The media was enthralled by their marriage, which lasted from 1990 to 2001, with the pair seemingly making headlines every day.
However, things came to an end in February 2001 after Tom filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Much like their marriage, the pair’s split was widely scrutinized by the media.
For years, Nicole and Tom — who share two children, Isabella, 29, and Connor, 26, whom they adopted while they were married — largely kept the details of their divorce private.
Well, it’s safe to say that Nicole was not pleased this week, after she was unexpectedly asked about Tom during an interview.
“It’s about a creative and romantic relationship that doesn’t work out,” Nicole said. “But from it come some extraordinary things. And I love that. I love that it’s not a happy ending.”
“This film says you can make an extraordinary relationship thrive and leave remnants of it that exist forever. Yeah, that’s really gorgeous,” she continued.
Nicole went on, “You can’t make people behave how you want them to, and sometimes you’re going to fall in love with someone who isn’t going to be the person you spend the rest of your life with.”
“And I think that’s all very relatable,” she added. "You may have kids with them. You may not, but they were very much in love."
And Nicole — who became “angry,” the reporter noted — didn’t hesitate to shut down the speculation.
“Oh, my God, no, no. Absolutely not. No,” Nicole responded. “I mean, that’s, honestly, so long ago that that isn’t in this equation. So no.”
She continued, “And I would ask not to be pigeonholed that way, either. It feels to me almost sexist, because I’m not sure anyone would say that to a man. And at some point, you go, ‘Give me my life. In its own right.’”
Nicole’s response has been met with praise across social media, with many users jumping online to share their support for the actor.
When asked if she felt discouraged by the media scrutiny around her and Tom’s divorce, Nicole responded, “I was young. I think I offered it up?”
“Maybe I’ve gotten a bit more trepidatious, but I’m always trying to be as open as possible,” she laughed. “I just prefer to live in the world that way. ... I’m wary at times, and I’ve been hurt.”
“But at the same time, I much prefer a warm approach rather than a prickly shut-down approach,” she said.
Nicole continued, “My husband, Keith [Urban, whom she married in 2006], says that when he met me, he said, ‘How’s your heart?’ And I apparently responded, ‘Open.’”