationship took a turn, and in 1990 they divorced. "While there have been positive aspects to our marriage, there were some issues which could not be resolved even after working on them for a period of time," the former couple said in a joint statement.

Rogers made some unexpected claims in a post-divorce interview.

Mimi Rogers at the 1999 AFI Awards
Brenda Chase / Stringer / Getty Images

In a 1993 interview with Playboy (via E! News), Rogers opened up about the reason for their split.

"Is that the story, that I was bored with that child and threw him over, chewed him up and spat him out?" Rogers, who is six years older than Cruise, told the magazine. "Well, here's the real story. Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk. At least for that period of time, it looked as though marriage wouldn't fit into his overall spiritual need. And he thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument." She added, "My instrument needed tuning."

Rogers also expressed that it was annoying to be always referred to in relation to Cruise. "You cease to be an individual," she told People in 1995. "No matter what the article is, it's 'Tom Cruise's wife.'" She said she was "waiting for the moment when I don't have to talk about that [expletive] name anymore."

Cruise said that he was "dissatisfied" when he was with Rogers.

Tom Cruise at a media call for "Far and Away" in 1992
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

According to the book Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography by Andrew Morton (via Today), Cruise told Talk magazine of his marriage to Rogers, "Before Nicole I was dissatisfied, wanting something more. It was just two people who weren't meant to work and it wasn't what I wanted for my life. I think you just go on different paths. But it wasn't Mimi's fault … it's just the way it is."

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Scientology may have played a role in their split.

Tom Cruise at the 2022 FIA Formula 1 championship in the UK
motorsports Photographer / Shutterstock

Rogers was raised a Scientologist and introduced Cruise to the controversial religion, of which he is now the most famous member. Later, she separated from the church. In his book A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientologyformer Scientology executive Mike Rinder claimed that Scientology officials were assigned to convince Rogers to divorce Cruise.

Rinder claimed that when Cruise fell for Kidman while they were filming the 1990 movie Days of Thunder, Scientology leader David Miscavige wanted "to demonstrate his ability to make Tom's wishes come true" by getting him divorced from Rogers so he could pursue Kidman. Rinder went on to write that this was "highly unusual and would never have happened with a normal Scientologist."

The Church of Scientology denied Rinder's claims, calling them "utterly ludicrous" in a statement to Page Six, and calling Rinder "an inveterate liar who seeks to profit from his dishonesty."

Cruise and Rogers moved on to new relationships.

Lucy Rogers-Ciaffa, Chris Ciaffa, and Mimi Rogers at the premiere of "Unstoppable" in 2010
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Cruise did end up being married to Kidman from 1990 to 2001. He then was married to Holmes from 2006 to 2012. Rogers married her husband, producer Chris Ciaffa, in 2003, and they are still together today.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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