Tom Cruise's faith in Scientology was nurtured at a secretive Southern California desert compound that catered to his needs around the clock, a newspaper reported.
Long before Cruise sprang onto Oprah's couch or blasted Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants, the Hollywood superstar undertook intensive study and counseling at the compound in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, citing current and former Scientologists.
Behind the guarded gates of the 500-acre compound near Hemet, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles, Cruise had a personal supervisor to oversee his studies in a private course room, ex-members said.
"I was there for eight years and nobody stayed long at all, except for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman during that period," Bruce Hines, who left Scientology in 2001 after three decades in the church, told the newspaper.
Cruise stayed at the resort for weeks at a time, arriving by car or helicopter, the Times reported.
The ex-church members said Cruise stayed in a bungalow near a golf course and had a special staff to prepare his meals, do his laundry and handle other tasks around the clock.
Cruise declined a request for an interview, the newspaper said.