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An Ugly, Public Split for Cruise and Paramount

Tom Cruise and Paramount in happier times -- Sumner Redstone, the chairman and CEO of Paramount's parent company Viacom at the Hollywood premiere of <em>Mission Impossible III</em>, May 2006.
Kevin Winter
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Tom Cruise and Paramount in happier times -- Sumner Redstone, the chairman and CEO of Paramount's parent company Viacom at the Hollywood premiere of Mission Impossible III, May 2006.

Paramount Studios has severed its 14-year relationship with superstar actor Tom Cruise -- and Sumner Redstone, chairman of the studio's parent company Viacom, says Cruise's recent public behavior is one of the reasons.

Cruise reportedly has earned Paramount upwards of $1 billion over the course of their relationship, but lately his box-office returns are down. His last blockbuster-to-be, Mission Impossible III, earned about $133 million at the domestic box office -- an amount far below expectations.

Some Hollywood pundits have blamed his devotion to the religion of Scientology and his strident opposition to psychiatry and the use of psychiatric drugs.

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Ina Jaffe
Ina Jaffe is a veteran NPR correspondent covering the aging of America. Her stories on Morning Edition and All Things Considered have focused on older adults' involvement in politics and elections, dating and divorce, work and retirement, fashion and sports, as well as issues affecting long term care and end of life choices. In 2015, she was named one of the nation's top "Influencers in Aging" by PBS publication Next Avenue, which wrote "Jaffe has reinvented reporting on aging."