Tom Cruise's $728 Debt to Judge Shirley Ballas Explained

An unexpected dance tale surfaces between Cruise and Ballas

by Zain ul Abedin
Tom Cruise's $728 Debt to Judge Shirley Ballas Explained
© Aaron Davidson/Getty Images Entertainment

The world knows Tom Cruise for his daring movie stunts, iconic roles, and now, apparently, an unpaid dance lesson. Shirley Ballas, the head judge of Strictly Come Dancing, recently brought to light an old $728 debt Tom Cruise owes her. The revelation came during her stint on the popular panel show, Would I Lie To You, when she opened up about a dance session with the Mission Impossible star that took place years ago.

It seems Mr. Cruise was keen to master the art of ballroom dancing. And who better to approach than Shirley Ballas? But it's not just about the dance; it's about a debt unpaid. Recalling their interaction, Ballas shared how she tutored Cruise for three hours, although the initial plan was for a two-hour lesson. The overtime, however, has remained uncompensated to this day.

When asked about the lingering debt during her appearance on This Morning, Ballas candidly responded, "He still hasn't paid me for the private lessons that I gave him!" Evidently, even after all these years, the payment remains pending.

Dance Debt: Cruise's Unpaid Lesson

Shirley then took a light-hearted dig at Cruise, looking into the camera and jestingly urging, “Come on Tom, if you're out there, get your cheque book out.” Joining in on the banter, co-hosts Holly Willoughby and Josie Gibson chimed in with their own remarks, “Yeah, cough up” and “Tom Cruise, pay up!” respectively.

The backstory to this debt is as intriguing as the revelation itself. Cruise, during his marriage to actress Nicole Kidman, aimed to sweep his then-wife off her feet with a salsa dance on their anniversary. To ensure he got every move right, he turned to Ballas for professional guidance.

While the debt amount might be trivial for a star of Cruise's stature, the anecdote serves as an amusing insight into the personal interactions between celebrities. And as this story gains traction, fans worldwide are curious: will Tom Cruise settle his dance lesson debt with Shirley Ballas? Only time will tell.

Tom Cruise