Nicole Kidman’s regret: ‘I wish I’d had more children, but I wasn’t given that choice’

Elizabeth Olsen at the World premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame' held at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, USA on April 22, 2019.

Nicole Kidman covers the 25th anniversary issue of Marie Claire Australia. It’s a really nice editorial, and Aussie publications always do such a good job styling Nicole. She is the first lady of Australia in many ways. She’s currently promoting Nine Perfect Strangers, which she not only stars in, but executive produced. But mostly the cover story is a retrospective of her long-ass career and her life these days. Some highlights:

Her lengthy career: “I’m shocked and astounded, but also incredibly proud and grateful because I know what it means to get here. Everything is hard-earned; none of it’s handed on a platter. Not for me, nor my husband. Keith always says that every brick in this house is a gig. We never forget that.”

Her one great regret over the past 25 years: “I wish I’d had more children, but I wasn’t given that choice. I would’ve loved 10 kids,” admits Nicole, who has spoken openly about her past fertility struggles and miscarriages. “But that’s OK because I get to mother other children. I have six nieces and nephew and I’m godmother to 12. I love mothering, I love kids: they’re quirky, funny and unfiltered. And then you get to see them grow and send them on their way.”

Marrying Keith Urban: She admits it was “an absolute miracle” they found each other. “Two Aussies born in the same year, but living in different worlds and cities, how did that happen? It was meant to be.”

Trying to find & promote local Aussie talent: “When you get to this point in your career, it becomes your greatest joy,” says Nicole, who championed Asher Keddie for the role of Heather in Nine Perfect Strangers when American financiers refused to back “an unknown”. “Part of my mission is to give chances to creatives, women especially, who haven’t really had the opportunity; it’s my greatest thrill.”

[From Marie Claire Australia]

I do think she would have loved more children, and I think she would have loved to stay in the lives of Connor and Bella Cruise, her two older children (who are now adults). When she divorced Tom, she had to exchange her freedom for her kids, basically. I think she felt like it was possible they could choose, at some point, to come back into her life. I don’t think Bella does anything more than maybe check in with Nicole every now and then, but Connor seems deep into Scientology. Her two younger girls, Faith and Sunday, are already 10 and 13!

kidman MC1

Covers & IG courtesy of Marie Claire Australia.

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50 Responses to “Nicole Kidman’s regret: ‘I wish I’d had more children, but I wasn’t given that choice’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    So many great statements that speak to who she is and who they are as a couple. Great article.

    • Bananapanda says:

      I think age and hanging around Reese have really made her reach a period where she’s speaking out more about her career and work. One of the roundtables she said she’d love to give advice to young actresses. Also she’s raising kids in a creative household showing them what it takes work ethic wise to have a career.

  2. Noki says:

    I love Nicole and its shocking how Scientology actually operates and gets away with it. How does Tom justify keeping the kids away from their mother. Smh

    • Becks1 says:

      And I feel like, at the time, Nicole was sort of blamed for that, right? Am I remembering that correctly? That there was this vibe of “she’s walking away from her kids.” I feel like knowing what we know now about scientology, there probably wasn’t any choice, and Tom Cruise had a lot more power and money than she did.

      • FHMom says:

        I don’t know. I think a lot of people realized that Scientology was a cult and that the kids were already gone. She didn’t have much of a choice. I’m glad Katie Holmes escaped with her daughter. I would love to sit in on a conversation between those two women. They must have some very good stories to tell about Tom and his cult.

      • Seraphina says:

        You are remembering it like I do Becks. He was also seen as the “golden boy” and could do no wrong. I guess when you pull in crowds at the box office and have Scientology behind you, you are untouchable (or were). I can’t imagine what she went through, And hers is but one story. So sad.

      • lucy2 says:

        Sooo many people accused her of abandoning her kids, when really it was her ex-husband and his disgusting cult that cut her out. It’s a heartbreaking situation for her, and for those kids.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        A former Sciontology big-wig has admitted that after the divorce the cult (including himself) really went to work on Tom and Nicole’s children, very deliberately alienating them from her (by fx telling them that their mother was a sociopath, etc.).

        It seems as though there was a brief window after the divorce where they co-parented – but the children lived with Tom and he had his cult brainwash them into rejecting their own mother.

    • Ohlala says:

      Not only that. He was an absolute evil about miscarriage. The trauma she had to go through is really beyond. I remember it came out she had to keep miscarriage physically as evidence in court. She was lucky that she had some position and strong family and father psychiatrist. She admitted that only because of that she was able to survive.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Scientology wasn’t really happy with Tom being married to Nicole – and one of those reasons were because her father is a psychiatrist. The cult leaders wanted her out of his life. I can’t remember his name but a former big-wig scientologist has told quite a bit about the breakdown of the Tom and Nicole’s marriage, the subsequent alienation of her children from her and the role the cult played in this mess.

