Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise Never Married

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were never married. At least, not as far as the Pope is concerned.

How did Nicole Kidman, one-time spouse of Tom Cruise, get re-married in a Catholic church if she didn’t have an annulment? Clue: she wasn’t actually married before. Nicole Kidman’s wedding to country singer Keith Urban in Sydney at the weekend drew plenty of media attention. But some Catholics will have looked on perplexed at how the former bride of actor Tom Cruise managed to tie the knot for a second time, in a Catholic church.

It was widely reported in the run up to the weekend wedding that Ms Kidman had received an annulment for her previous marriage – the Catholic Church’s procedure for allowing a follower to wed again.


In fact, Kidman didn’t need an annulment for one simple reason: in the eyes of the Catholic Church her 10-year union with Tom Cruise, a renowned Scientologist, never happened. The original wedding was performed in the Church of Scientology and wasn’t recognised by the Catholic faith. The divorce granted to the couple in 2001 was a legal rather than religious procedure for Kidman.


According to the Holy See, 43,153 straightforward annulments were granted worldwide, almost 29,000 of which were issued in north America in 2003. This compares with 511 in Great Britain and 304 across Ireland. Many of these were later overturned by the Vatican. Rome has long been concerned that priests in the US are handing out too many annulments. The Vatican argues that American culture demands maximum self-fulfilment and that includes what can be expected from a marriage. As a result, more annulments are granted in the US, leaving Rome worried that the Americans are, essentially, letting divorce in through the back door.

For Kidman, however, such difficult questions never needed to be answered.

Hat tip to Doug Mataconis. Of course, as I noted in his comments section, this means Kidman spent ten years fornicating with a Scientologist.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. donsurber says:

    The Pope knows more than you think 🙂

  2. Paul says:

    Of course, as I noted in his comments section, this means Kidman spent ten years fornicating with a Scientologist.

    James, James, James, Nicole Kidman is an actress. She spent ten years acting like she was fornicating with a Scientologist. Remember, you are talking about Tom Cruise here.

  3. Anderson says:

    Any “religion” that tolerates breaking up with Nicole Kidman is obviously a pernicious cult that must be eradicated.

  4. Bithead says:

    You win the Snark Of The Day, Paul… Hands down.


  5. James Joyner says:

    Anderson: No argument there. They’re almost as bad as the Super Adventure Club.

    (Video: SOUTH PARK, “The Return of Chef,” Super Adventure Club segment)

  6. Anderson says:

    I would settle for Kidman to merely act like she was fornicating with me. I’m not proud.

    (Mrs. A., however, would probably not be swayed by the “but she was only acting!” defense.)

  7. For what its worth, Kidman and Cruise’s two children were adopted, so its unclear what kind of fornicating actually went on, if any.