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Sumner Redstone: 'My Wife Convinced Me to Sack Tom Cruise'

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Oct 31, 2006 | 3:52am EST

Paramount Studios boss Sumner Redstone's wife convinced him to sack Tom Cruise, because she "and women everywhere had come to hate him."

Redstone sensationally axed the studio's deal with Mission: Impossible star Cruise earlier this year, blaming his famous couch-jumping appearance on Oprah Winfrey's TV show for embarrassing the studio and hampering the performance of sequel Mission: Impossible III.

During an appearance on the Today, Cruise also criticized Brooke Shields' use of anti-depressant medication when she was diagnosed with postpartum depression following the birth of her first child.

And in a new interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Redstone insists he has no regrets about his public ditching of Cruise.

He says, "He was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money. $100 million, $150 million on Mission: Impossible III. It was the best picture of the three, and it did the worst."

Explaining his wife's role in the decision, he adds, "Paula, like women everywhere, had come to hate him. The truth of the matter is, I did listen to her. His behavior was entirely unacceptable to Paula and to the rest of the world. He just didn't turn one (woman) off. He turned off all women, and a lot of men.

"When did I decide (to fire him)? I don't know. When he was on the Today show? When he was jumping on a couch at Oprah? He changed his handler, you know, to his sister (LeAnne Devette)--not a good idea.

"The explosion was good. It sent a message to the rest of the world that the time of the big star getting all this money is over. And it is! I would like to think that what I did, or what we did, has had a salutary effect on the rest of the industry."

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