      • Seraphina says:

        Thank you both. Fascinating to read about how her family helped her and how they were viewed.

      • AmyB says:

        @ArtHistorian His name was Marty Rathbun. When he left Scientology, he spoke about how he was told to break up the marriage of Tom and Nicole because, yes, the organization did not like Nicole’s father being a psychiatrist. Scientology does not believe in anything like psychiatry, psychology, or medication for medical illness, all that kind of thing. And yes, they also actively helped alienate the children from Nicole. Rathbun has spoke at length about this – in the HBO documentary and in many interviews.

  3. Daphne says:

    It sounds like she’s not including her adopted kids tbh. Which is sad.

    • Ohlala says:

      That is awful statement yo make knowing what she went through. My heart breaks for her.
      I remember when she partly openly had a very honest interview (years after divorce) and i remember reading it and crying as it was so painful to read. What Cruise did to her was veyond horrific. I am so glad she is thriving and her career is strong and solid

    • AmyB says:

      In case you are not aware, Nicole’s adopted kids are very much into Scientology, like their father Tom Cruise. So when one is not, they are considered an outsider (suppressive person), and the person in Scientology no longer can associate with them. The same thing has happened with Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri. When both Nicole and Katie divorced Tom, it also meant separating from that cult. I won’t call it a religion. Katie’s daughter Suri has no relationship with Tom (because he is still in Scientology), and that is why Nicole doesn’t have one with her adopted children – it’s not really HER choice. It’s that disgusting cult. Not fair to blame that on Nicole, IMO. Scientology separates families, loved ones, etc. Watch the HBO’s documentary Going Clear. It’s unbelievable. I do feel bad for both Nicole and Katie, but I am glad that got out of that madness…and both seem much happier for it.

    • North of Boston says:

      Where does she say that?

      She enumerates her nieces and nephews, etc, but not her children. Kaiser goes into more detail.

      • Seraphina says:

        My take is that she mentions nieces and nephews because she could not have more kids so she focuses on them in a motherly way. She’s been through hell from everything I read. And as others have said, who knows who she is allowed to discuss and what she is allowed to discuss. I am happy she is thriving.

      • North of Boston says:

        I agree Seraphina.

        My point was OP claimed NK was excluding her 2 oldest children from her count of ‘my kids’. And that NK mentioned the count of other people’s children, but never gave a number to describe her own children, at least in the excerpt posted here.

        So I was wondering what they were referring to.

      • AmyB says:

        As others have suggested, I believe Nicole (like Katie Holmes) is bound by non-disclosure agreements, in what they can/and cannot speak about publicly with regards to Tom/Scientology, and their children. Therefore, it is beyond unfair to cast judgment against her for any of that. People really need to do research about it before assuming things. In Going Clear, one of the right hand men to leader David Miscavige – Marty Rathbun was basically instructed break up the marriage between Nicole and Tom, because of the threat of Nicole’s father being a psychiatrist. Phones were tapped; all kinds of crazy shit! It is absolutely horrific what she was put through!!

      • North of Boston says:

        Agree totally Amy B

    • Jaded says:

      One of Nicole’s biggest heartbreaks is that she has basically no relationship with her first 2 kids because of Tom Cruise and Scientology. They obviously brainwashed Bella and Connor to the point where they didn’t consider her their mother anymore as she was considered an SP (suppressive person in C0$ speak). That plus an airtight NDA ended her connection with her children. Furthermore, Tom filed for divorce out of nowhere and under pressure from senior Scientologists because she was thought to be luring him away from Scientology. She later revealed that he refused to attend marriage counseling or to consider not divorcing. The bastard chose C0$ over his wife and alienated her kids away from her.

  4. Jan says:

    She was probably told by them/Tom not to talk about them.

  5. Millennial says:

    I may be a Nicole apologist, but I think she had a lot of regrets about the two oldest. Im not sure at the time she fully realized she was exchanging her kids for her freedom. I do think she hoped it would be more 50/50 but the kids went full Scientology and she got shut out.

    I also think that’s why Katie split when she did and took Suri with her. It dawned on her happened to Nicole and she GTFO.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall if the two ever spoke.

    • lucy2 says:

      I would hope anyone with even a basic understanding of Scientology would realize what happened to Nicole and her eldest 2 children. I’m sure there is not a day that goes by without that pain very present in her life.

      • Christine says:

        Agreed x one million. What that cult did to Nicole, as well as Connor and Bella, should have been the end of it, but no. Somehow it still exists.

