LOS ANGELES -- We've all been asking this -- is the romance between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise for real, or did they start it just to publicize the two movies they have coming out this summer? What was up with Tom's bizarre behavior on Oprah? Now a Los Angeles-based web site has its own take on things.
Freekatie.net calls itself "the movement to liberate Katie, a young, gifted, actress held captive by forces we may never understand." It offers celebrity news and gossip about the couple, and also its own line of shirts, hats, buttons, and other things sporting the "Free Katie" logo. "Even one summer of captivity is too long for one so bright!" says the web page.
The pair were first photographed together in April in Rome, where Cruise received a lifetime achievement award at the Italian equivalent of the Academy Awards, the David di Donatello Awards. Holmes' public relations firm -- Baker Winokur Ryder -- confirmed the two were dating.
Tom Cruise poked fun at himself and the relationship Wednesday night on "The Tonight Show," jumping on Jay Leno's couch and pumping his arms as he mocked his exuberant display of affection for Katie Holmes on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Last month, the 42-year-old actor created a sensation on "Oprah" when he got down on his knees and repeatedly jumped on the talk-show host's couch, saying his love for Holmes was "beyond cool." "When I start to think about her, things happen," he told Leno. "So, cease talking."
A decidedly more subdued Cruise told Leno that he was looking forward to traveling, scuba diving and "spending the rest of my life" with Holmes. "It's a thing that I wish for everyone," he said of being in love. "I like hearing good news. ... I'm just really happy. She's a terrific lady, she's a great lady."
For her part, Holmes, 26, has told syndicated TV show "Access Hollywood" that she's "more and more in love every day. It's like, 'Wow.'"
Tabloids have speculated the Cruise-Holmes coupling is designed to call attention to their upcoming movies. "War of the Worlds," directed by Steven Spielberg, opens June 29. Holmes co-stars with Christian Bale in "Batman Begins," which opens June 15.
Both actors have had high-profile relationships. Cruise's first two marriages, to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, ended in divorce. He was dating actress Penelope Cruz until the pair split last year. Holmes and actor Chris Klein recently called off their engagement after dating five years.
Cruise in his nearly 25-year career has starred in such films as "Rain Man," "Jerry Maguire" and the upcoming Steven Spielberg remake of "War of the Worlds." Holmes is a Toledo native and Notre Dame Academy graduate. She is best known for starring in the TV show "Dawson's Creek," and the movies "Wonder Boys" and "Pieces of April."
While some may be skeptical about the May-December aspect of the romance. Holmes' family told News 11's Jerry Anderson on "Your Morning" that Cruise was "The real deal." "He called our house and talked to Kathy and called back when I got home from work and talked to me and real classy guy," said Martin Holmes.
This newest celebrity super-couple may not have made front page news at the University of Toledo, but students are definitely a buzz about it. "I think it's cool. Hopefully we'll see him, like see him at a restaurant or something like that at Panera or at the mall you never know," said UT student Betsy Lienesch. "I think it's great. I think it's kinda like a Princess Diana Prince Charles sort of thing where she's just a normal girl," said UT student Laura Johnson.
However, some students say the former Dawson's Creek-er should be with someone different. "More like me," said UT student Zach Harter, pounding his own chest.
Martin Holmes says his daughter met Cruise at a business meeting that was set up by Cruise's people and the romance blossomed from there.
Count on News 11 to stay on top of the budding romance.
On the Web:
Free Katie web site: www.freekatie.net