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Tom and Brooke -- Once More, With Camera

Posted: 09/04/06 02:18 PM ET

If a celebrity apologizes and there's no audience around, does it still count? Apparently not. Because when Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields both welcomed daughters on the same day last April, Tom sent Brooke a gift, which she said she would accept as a token of renewed friendship. Brooke sent flowers to Tom and Katie. It seemed as if the hatchet had been quietly buried. Neither event generated too much talk. Or if they did, they were drowned out by the roar that accompanied the birth of Suri Cruise.

A few months later Tom was emerging from a difficult couple of weeks, but it seemed as if everything was looking just about perfect again in Cruiseland. New financing had appeared in the form of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Baby Suri's pictures were safely in the hands of Graydon Carter's henchmen, and Katie had made a triumphant return to the shoe department at Barney's. But people kept bringing up the Brooke thing. In fact, some believe it may have played a large role in Tom's unceremonious dumping by Paramount. His Q scores had taken an absolute nosedive. It was apparent that Tom still had some 'splainin' to do.

It probably wasn't just serendipitous emotion that brought Tom to Brooke's door the day before her Tonight Show appearance, ostensibly booked to promote an upcoming guest spot on Nip/Tuck. On air, she said that Tom had shown up at her home and offered a "heartfelt apology." Heartfelt, not to mention well-timed. She said he "apologized for bringing me into the whole thing," which isn't really the same as apologizing for being a misogynistic ignoramus with more issues than the Condé Nast archives. But at least this one's on tape.