    • Sarah11 says:

      The divorce agreement actually specified joint custody between Tom and Nicole and I recall her older kids being seen with her a lot after the break up. But in the years that followed, I believe COS worked to alienate the children from Nicole and she saw them less and less.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        The CoS absolutely worked very actively to alienate the children from Nicole. A former CoS exec who left the cult has spoken in detail about how they basically brainwashed the children to believe that their mother was a bad person they should keep away from (they kept telling the children that Nicole was a sociopath and other horrific stuff).

        It is really horrible but par for the course. This cult specializes in alienating its members from their families.

      • AmyB says:

        Scientology is fucking horrible! It literally brainwashes its members into spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they decide to leave, they are forced to completely separate from anyone still in Scientology – regardless of who they are, family members, loved ones, children, you name it. AND – they will stalk you, harass you and try to make your life miserable for leaving!!! I can’t believe that cult is still here!! Leah Remini (who finally left several years ago) has been actively trying to reveal the horrors of it. She has done a full series on A&E with another high ranking member who also defected, Mike Rinder. It’s so gross what that organization does.

  6. ennie says:

    I can imagine that Connor and Bella will be very well catered by the “church”… as lo g as they are related to tom and have money. I suspect that they will be suck dry.

  7. Valentina says:

    Remember when Nicole brought one of her adopted kids to the Oscars? That seems like a lifetime ago. It’s enraging how Scientology works.

  8. Jess says:

    She’s such a strong woman, I can’t imagine some of the things she’s been through. I’ve hated Tom Cruise since they divorced and I’m so glad Katie Holmes learned from Nicole and got out safely with her child.

    I know Nicole struggled with fertility and heartbreak there but I always thought it was unique and pretty cool how she got to experience so many different ways becoming a mother…adoption, her own miracle full term pregnancy, and using a surrogate, plus all of her nieces and nephews. Not many women can say that!!

  9. Daphne says:

    Was it ever confirmed she used a surrogate? I remember the speculation. Just curious.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      She used a surrogate for her second kid with Keith, but she carried her first daughter (with Keith, I know someone is going to jump down my throat to say Bella is her first daughter and I know this!!) from what I remember.

  10. Stan says:

    I just want clarify about Bella Cruise. Both Tony Ortega at The Underground Bunker and The Daily Beast reported a couple of years ago about how Bella was highlighted in a Scientology recruiting piece. In it she talked about how she had become a Scientology auditor and she was attempting to recruit others into Scientology. She lives in London with her Scientology husband and works with the people in the London Org, but I don’t know that she is on staff.

    Kidman talked about how magical the time was when she and Cruise were filming Eyes Wide Shut. It took like 2 years to make that film and they spent those 2 years as a close family in London with the children. It was at that point that she was ready to leave Scientology and she wanted to pull Cruise out with her. He was ready too but David Miscavige got involved and pulled Cruise back in and told him to divorce Nicole. He went with Miscavige and that was the end of his marriage.

    Bella and Connor cannot have a relationship with an SP like Nicole now that they are adults. (It might have been possible as children, but once they became adults they had to disconnect.) Cruise is all in with Scientology. He will never leave. Never. Don’t believe any tabloid that says he is thinking about leaving. He is as hardcore as it gets in Scientology.

    • lucy2 says:

      I still can’t get over how Tom essentially abandoned his young daughter with Katie, and everyone is like (shrug). If a woman movie star did that, hoooo boy, the media attacks would be never ending.

      • minime says:

        isn’t it better for her that she was “abandoned” by him? I don’t know, I think sometimes that could actually be part of the agreement with KH and why everything went so smoothly. I really like Nicole Kidman but I do wonder if she couldn’t have done more, since it seems that it did work out for KH. I realize it might be greatly unfair to think that way and maybe she was left with no option (and I do know little of the all shenanigans that happened around it) but it’s deeply sad also for Isabella and Connor that were in the end just children that couldn’t defend themselves from being brainwashed into a cult.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Nicole was blindsided by the divorce whereas Katie plotted her escape. I think hat really influenced things. Plus, I think that Katie had learnt from what happened to Nicole and her children. The children lived with Tom and they were older – so it was easier for the cult to brainwash them. Katie left with a toddler and she retained primary physical custody – Suri wasn’t old enough to brainwash.

        The cult planned to break up Tom and Nicole’s marriage – they had a plan, she was blindsided and on the backfoot, reacting to Tom and the cult who was the offensive from the start. It was the other way round with Katie.

        Also, CoS is notorious for making life hell for the people who leave the cult. The harassment is on a level that is hard to imagine. Granted, Nicole is a celeb but Tom was always the more powerful (both as in terms of celebrity, finance and him having the entire machinery of the cult behind him).

  11. Kaye says:

    Love her! So talented and grounded. Happy she supported Asher Keddie in 9 perfect strangers. Great show & Asher (Aussie too)is wonderful in Offspring on netflix.

