Without googling, do you remember what happened 5 years ago today? It was around noon ET on a Friday. It was a major gossip bombshell.

Ninja Katie Holmes! 

That was day Katie Holmes, seemingly out of f-cking nowhere, announced that she’d left Tom Cruise through from her attorney. We would then quickly find out that she stealthily, over the previous few weeks, had rehired the publicist she’d been working with before she and Tom met. There were also reports of secret cellphones and a new security team, discreetly put in place in preparation for her escape.

I was in the studio that day in Vancouver doing remote hits for etalk. When the story broke, we had to scrap the show rundown and do everything over again. Everyone was scrambling for information. It seemed as though even Tom Cruise was scrambling for information. And while Katie asked for privacy, enough information was readily available that favoured her position. In getting the jump on him, she was able to control the narrative. Which is also why the divorce settlement was finalised just 11 days later with Katie getting everything she wanted, including, of course, primary custody of Suri. In the days that followed, Katie wasn’t hiding. She was pretty visible in New York as the paps would photograph her going in and out of her apartment and many suspected that she was using the pap presence to her advantage because if the paps were around her, they acted inadvertently as a sort of protection against the Church. Like a surveillance camera.

Whether or not she would want it described this way, there can be no doubt that Katie played Tom. And in doing so it opened Tom up to a new reality. Three months after she tapped out on their marriage, this was the cover of Vanity Fair:

Vanity Fair went IN on Tom and his involvement with Scientology. That was the article that talked about him auditioning girlfriends, the influence of David Miscavige, and how David came between Tom and Nicole Kidman, Tom and Penelope Cruz – all things we’d heard before but not in a magazine like Vanity Fair. With that piece, Vanity Fair basically decided they didn’t give a sh-t if Tom Cruise never talked to them ever again. If Katie Holmes hadn’t escaped the way she did, I don’t think they ever would have been so emboldened. This moment in Gossip Nostalgia was brought to you by the presentation: