When Viacom kingpin Sumner Redstone cited Tom Cruise's personal conduct as the reason for killing his production deal with Paramount, the 83-year-old mogul's candor rocked Hollywood. But Radar has learned Redstone may have let Cruise off easy, particularly in light of allegations the actor dispatched goons from the Church of Scientology to intimidate Redstone's studio chieftan, Brad Grey.
According to a high-ranking media executive, Paramount Pictures honcho Grey had a highly unpleasant run-in with the Church during his tense negotiations with Cruise over Mission: Impossible 3. Grey, who had recently joined the studio, entered the talks determined to make Cruise accept a smaller share of the gross revenues than he had from the first two installments in the franchise. (For those films, the actor reportedly took home an unheard-of 30 percent of the total revenue.) Leaving the office one night, the diminutive Grey, walking to his car in the Paramount lot, suddenly found himself surrounded by more than a dozen Scientologists, who pressured him to ease up on the actor, according to the source.