One of the most elusive figures in Hollywood since the heyday of Howard Hughes may be about to make her debut.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that Vanity Fair magazine has landed the first photos of Suri Cruise, the baby born to actor Tom Cruise and actress Katie Holmes on April 18 and who has never been seen by the public, although family friend Penelope Cruz says she is “beautiful.”
The Post said the pictures were taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz and will be published this fall.
A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair had no comment and a spokesman for Leibovitz’s studio said, “We know nothing about this. The studio is closed for August.” A spokesman for Cruise was not immediately available for comment.
Few recent celebrity subjects have produced as much table-thumping tabloid copy as questions about the existence and well-being of baby Suri.
Suri was born after months of nonstop publicity generated by Cruise and his new lady love, including an appearance on ”The Oprah Winfrey Show” by the actor in which he declared his love for Holmes by jumping repeatedly on the host’s couch.
Cruise proposed to Holmes at the Eiffel Tower in Paris last year and announced the engagement at a press conference. Before the baby was born, the press was filled with stories about the Scientology method of “silent birth.” Both Cruise and Holmes are adherents of Scientology.
But after the baby was born, Tom and Katie, or TomKat as they are referred to, disappeared from public view, leading to a tabloid outcry as to why the child was not being seen.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt allowed photographs of their daughter, Shiloh, to be taken a mere seven days after her birth and donated the multimillion-dollar fee to charity.
The weekly Star went so far as to publish a made-up composite photograph of Suri Cruise last month and Life&Style countered with a composite drawing, calling the child, “the most famous missing baby on the planet.”
As the New York Times in July noted in a 1,900-word article on the issue, “The drawing appeared on a poster stamped with one word: ’Wanted.”’
One serious debate in the magazine industry is just how much a photo of Suri Cruise could fetch. People magazine was reported to have paid $4 million for photos of the Jolie-Pitt baby, although the magazine’s editor denied that was an accurate figure.