Inside Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise’s close mother-daughter relationship

"I'm very grateful to be a parent, to be her parent. She's an incredible person. She's my heart."
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Katie Holmes is celebrating a major milestone this week: her daughter, Suri Cruise, is celebrating her 17th birthday. The exciting moment is sure to be celebrated in style by Katie, for whom “motherhood is everything.”

WATCH: Katie Holmes gushes about Suri Cruise

The 44-year-old actress leads a notoriously private life with Suri, only occasionally speaking out about their relationship in the years since her split from Tom Cruise. Suri’s early life was well documented in the press, thanks to the spotlight on her famous parents.

Katie recently adressed the fame and attention Suri garnered at a young age, admitting that it is because Suri spent her childhood in the spotlight that she has opted to keep her out of the public eye as a teenager.

“What has been really important for me with my daughter, because she was so visible at a young age, is I really like to protect her,” the star told Glamour. “I’m very grateful to be a parent, to be her parent. She’s an incredible person.”

Her comments echo those made to Town & Country Magazine in 2017, where she spoke of stepping away from the limelight to focus on parenting.

“It’s very important that I’m present and she has a stable, innocent childhood,” she told the publication. “My child is the most important person to me, and her upbringing is paramount to my work right now. I feel so blessed to do what I do, but there’s nothing in the world better than watching your child succeed.”

Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise take a stroll in NYC in 2020. (Credit: Getty Images)

In 2023, Katie also spoke about Suri having occasional involvement in the entertainment industry now that she’s a little older. Suri recorded a cover of Blue Moon for Katie’s pandemic-themed romantic comedy Alone Together and recorded a song for the new Rare Objects.

“I hope she always does something on my films. I always ask her,” she told Glamour. “But both of those experiences came out of the same sense of what I love about our industry, which is, you have these projects and you become a family with people.

“And it’s this safe, beautiful, creative space. So it comes out of love for me to include someone who I love dearly. That’s how I like to work. I like to have that kind of feeling. It was very meaningful to me to have her there, because she’s my heart.”

From her relationship timeline with Tom Cruise, to her loving quotes about motherhood, scroll through for more on Katie’s close bond with Suri…

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“She’s an incredible person.” (Credit: Instagram)

When did Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise get married?

Katie and Tom’s whirlwind romance was the stuff of Hollywood tabloid dreams. The Dawson’s Creek star had a well-known crush on the actor; just five months before meeting Tom she told Seventeen magazine “I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise.”

The couple were spotted on their first date in Rome in April 2005, just weeks after meeting to “discuss a role related to the new Mission: Impossible movie.”

They welcomed their daughter Suri one year later in April 2006, before tying the knot in November later that year. Just five years later, their love had fizzled out and they divorced in record time in 2012 (she filed for divorce on June 29, the proceedings were over by July 9).

Why did Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise get divorced

Tom was reportedly blindsided by Katie, who filed for divorce “without warning” and left him “deeply saddened” – according to his publicist. Katie’s publicist emphasised she was doing what she thought was in Suri’s “best interests.” 

“This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,” her lawyer Jonathan Wolfe told People magazine at the time. “Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.”

Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Katie filed for divorce in the state of New York. It’s reported that she believed she would have a “better chance” of gaining sole custody of Suri by filing on the East Coast. It was widely reported that Katie wanted New York apartment, Tom was said to still have access to significant custodial time with his daughter.

Following their brief divorce proceedings, Katie’s lawyer said: “We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life. We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.”

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Katie and Tom tied the knot in 2006. (Credit: Getty Images)

Does Tom Cruise have a relationship with daughter Suri?

In 2013, a year after the split, Tom sued a magazine for a story that claimed he had abandoned Suri. In a deposition regarding the story, Tom was asked if his ties to Scientology had played a part in Katie’s decision to file for divorce. Tom replied: “Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes.” He also confirmed Suri was no longer a member of the Scientology Church at that time. 

Throughout the trial, Tom also confirmed that he had not seen Suri for several months immediately following the split.

“Listen, when there is a divorce… things change,” he said. And it’s more complicated, as everyone know when that is, when that occurs, and there are certain agreements; now you have to ask for permission and organize schedules to make things happen. So it wasn’t — it’s not an ideal scene. It’s not an ideal situation.”

