"He was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him," says the ex-Mrs. Cruise

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 08, 2006 04:00 PM

Despite splitting from Tom Cruise five years ago, Nicole Kidman says that she still considers their 2001 divorce a “major shock” – and confesses that she still loves her ex.

“To me, he was just Tom, but to everybody else, he is huge. But he was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him.” Kidman, 38, tells the Ladies’ Home Journal in a new interview, in which she also reveals a certain premonition about something dire being about to happen.

“I always knew the rug was going to be taken out from underneath me at some stage,” says Kidman. “I didn’t think it was going to happen in the way it happened. I had seen my mother battle breast cancer, so I had a fear of my health being jeopardized – that was really where I was thinking mine would come.

After 10 years of marriage and adopting two children together – Isabella, now 13, and Connor, 11 – Cruise filed for divorce in February 2001, citing irreconcilable differences.

“I knew I was going to get hit with something,” says Kidman, who stars in the upcoming Fur (about photographer Diane Arbus). “But I think a divorce, and the demise of what your family is, is a little death in itself.”

Of her relationship with her children, Kidman says: “I feel enormous love for whoever my children’s birth parents are. And if my children choose to go find them at some stage, I can’t wait. Because – it’s the weirdest thing – I actually feel (they’re) very connected to us as a big, strange family, and whether they choose to search for them or not, who knows.”

Cruise, who currently stars in Mission: Impossible III, recently welcomed his first child with his fianc e, Katie Holmes – a daughter named Suri. Kidman, meanwhile, has been keeping company with country singer Keith Urban.

“I’m pretty careful about who I share my life with,” she says. “I surround myself with truthful, kind people, most of whom are not in the business. It’s the life I want to have when I’m an old woman with long, gray hair.”