Katie Holmes' interview in W magazine has set off a firestorm.
Reading it can only be even more worrisome for her parents as they see the steady hold Tom Cruise and Scientology have taken of their beloved daughter.
There is no way to minimize the frightening aspect of the interview.
Holmes, who previously was a sweet, thoughtful, articulate young woman, now comes across like a zombie.
She's accompanied on the interview by Jessica Feshbach Rodriguez, her Scientology minder.
You may remember that I told you about Feshbach some weeks ago. Her family is a top financial donor to Scientology.
Feshbach, whom Holmes calls her "best friend" in the interview, after six weeks of knowing her, is a high-level Scientologist.
According to the various Web sites that monitor the L. Ron Hubbard-founded religion, Feshbach completed courses called "Security Checker Internship," "False Purpose Rundown Auditorship" and "Clear Certainty."
According to those who accompanied Holmes through her various publicity trips this spring, Feshbach has never left her side.
Neither have other "monitors" who followed Holmes everywhere she went, according to sources, constantly whispering in walkie talkie-like devices (those things that are strapped to wrists, connected to ear pieces) even when she was going to the bathroom.
In the meantime: Yesterday, the New York Post's Page Six gossip column reported a story that was sent out by an anti-Scientology watcher on Friday.
It's the news that Cruise and Nicole Kidman's 12-year-old daughter Isabella Cruise has been listed in the Scientology bulletin for completing the basic course. She's under the name "Bella Cruise."
This can only be heartbreaking for Kidman, who — as Holmes once was — is a devout Roman Catholic from an observant family.
This column reported exclusively a couple of weeks ago that the Cruise-Kidman kids are educated at Tom's home in Beverly Hills by his two sisters, with an emphasis on the teachings of Scientology.
This raises the question of who has custody of their children. The answer seems to be Cruise, because the kids must be in his home every day for their schooling.
As for Holmes, the W interview — conducted by Rob Haskell — features comments from the omnipresent Feshbach (who goes by her second husband's name, Rodriguez).
When Holmes is asked to describe her feelings for Cruise, Feshbach interrupts and says, "You adore him."
During the interview, Holmes — in a very choreographed stunt — receives an expensive "surprise" gift from Cruise.
If the whole point of the Cruise-Holmes "romance," though, was to sell "War of the Worlds," then it's time to take a look at the results.
"War" had a tough weekend, finishing second to "Fantastic Four" and taking in $31 million. That puts its domestic box office at $165 million.
The movie, however, cost $182 million. So how does that break down?
First, take $40 million off the top for Cruise and director Steven Spielberg.
Then split the remainder in half, because the record 3,900 screens on which the movie is playing get 50 percent of the take.
That leaves us with $67.5 million with which the studio can now pay bills.
But the bottom line is $120 million away. That would have been all right if "War" had had a bigger first weekend and more momentum now. But "Fantastic Four" has put one nail in its coffin.
Come Friday, both "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Wedding Crashers" will come like steamrollers over "War." The result is going to be bloody, with "War" likely to do less than $15 million and finish fourth.
For Cruise, it doesn't matter. He's rich, and he's isolated. If "Mission: Impossible 3" goes into production, he'll spend even more. Oprah will continue to bow to him, although, to her credit, even Rosie O'Donnell has publicly disowned him in the Brooke Shields deal.
For Spielberg, "War" is behind him. He's already making his next film, which — if he's on target — will wipe out all the bad feelings about "War."
The real loser in all of this? Why, Katie Holmes.
In the last few weeks, her agent and manager have been dismissed, and a really great, much-coveted film role — that of Edie Sedgwick — has been taken from her. The producers of "Batman Begins" already have said she won't be back for the sequel.
But she's still got her new best friend, and a watch from Tom.
John Fogerty's ears must have been burning on Saturday.
That's because around 5 p.m. EDT, about 300 people dressed only in white clothes spontaneously broke into a slow rendition of his song "Proud Mary" around the backyard pool in Westport, Conn., belonging to Nik Ashford and Valerie Simpson.
Of course Ashford and Simpson are better known as the composers of dozens of classic Motown hits, such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "I'm Every Woman."
Every summer they throw a party on July 4th weekend.
This year they were late, but everyone came anyway, including Maya Angelou, soul star Chuck Jackson, legendary Teddy Pendergrass, singer Nona Hendryx and composer Vy Higginsen.
All guests were required to wear only white, and so they did, making the couple's eight-acre estate look like a landlocked regatta.
Ashford and Simpson, you know, have been married 31 years and have two daughters. They're a rarity in show business.
For one thing, neither of them has seemed to age at all. Their first hit was Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned," back around 1966.
They wrote all of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's hits. When Tammi was sick, and wasn't singing well, it's Valerie who filled in. You can hear her beautiful voice on the records. (A&S are two of the few songwriters who can also sing.)
Not only do they put on a sumptuous barbecue, but they also give their guests a show. Angelou did the narration as Valerie (in a Tina fright wig) and three friends dressed up as Tina Turner and the Ikettes to perform "Proud Mary."
A few seconds in, though, the sound system failed. Didn't matter: the guests just kept on singing, not missing one of the words.
You know you're in a music crowd when not only does everyone know the Ike & Tina version of the song but the men do the bass line ("rollin' on a rivah").
Nik played "Blackman," the alter ego of "Batman," in a skit that even got poet/philosopher/writer Angelou to say: "Batman is all that."
And George Faison — who choreographed "The Wiz" on Broadway — danced around the pool dressed as, to quote Angelou "the much maligned" Michael Jackson. That was quite a sight.
The big news? Patti Austin, the great singer whose hit "Come to Me," with James Ingram, is still a radio classic, has lost 120 lbs.
I asked her if this had affected her superb voice?
"No," she said, "It's even made it better."
Patti is touring all summer with symphony orchestras. Make sure and catch her if you can.
This column commenced on this Web site six years ago today. It seems like yesterday!
Our first story was about soccer star Mia Hamm's busy professional and personal life, followed by the news that the family of Nicole Brown Simpson was living off the money they'd collected for their tax-free charity. We never looked back.
This column was the idea of Laura Durkin and Refet Kaplan. This writer actually selected the name of the column, and here we are all that time later, survivors of the Internet "boom." Today, FOXNews.com is a big success, with a dedicated, talented staff.
Congratulations and thanks to everyone!