It was later reported by InTouch Magazine in 2016 that the actor hadn’t seen or spoken to his youngest child in more than 1,000 days (over two-and-a-half years).

“They used to Skype and text, but that trailed off drastically,” a source told InTouch at the time.

The most recent update from Page Six claims that Tom plays “no part” in Suri’s life – though he still pays his child support bills. The publication claimed he still pays a large child-support sum of US$400,000 and will continue to do so until she turns 18.

Despite the tabloid speculation, little is known about the actual inner workings of their relationship.

While Tom has not commented on their father-daughter relationship in some time, Katie has occasionally broken her silence on their private lives…

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Tom reportedly does not have a relationship with Suri now. (Credit: Getty Images)

Inside Kate & Suri’s close relationship

In the first few years following their divorce, Katie rarely addressed their ill-fated romance or her family life without Tom. She briefly mentioned her love of her daughter in a few interview snippets in 2014. 

​​”I didn’t know how much love I had in me. It’s overwhelming,” she said in an August 2014 interview with Glamour. “Every day I discover more about this spectacular human being I get to be the mother of.”

“The most important thing for me is letting her know how proud I am and that her accomplishments mean everything. Whatever I do is whatever. It’s really just about her and that’s what I think is most important,” she said on The Today Show later that month.

“Motherhood means everything to me,” she told People Magazine later that year. “I’m learning every day, and I have been since the minute I became a mom.

“My main goal is to just let her know how much I love her,” she said. “Just to let her know that she is so loved. When that’s the through line, who cares that my first two pancakes are always burned?

“Between tickle fights and glitter art, I try to throw in some manners along the way. I try to have good manners too, so that’s what she sees. I also try to be very creative with her, because I know she’s an artist, and that speaks to the girl in me,” she said.

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“Motherhood means everything to me,” Katie has said. (Credit: Getty Images)

Katie told People that she relied on her mother, Kathleen Stothers-Holmes, and her close girlfriends to get through life as a newly single mother.

“I lean on them. For advice, for recipes, for all of that stuff: ‘What am I supposed to do? Can you come over and watch? Can you be a helping hand?’ And I do have help, yes, but … it’s your baby, you know? You want to be the one who is there,” she told the publication.

She also acknowledged that she questions “am I enough?” and “am I doing enough?” on a regular basis. 

“You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t,” she tells People. “Motherhood has taught me to just let go of some things, to relinquish control. I’ve had to learn to ask myself, ‘Is this worth it? Is it going to make her smile?’ And if it is, then yeah, we’re probably gonna do it. Maybe that means dinner at 8 instead of 6, and a snack in between. Fine.

“Things don’t have to happen a certain way. I think we all need to ease up on the expectations. We’re all trying to do the best we can. Motherhood taught me that.”

Katie relied on her close loved ones as she navigated becoming a single parent. (Credit: Getty Images)

Inside Suri Cruise’s life now…

As Suri continued to grow through her teens, Katie kept her out of the spotlight save for a few comments here and there.

“I love her so much,” she told InStyle in April 2020. “My biggest goal has always been to nurture her into her individuality, to make sure she is 100 percent herself and strong, confident and able. And to know it. She came out very strong — she’s always been a strong personality.”

In November 2020, she told Vogue Australia the pandemic had further shaped their close relationship.

“Hobbies such as sewing, painting and writing became new hallmarks of satisfaction and having had time at home to just be. To listen,” she said.

“To live for a moment in time without the pressure of results and instead appreciate the natural rhythms of mother and daughter was the most precious gift.”

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Katie has revealed that life in the pandemic strengthened their bond. (Credit: Getty Images)

In an interview with Variety in 2023, Katie offered one last glimpse into their home life. She shared that they were watching the iconic Dawon’s Creek together, reliving her years as Joey Potter.

“She has seen Dawson’s Creek, and I think it’s probably weird since she’s a teenager. I’m not like, ‘You need to watch mommy’s work.’ But during the pandemic, we had a good laugh about it,” she said. “It’s wild to have a daughter who’s almost the same age as I was when I began all this.”

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