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Nicole Kidman says being married to Tom Cruise protected her from sexual harassment

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in Sydney in

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in Sydney in 1993. Credit: Getty Images / Patrick Riviere

Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman says her marriage to first husband Tom Cruise largely shielded her from sexual harassment due to his power in the film industry.

"I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me — it was protection," Kidman, 51, says in an essay in the new issue of New York magazine. Already an established actor in her native Australia by the time she co-starred with Cruise in "Days of Thunder" (1990), Kidman wed the American star on Dec. 24, 1990. They divorced in 2001.

"I married for love,” she writes, "but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33," when the couple divorced, "it’s almost like I had to grow up."

Kidman, who has won both an acting and a producing Emmy Award for the HBO series "Big Little Lies," concedes that, "Of course I’ve had #MeToo moments — since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely. I’m open and raw. I want to have my well of experience and emotion tapped into, used — and I’m not just talking about sexual harassment. I’m talking about loss, death, the full array of life. But it has to be by the right people so it’s not abused again."

She currently is attached to an untitled film about the downfall of the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes over sexual-harassment accusations, including a lawsuit by anchor Gretchen Carlson, whom Kidman would play. Charlize Theron, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon and Margot Robbie are also set to star in the movie.

Kidman, who with Cruise adopted daughter Isabella and son Connor, now both in their 20s, married country-music star Keith Urban in 2006. The couple have daughters Sunday Rose, 10, and Faith Margaret, 7.

Her films include "To Die For" (1995), "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), "Moulin Rouge" (2001), "The Hours" (2002), for which she won the Oscar for best actress, and "The Beguiled" (2017).

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