"There's no question this divorce is going to hurt Tom Cruise's public image," says Dorie Clark, author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. "His brand was already tarnished significantly when he first got together with Holmes five years ago and was infamously jumping up and down on Oprah's couch, and shortly afterward the videos of him praising Scientology were leaked," she continues. "This divorce is another opportunity for questions to be raised about his personal life, his religious beliefs – which many consider outside the mainstream – and that's not what a box-office star really wants." Meanwhile, New York's comparative-fault divorce laws could be advantageous for Holmes. "Divorce will actually help Katie Holmes' brand," Clark says. "More people are going to be thinking about her and be aware of her. This is generating a lot of sympathy and interest from people."
Holmes, 33, rose to fame on the teen soap "Dawson's Creek." She did just a handful of roles until stepping things up in 2011. Meanwhile, Cruise, who turns 50 on Tuesday, has remained a megastar. His most recent "Mission Impossible" installment, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," has made more than $690 million worldwide. "Tom Cruise's brand has always been the dynamic, likable hero – the `Mission Impossible' star that you're rooting for – and it becomes harder for the public to get behind someone as a hero and want to go to the box office and cheer them on when there are serious questions about what kind of husband and father he is," Clark says.
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