One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tom Cruise is known for his memorable film roles, incredible fortune, high profile marriages and involvement in the church of Scientology.
However, what is perhaps Cruise’s most intriguing love interest is a name Hollywood is unfamiliar with. Before his rise to stardom, Cruise was with his first girlfriend, Diane Cox, who recently stepped forward to shed light on a young Tom Mapother before he became famous.
Cox, now a happily married mother of three, was 17 when she caught Cruise’s eye during their high school prom back in 1979. Though they had gone to the school dance with different dates, the two wound up at the same afterparty. The 18-year-old Cruise subsequently spent the night pursuing Cox. She told the Daily Mail:
“We both blew off our dates and hooked up at the afterparty. I came out of the bathroom and he was waiting there with a bottle of booze and a huge grin, and we kissed right there outside the bathroom. We didn’t have sex that night, though, but started dating.”
Cox and Cruise allegedly dated for more than two years. She described the young romance as intense and passionate. Cox told the Mail:
“We’d have sex whenever we could. He was a horny guy, like Austin Powers. If my parents weren’t around we’d use my dad’s car. We used his parent’s garage once.”
Even at an early age, Cruise stood out from the rest of the crowd. Cox explained that he was more mature than the average teenager:
“Tom was old beyond his years and could see things maturely long before the rest of us. I think he grew up too fast but he was very close with his three sisters. One time he said he’s so close with them they taught him how to kiss.”
Cruise, who was born in Syracuse, New York, grew up with his three sisters, Marion, Catherine and LeAnn. They were raised by their mother Mary Lee, an amateur actress and school teacher, and their father Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer. Cruise’s parents divorced when he was 11 and Lee moved her children first to Louisville, Kentucky. The family later made a home in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where Cruise would fatefully meet Cox, a classmate one grade below him.
Cruise, who worked as a waiter at Glen Ridge Country Club, had a knack for drawing attention as the new boy in town. Cox recalled:
“When he moved to Glen Ridge he was a Playboy. He was good-looking with a Southern drawl. He’s not a tall guy but he had this big butt and was super charming. People are drawn to him immediately. We had portraits taken in a shopping mall, which his mum kept but even the photographer was drawn to him.”
Cox was with Cruise during a time when he was working to make a name for himself in Hollywood. She described him as a young man full of ambition and big dreams, but revealed that she also saw a vulnerable and jealous side of him. The couple struggled to maintain a long-term relationship while Cruise was off in California seeking opportunities. She said:
“I wanted to see other people at one point and he got very jealous, very overprotective, and I wasn’t used to that. I even said to his sister I wanted to see other people, hoping she might help. The intensity of Tom’s whole demeanor really put me off.”
Unable to accept the reality that a long-distance relationship wasn’t working out, Cruise became overwhelmed with jealousy when Cox expressed her desire to see other people. Their relationship ultimately ended when Cruise learned Cox had been unfaithful. She continued:
“He was very vulnerable and I accidentally thanked him for flowers somebody else had sent me and he went crazy. Of course I would get jealous too because I’d be trying to call him in California or he’d be in Vegas and I wasn’t able to get hold of him. That’s when I knew our lives were going different ways.
“I was losing my boyfriend, and as soon as I started to lose Tom I realized how much I cared. We had so many fights, it was never aggressive just really intense about how in love we were, it’s strange. I broke his heart. I had a thing with another guy and Tom’s friend found out and told him what I’d done. This was the time when he was filming ‘Taps.’ I barely had any money at the point, but I took a cab from New Jersey to see him at his hotel.”
The two spent the night together at the hotel, but Cox found Cruise had left early morning. Though the two were never engaged, Cox revealed that they were deeply in love. She said:
“We didn’t talk about marriage, but he told me I was the love of his life, the only person he wanted.
“The more I look back on my memories with Tom I realize how intense he was, how jealous and vulnerable he was, always needing approval and reassurance that he was a brilliant actor. It’s funny to think it’s the same man who told me he was going to be a self-made millionaire by 30 years old.”
Cruise has since been rumored to have amassed a fortune of over $500 million. Cox says she doesn’t regret her actions and decisions. She said:
“I dodged a bullet. It’s freeing for me to have dated someone at that stage of his life.
“’I was happy for his success and it made me think about him all of the time for years after, but I’m shocked by him now. He’s become a bit of a joke. He’s a quack but who wouldn’t want his money and power?”
Regardless, Cox is still impressed that Cruise accomplished more than what he set out to do. She added:
“No matter what he does, those movies he’s making still make millions of dollars and I’m impressed.”