The West

Tom Cruise saved me: Packer

James Packer has told how Tom Cruise came to his aid when he was at the lowest point of his life after the break-up of his first marriage and the failure of his first big business venture.

In an interview to be aired tomorrow on Channel 7, the billionaire businessman also speaks about the final moments he spent with his dying father Kerry.

The normally private Mr Packer breaks down and cries several times during the interview with Mike Willesee.

He speaks of his battle with depression and his relationship with Hollywood star Cruise.

Willesee spent a week with Mr Packer before the interview and said the Crown Perth owner bared his soul.

"It will surprise everyone who's watching," Willesee said. "In all my experience I've never seen a VIP expose himself as much as James Packer did.

"He made himself completely vulnerable, he answered things honestly and openly and intimately. He cried several times. He walked out twice, not in anger, but just to compose himself.

"He talked intimately about his depression when he lost a lot of money at his first gambit for the family (telecom firm One.Tel) and his marriage break-up at that time. The world was weighing heavily against him."

Mr Packer said Cruise was there for him after his marriage to Jodhi Meares hit the rocks.

"I was depressed and emotionally exhausted, my marriage had broken up, I felt isolated, I felt like a failure . . . it was not a great time in my life," Mr Packer said.

"When I was at my lowest, Tom Cruise reached out to me. He believed in me when other people didn't."

Willesee said Mr Packer spoke candidly about his father.

"He was overseas when his father called him and he had no reason to believe he was dying. Kerry's doctor rang him and said he's got 24 hours to live. So James came back and held his hand as he died."

Mr Packer also spoke of his business dealings and said Perth and Melbourne were outstripping Sydney in the race to attract Chinese gamblers.

The West Australian

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