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Viacom Chairman Bashes Cruise 31.Oct.2006

It may not be a war of the worlds, but Sumner Redstone is certainly interested starting a war of words against Tom Cruise. The Viacom Chairman, who decided to end his company, Paramount's contract with Cruise in August, recently badmouthed the actor to Vanity Fair.

Redstone said, "He was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money...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 - not a good idea." Sumner claims that Tom's bizarre behavior cost Paramount "$100 million, $150 million on 'Mission: Impossible III.' It was the best picture of the three, and it did the worst."

Sumner's wife Paula influenced his decision to drop Tom. He says, "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."

Redstone isn't sorry he decided to bash Cruise when he ended their partnership. At the time he said, "We don't think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot." Referring to the comments, Redstone says, "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."