“He is the only person who never misses my birthday,” the comedian, 59, said during the Thursday, June 24, episode of “The Jess Cagle Show” on SiriusXM. “In knowing him for 25 years now, he has never missed my birthday or an event in my life.”
During The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which aired from 1996 to 2002, the Top Gun star, 58, made several appearances, always indulging in the host’s jokes about her feelings for him. He even filmed a segment for the show’s final episode, in which he pretended to mow O’Donnell’s lawn. “Rosie, I cut your grass, and here is your lemonade,” he said in the clip.
Despite Cruise’s worldwide fame and busy schedule, the View alum believes he still takes the time to send her birthday shoutouts. “Every year, I think what a classy guy he is that he never has forgotten my birthday,” she continued. “A lot of people say to me, ‘It’s just his secretary,’ but I don’t believe that. I think he knows in early March, ‘Oh, it’s Rosie’s birthday coming up.’ And he sends me something every single year for 25 years.”
The Celebrity Detox author added that she doesn’t know him well enough to ask him about his relationship to Scientology, but said his personality hasn’t changed even as his fame and fortune have grown.
“I don’t have his home phone number,” she explained. “Like, I know people think in Hollywood and celebrity, everybody knows each other, but I know him in the way that I did in that time 25 years ago. … I love Tom Cruise and I will always love Tom Cruise. I do not understand, you know, the Scientology religion. I think it’s a cult and it’s scary. And I think Leah Remini is a hero for doing what she’s done.”
An ex-Scientology member herself, the former King of Queens star, 51, has been outspoken about the religion since her highly publicized exit from the church in 2013. In 2015, she published a memoir called Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, and from 2016 to 2019, she hosted an A&E docuseries titled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
“Tom has for years manipulated his image to be the good guy,” the actress told Us Weekly of Cruise in July 2020. “Although I believe there was a time when Tom was a decent and kindhearted person, he has morphed himself into [Scientology leader] David Miscavige and is completely dedicated to Scientology’s mission to ‘clear’ planet Earth — which means making 80 percent of the world’s population into Scientologists.”