Why heartbroken Nicole Kidman fears she’ll never see her kids again

Two decades after her divorce from Tom Cruise, Nicole's still paying a heavy price

Nicole Kidman looking sad in a comped image of her and her adopted children

by heat staff |
Updated on

One of the most successful actresses in Hollywood, and with a happy marriage of nearly 18 years, Nicole Kidman’s life should be perfect.

But while she recently said she was “so lucky” to have her husband and called her teenage daughters “divine”, there’s a secret sadness at the heart of her family life – her estrangement from her two eldest children.

Nicole adopted daughter Isabella in 1992, and son Connor in 1995, when she was married to Top Gun legend Tom Cruise, but she reportedly has little contact with them these days.

Nicole Kidman and her children Connor and Isabella in 2004
Nicole adopted her eldest children Connor and Isabella with ex-husband Tom Cruise ©Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

“There’s still love and respect between Nicole and the kids, but she rarely sees them,” says an insider close to the Oscar-winning star, who’s also mum to Sunday Rose, 15, and Faith Margaret, 13, with second husband Keith Urban.

“The big issue is they’re both still attached to Scientology, while Nicole left the church. Their loyalty is to their dad, who raised them after Nicole filed for divorce. She would have loved to share custody, but she wasn’t able to make it happen. Now, she really has no choice but to accept the way things are, even though it’s painful for her.”

Nicole and Tom divorced in 2001, after 11 years of marriage, with many theorising that Scientology may have played a role. Tom is known to be dedicated to the controversial religion, which is notorious for its exclusion of anyone who doesn’t live by its rules, while Nicole was declared to be a “suppressive person” (that is, somebody who left the church and is therefore considered to be persona non grata).

Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise and their children Connor and Isabella in 1996
Nicole reportedly has little contact with her eldest children these days ©Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

By all accounts, both Connor and Bella chose to remain with Tom after he and Nicole split, and Nicole has hinted at their painful estrangement over the years. In 2007 – the year they were last pictured in public together – Nicole revealed, “My kids don’t call me Mommy, they don’t even call me Mom. They call me Nicole, which I hate.”

All these years later, the actress has all but lost hope that they’ll ever reconcile. In 2018, she said of Connor and Bella, “They have made choices to be Scientologists and, as a mother, it’s my job to love them.” Sadly, for Nicole, her desire to welcome them back into her life has apparently been received with muted interest.

Connor, in particular, is believed to be fully estranged from his mother. The now-29 year old, who lives in his own home within a Scientology compound in Florida, has reached the same top tier level of his dad within the church’s hierarchy, that of “Operating Thetan Level 8”. According to insiders, the former DJ “worships the ground his father walks on” – which leaves little room in his life for Nicole.

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As for Bella, 31, an artist who lives in London with her husband, her relationship with Nicole is believed to be on slightly better terms and she has even been known to like her mum’s Insta posts – although Nicole didn’t attend her 2015 wedding in London, despite working in the capital at the time.

While there are undoubtedly other factors contributing to Nicole’s painful separation from her kids, there’s no denying that Tom’s relationship with Scientology has dictated his family relationships. The actor famously has little contact with his 18-year-old daughter Suri, whose mother Katie Holmes is believed to have left Tom because she didn’t want Suri to grow up in the church of Scientology, having seen what happened to Nicole.

Our source says of Nicole’s situation, “She worries that they’ve drifted to a point where she’ll be lucky if she’ll ever get to see them. It would help if Tom were to encourage it, but that’s not likely.”

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