Cruise dumps his sister as chief PR

When a freelance reporter squirted water in Tom Cruise’s face through a joke microphone the fall out seemed to be pretty short lived – bruising the pride of the Hollywood actor, dampening his suit momentarily and humiliating the prankster in the five minute tirade that followed.

But now the star of films such as Mission Impossible, Top Gun and Vanilla Sky is fighting back, with his decision to drop his leading publicist at the time of the soaking – his sister.

Lee Anne DeVette had been in charge of Cruise’s PR less than two years.

During her stint as publicist, her brother has become more than a front-man in films, speaking out on real-world issues ranging from drug use to Scientology to - in the case of the water soaking, interview ethics and the treatment of celebrities.

Moreover, the actor’s high profile romance with Dawson’s Creek actress Katie Holmes has ensured he is never far from the headlines, prompting cynics to suggest the union has been a PR stunt to promote his recent blockbuster, War of the Worlds.

As a result of growing column inches devoted to Cruise’s many different speaking points, the decision to replace DeVette with a PR expert credited for keeping his client’s thoughts, feelings and private life out of the media spotlight is somewhat of a U-turn.

In a statement obtained by The Daily Mail, Cruise said his sister would now oversee his charity work, while the PR firm Rogers & Cowan would take over as chief publicist.

Cruise added his sister had “always expressed a desire to oversee and expand the day-to-day activities of my charitable endeavours".

"This seemed an appropriate time to make that segue and bring Rogers & Cowan on board to handle mine and the company's entertainment-related publicity needs."

Cruise is now shadowed by PR agent Paul Bloch, who according to his firm’s website, will “build and maintain favourable images for our clients through strategic counsel, media campaigns and solid relationships with reporters and editors.”

Mr Bloch told the Los Angeles Times: “I think Tom has handled it magnificently and I think Lee Anne [DeVette] has handled it magnificently and I'm so pleased they brought us on."

PR expert Mark Borkowski reportedly said the appointment of Mr Bloch suggests his client will want some privacy, as “Rogers and Cowan are not proactive PRs.”

He added Cruise seemingly made his decision “for a certain amount of privacy,” conceding the signing of Mr Bloch is “a very conservative route to take in terms of PR.”


11th November 2005

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