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Tom Cruise Hits Back at Paramount

By:
Aug 23, 2006 | 5:39am EDT

Tom Cruise and his business partner Paula Wagner have hit back at "offensive" Paramount Pictures, after the studio failed to renew its producing contract with the actor, blaming his controversial off-screen behavior.

The Top Gun star's company, Cruise/Wagner Productions, worked with the studio for 14 years, jointly producing blockbusters such as War of the WorldsMinority Report and the Mission: Impossible movies.

On Tuesday, the chairman of Viacom--Paramount's parent company--Sumner Redstone announced the deal was not being renewed.

Redstone told the Wall Street Journal, "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.

"As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal."

Cruise received a barrage of negative publicity last year due to his public displays of affection with fiancée Katie Holmes, his promotion of his controversial religion Scientology and his verbal bashing of actress Brooke Shields for her "misguided" use of prescription drugs to treat her postpartum depression.

However, Cruise and Wagner claim they decided to withdraw from Paramount, with Wagner saying, "For some reason, Paramount has chosen to negotiate in the press.

"It's not really the most businesslike approach. We've had virtually no dealings with Mr. Redstone.

"With War of the Worlds and Mission: Impossible 3, Cruise helped earn nearly $1 billion for Paramount this year alone."

Cruise's agent Rick Nicita adds, "What this says about Paramount is self-evident. It was graceless and it was shocking and offensive."

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