Ground Control To Major Tom

Apr. 9 2008, Published 7:28 a.m. ET

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Tom Cruise’s over-the-top exclamations of love for rumored fiancé Katie Holmeshave his agents at CAA scrambling to congratulate him with the best gift theycan think of: a gag order. Ever since the actor’s disastrous appearance with his girlfriend of one month on Oprah, sources say his top wranglers at the agency,Rick Nicita and Kevin Huvane, have beenfrantically pleading with Cruise’s sister/manager Lee AnneDeVette to “rein Tom in.”

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“Kevin watched the show and was embarrassed for Tom,” says oneagency insider. “He called Rick immediately and said something had to bedone.” The pair then phoned DeVette—who took over herbrother’s famously well-oiled PR machine from PMK/HBH potentate Pat Kingsley earlier thisyear—and read her the riot act, demanding that no further tapes ofCruise’s T.J. Mackey-esque performance on Oprah be released.Huvane also put in a delicate call to Cruise, reminding his suddenlysoul-bearing client that “restraint can be a good thing.” Sourcessay Huvane blames DeVette for allowing her brother to spin “out ofcontrol” on her watch, especially when it comes to his relentlessproselytizing of Scientology (Holmes being his most recent convert.)

But we hear at least one person is enjoying the spectacle. Inside sources sayKingsley is so amused by DeVette’s many missteps that she’s beenusing them as object lessons for her junior publicists on how to ruin a well-choreographed career.

“Tom has looked like a lot of things, but he’s never looked likea joke,” another source notes. “Thanks to his sister not controllinghim, he looks like one. If I’d been at the Oprah taping I wouldhave pulled the plug on every camera and dragged him out of the studio byforce.” (DeVette did not return phone calls by press time and Nicita andHuvane declined to comment on their client’s latest incarnation.)

Though Kingsley denies deriving any pleasure from Cruise’s punch linestatus, she couldn’t resist mentioning that in the “extraordinary 14years” she represented him, “we never disagreed on the publicityrecommendations I made to him.” As for DeVette’s recommendations?“I have no comment on what decisions he or his people have made on hisbehalf as I consider it none of my business.”

Speaking of business, what did the famous director say to the family-friendlystar of his sci-fi summer blockbuster after hearing that he was marrying a Scientologyconvert 16 years his junior? Muzzle Tov!


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