Hollywood actor Tom Cruise was used as a profile for domestic violence at a NSW Police conference in Wollongong yesterday.
Internationally renowned social psychologist and author Dr Dina McMillan said Cruise demonstrated an "absolute exceptional case" of controlling behaviour which he was using on third wife Katie Holmes.
"His behaviour towards Katie Holmes, how they got together, everything has all the indicators of an abusive relationship," she told the Mercury.
Dr McMillan was a key speaker at the NSW Police Force Domestic Violence Liaison Officers conference, launched by NSW Police Minister David Campbell at the City Beach Function Centre and attended by Assistant Police Commissioner Reg Mahoney and 105 domestic violence officers from throughout the state.
Advocating "A Bold New Approach" in educating the community to end domestic violence, Dr McMillan, 48, the author of But He Says He Loves Me - How To Avoid Being Trapped in a Manipulative Relationship, warned her approach would be confronting.
She said the patterns of domestically violent behaviour, and this included physical, sexual, psychological, social, economic and emotional abuse, were evident at the beginning of a relationship.
Dr McMillan said: "99.9 per cent of the 2400 victims I have interviewed said their relationship was perfect at first, and then he changed.
"It's not true. Most of the abuse was a result of verbal battery and manipulation, not physical assault, and that starts at the earlier stages of courtship."
The Californian said grooming behaviours were used to condition the victim, together with "destructive behaviour", which she likened to the relationship of Cruise and Holmes.
"This (behaviour involves) anything designed to make her like him. This is designed to make her trust him. This is designed to boost her ego. This is 'I've never felt like this before, Oprah'," she said, referring to Cruise's infamous couch-jumping episode when he declared his love for Holmes on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2005.
"Someone told me yesterday they're calling it 'Cruise control'. He is an exceptional case of control.
"He had been dating Katie Holmes for two months when he was on Oprah Winfrey. It made my ears perk up and gave me goosebumps. I knew Katie was in trouble.
"It's always designed with destructive behaviour, it's always designed with little snips, snaps, criticisms and instructions to destroy her confidence and her independence and weaken her will ..."
"People think, 'You have to be really dumb to get into one of these relationships', and I won't lie to you, Katie seems like a perfectly intelligent young woman."
Outside the conference, Dr McMillan said part of Cruise's behaviour could be attributed to his membership of the Church of Scientology.
"It's a cult. It's all stuff and nonsense," she said.