Tom Cruise's Father Was "a Bully and a Coward" Who Abused Him | The 'Top Gun' Actor Called Him a "Merchant of Chaos"

Tom Cruise's Father Was "a Bully and a Coward" Who Abused Him | The 'Top Gun' Actor Called Him a "Merchant of Chaos"

Tom Cruise went through many hard times, like parents' divorce, while growing up and still became successful.

Successful people come from all walks of life. Some had a sweet childhood while others struggled in various ways. Maybe, they didn't have the nice things in life or didn't have a parent in their life. Maybe, they were born out of wedlock or their family was broken by divorce. There is no way to show who gets to be successful and there is no guarantee that success makes us good people.

Tom Cruise, for instance, has had a difficult childhood and he could have broken that cycle of bad familial relationships when he had a family. Instead, he has been divorced thrice and doesn't allow two of his children, Connor and Isabella, to meet their mom, Nicole Kidman, and doesn't meet his youngest child, Suri, himself. Many psychologists say that we learn behaviors from when we kids and repeat them as an adult or it could be that growing up in a broken home affected him deeply. 

However, from how he speaks of his father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III, he was better off without him in his life. "He was a bully and a coward," the 43-year-old actor said of his father, as per TODAY. "He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you. It was a great lesson in my life — how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang! For me, it was like, 'There's something wrong with this guy. Don't trust him. Be careful around him.' There's that anxiety."


The Top Gun actor called him "a merchant of chaos" and hardly had a relationship with him. Fed up of Mapother, his mom, Mary Lee, left his father and took Cruise and his sister, Lee Anne, with her. The couple divorced in 1974 and for a decade after that Cruise didn't see his father. They reunited 10 years later when the elder Mapother was in his last stages of cancer. 

They reunited while Cruise's father lay "in the hospital dying of cancer, and he would only meet me on the basis that I didn't ask him anything about the past." When he saw his father, he had a big realization about the man, who once made him cower in fear. "When I saw him in pain, I thought, 'Wow, what a lonely life,'" Cruise said. "He was in his late 40s. It was sad."


His father wasn't the only bully he encountered in his life. In school, he was bullied by peers and it didn't help that he was dyslexic. "The school took me to a psychiatrist to get tested," Cruise said, as per Daily Mail. "They said, 'Oh, he's dyslexic.' I'm labeled. It instantly put me into confusion. It was an absolute affront to my dignity," he added. Had they handled the situation with more sensitivity, he could have been spared more pain.

He added, "I remember thinking, I've got to figure this out. What's normal? Am I normal? Who's to say what's normal? I didn't understand what 'normal' is. It still doesn't make sense."


He was also struggling since he didn't have friends at his school. "I had no really close friend," he said, according to Daily Mail. "I was always the new kid with the wrong shoes, the wrong accent. I didn't have a friend to share things with and confide in," he added. 

Instead, he shared a deep bond with his mother, who inspired him to act. "I guess I was his greatest audience," she said once, according to People magazine. "He had it in him then."


She used to work multiple jobs to support her family, which included two more children with Mapother, and Cruise would pitch in with his paper route job. He used to massage her sore feet when she came home after a long day at work. Eventually, the family moved to New Jersey and his mom fell in love again. She married Jack South in 1978 when Cruise was 16. "He loved my mother so much that he took us all in, all four young people," Cruise said. 

She and South both gave Cruise their blessing so he could go into acting and the rest is history. However, his personal life has been a struggle despite the success. 





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