Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1999


Coincidentally, CLAGS's one-day symposium "Passing Performances: History, Evidence, Identification" occurred just as Hollywood's biggest film star publicly rejected the long-standing and wide-spread claims that he is gay. In a high-profile legal battle that concluded this past fall, Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman settled their libel suit against a London tabloid, which asserted that their eight-year marriage is actually a ruse constructed to conceal Cruise's alleged homosexuality. The couple reportedly settled for more than $500,000, and they hoped to quash rumors once and for all that their marriage is a sham. Even in this "post-Ellen" era, the suit reflects the entertainment industry's insistence on an unwavering heterosexual ideal. "Outing" celebrities in a culture fixated on this ideal can be fraught with sticky legal and ethical challenges.


This article was originally published in CLAGSNews, vol. 9, no. 1.



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