  12. Annaloo. says:

    I love her! But I disagree on the styling, at least for hair…she has Gwyneth-level dry haystack hair here

    • Sarah I says:

      Annaloo, I agree with you about the hair. Of course, she looks darling in the pictures, but no one will ever listen to me when I offer my styling tips to the stars!!!!! I’ve long wanted her to abandon the washed out blonde and go back to being a curly red head. It would make her look even younger and sexy. So much so that she could go a while without plastic surgery.

      I was worried and distracted with her plastic surgery in her last series, I think called the undoing. But here she is looking young and beautiful. I guess she does have a good doctor.

      But I’m going to say, she was a rare beauty when she was young, and adorable. She still is, just maintained.

      I’ve always wondered how Tom feels in his heart that he let her go. At the end of his life, if not before, I think he will experience true regret that he let the love of his life go. At least I hope so.

  13. Dougray says:

    Not the first time religion has forced the break up of families. I can’t imagine keeping kids from their mother and to totally abandon another (Suri). What kind of man does this? An extremely selfish one…

  14. Isabella says:

    I applaud Nicole for trying to involve more women in her projects but she could start by working with female writers & directors, instead of David Kelley and his crew. This is the elephant in the room, which never comes up in interviews.

    I get that it’s hard for women to get their projects through without male involvement but Nine Perfect Strangers is typical of her projects: Created by John-Henry Butterworth, David E. Kelley. Director Jonathan Levine. And I hear it sucks!

    I blame the lack of female representation at higher levels for some of the tinny moments in the Undoing. Both Nicole’s character and her husband’s mistress often make no sense.

    Big Little Lies was pretty good, though, with only a few Kelley moments. Carry on, Nicole.

    • PinkestSlip says:

      Well, if David Kelley is only able to come up with things these days like Nine Perfect Strangers–which had a brilliant cast but was such a ridiculous and pathetic story-line, and failed because of its inclusion of Nicole in that EMBARRASSING role–then yeah, move on and get women writers. Because you heard right: it TOTALLY sucks, and it’s embarrassing for Nicole, she has the most insanely stupid role ever in this series. I saw it coming with The Undoing, because it had potential but she was IMMENSELY unlikeable in that, and not because she was meant to be as the character. She’s becoming more and more unlikeable as time goes on. I’d like to see Shonda Rimes write something for her, but I have my doubts she has enough acting chops, to be honest. This from someone who used to like her.

  15. AmelieOriginal says:

    The way she lost her kids with Tom to Scientology is so sad. There are no winners. Nicole lost her first children, Suri lost her father and her siblings. If Connor or Bella ever wake up one day and smell the coffee, it will be very interesting to see what happens. I don’t hold much hope for either of them though.

    But truly she went on to live her best life after her divorce from Tom, she got married to a good looking Aussie (I don’t find Keith Urban particularly hot but he’s got a certain charm) who sings really well, had two more kids that she actually gets to have a relationship, and her career soared. It’s the best revenge. Tom meanwhile is not very relevant anymore and doing action movies that nobody sees except maybe dude bros while living in his Scientology prison (he may not see it as one but it is).

  16. Linda says:

    It may not have been true but I remember reading that she had a miscarriage around the time she split with Tom and that it was one of the reasons he left her.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      I remember Tom issuing a statement saying he and Nicole were divorcing “for reasons which are well-known to her.” When asked about it, Nicole said she was totally blindsided when she was served the papers. I always figured it had something to do with Nicole not being on board with Scientology, but if that statement was referring to the miscarriage, my G-d, what a monster.

      • lucy2 says:

        From what I remember, there was a completely false rumor that she’d gotten pregnant in an affair with Ewan McGregor, it wasn’t Tom’s and that’s why he left. I’m assuming that awful rumor came straight from Scientology. They are such a cruel and angry group, it’s astonishing to me anyone thinks they have the answers for life.

    • Jaded says:

      She did have a miscarriage, her second one with Cruise, she had one much earlier in their marriage. He only left her because David Miscavige was yanking his chain. He hated Nicole because she shied away from Scientology and was trying to get Tom out of it. He chose the cult.

  17. IMARA219 says:

    The headline pulled me in because I have come to the realization that even though I would love to have more children I really can’t have more children. Kidman did such a wonderful job articulating her point.

    • Sarah I says:

      Imara219, my most sincere condolences to you. I hope you find happiness and peace. I always wanted ten children any way I could get them. I never had children, and now I feel it keenly, as I adore children. My mother died August 1, and I am having a hard time with it. My brother won’t let me have a relationship with his children because he was cut out of the will for stealing mom’s life savings and forging documents so he could get her checks.