Why Tom Cruise insisted on calling Katie Holmes ‘Kate’

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Tom and Katie. (Hall/Pena/PacificCoastNews.com)

Katie Holmes has not only reclaimed her life now that she’s filed for divorce from Tom Cruise – she’s also taking back her name. Ever since the two first got together in 2005, the “Mission Impossible” star has insisted on referring to his wife as “Kate,” even though neither her friends nor her family has ever called her that. And it clearly was a name Holmes herself did not identify with because she never went by it professionally, despite her husband’s consistent use of it every time he mentioned her publicly. In fact, in her statement announcing the split, Holmes’ lawyer said, “This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family.” Cruise’s response? “Kate has filed for divorce.”

It first began in April 2006, when Holmes, now 33, was still pregnant with Suri, but not yet married to Cruise. During an interview with All Headline News, he explained, "Katie is a young girl’s name. Her name is Kate now – she’s a child-bearing woman." At the time, it was also reported that Holmes had agreed upon the name change “after discussing it with Tom” and as a result “all friends and family now call her Kate.”

But that wasn’t so. A few months later, at her November 2006 wedding to Cruise in Italy, Holmes’ father Martin – a lawyer who reportedly was very instrumental in helping his youngest daughter plan her sudden split from the Scientologist – toasted the newlyweds in a sweet speech at their rehearsal dinner … and referred to Holmes as Katie. “I respect Tom for the commitment he has made to provide happiness and love to Katie,” gushed Martin. Even one of Holmes’ closest confidants, her stylist Jeanne Yang, called her good pal “Katie” in a joint interview the two ladies did with Elle magazine to promote their Holmes & Yang clothing line in 2010.

[Related: Tom Cruise's Three Marriages: The Rundown]

The only person to publicly call the former “Dawson’s Creek” star the name that Cruise, 50, preferred was his longtime friend Brooke Shields, who was invited to the couple’s lavish wedding in a move that seemed like an attempt to extend an olive branch. Remember when Cruise called her out for “drug” use after she admitted she used anti-depressants to battle postpartum depression following the birth of her first daughter? (He said she should have simply taken vitamins). “Kate called me herself to invite us to the wedding,” Shields said at the time. “It would have felt like a slap to say no."

[Related: Katie Holmes: The Wedding Rings Comes Off as She Reclaims Her Independence]

As much as Cruise pushed “Kate,” it just didn’t stick, not just in her personal life, but her professional one as well. On every movie poster for the films she has made since getting together with Cruise, she has been billed as “Katie Holmes.” The same goes for all the covers of the fashion magazines she has graced: They, too, spell out “Katie Holmes.”

By filing for divorce, Katie is also shedding another unwanted name: Mrs. Tom Cruise.

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