Viacom's chairman isn't finished with his former employee, Tom Cruise.
After dumping the couch-jumping, publicity-hogging, Scientology-preaching freak from Paramount Studios back in August, Sumner Redstone is going on the record in the December issue of Vanity Fair to explain his decision.
"He was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money," the 83-year-old mouthy Viacom chief said, admitting it was his wife Paula, 47, who turned her him against Cruise.
"Paula, like women everywhere, had come to hate him. The truth of the matter is, I did listen to her," Redstone said. "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 says that Cruise's off-color antics -- slamming psychiatry and ridiculing Brooke Shields on national television, firing his longtime publicist, Pat Kingsly, and mounting Oprah Winfrey's couch -- combined to orchestrate his professional demise.
"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, proclaiming his love for [Katie Holmes]? He changed his handler, you know, to his sister [LeAnne Devette] -- not a good idea."
Redstone estimates that Cruise's bizarre behavior cost Paramount more than $150 million on Mission: Impossible III -- the best picture of the three, in the old man's opinion, but the one that performed the poorest at the box office.
The experience, according to Redstone, is a good lesson for Hollywood:
"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."
Wow. Hope Suri Cruise isn't listening to this.