Rolling Stone founder dishes the dirt on Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise in new memoir

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner has revealed some surprising truths about entertainment heavyweights Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, among others in a new memoir.

From the early days of starting the Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967, Wenner combined his shrewd business stylings with an obvious talent for picking great stories and surrounding himself with an incredibly talented team, handpicking Annie Leibovitz, then an up and coming young photographer, to shoot covers in a way that no one else was doing it. 

Today, at 76, he is retired, and his son Gus is the new CEO of Rolling Stone, which Wenner sold to Penske Media. With a lot more time on his hands, he has written a memoir Like a Rolling Stone, The Last Letter to the Editor: A Memoir (little brown) and it has the entertainment world talking.

Wenner new memoir
Credit: LA times

Rolling Stone was for a time, the biggest rock and roll magazine in the world, with iconic cover photographs taken by Leibovitz, who if Wenner is to be believed, defintely got together with Mick Jagger.

Reading like a who’s who of rock royalty, fueled with some major celebrity gossip, Wenner divulges some eye-popping stories about some of his experiences as Editor in Chief at The Rolling Stone. Clearly not one to hold back, he seems to delight in sharing insights into some of the biggest celebrity coups the world has seen.

For starters, the famous pic of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on the beach in Africa, was taken at a time when rumours were floating around regarding a possible romantic connection that was made during the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Brad was still married to Jennifer Aniston at the time. According to Wenner, it was Angelina that tipped off one of his staff photographers about the time and location of their ‘private’ beach dalliance.

wenner memoir
Credit: Page Six

And if you ever needed proof that Tom Cruise is a robotic alien that serves only as a conduit for Scientology, then this is it. Calling the “Top Gun” star a cipher, he goes on to share that one of Rolling Stone journalists, was only allowed to meet Cruise’s mother and sister and go on a guided tour of a Scientology Center with the actor.

“It seemed he was opening up, but in the end he said nothing; he thoroughly deflects,” Wenner writes. “You walk away thinking you know the guy, but all you know is that here is a confident and extremely polite man. He wouldn’t even reveal whether he was for or against [President George W.] Bush.

“What the f–k is he guarding? Why is he in a super-secretive cult? He is a great talent. He is Super Tom. All his secrecy gave rise to the suspicion that he was gay. I never got a ping on my gaydar,” says Wenner, who is gay, “but gay people persisted in what Bette [Midler] one night called ‘swishful thinking.’”

Wenner also took to analyzing Bob Dylans handshake: saying he learned to never shake the legendary musician’s hand. “If you did, he let his hand stay motionless in your palm as if you were holding a dead fish,” Wenner writes. “It was unnerving and would make you all the more awkward being with him.”

“I liked Bob [Dylan]. I thought that, even with the awkwardness of my awe, we would be able to work together and find a level of friendship that would last.”

Wenner New memoir
Credit: LA Times

The memoir includes a stack of photos, showing the editor at his peak, he was photographed with everyone worth noting, from chilling on a couch with Yoko Ono, to yachting with the Rolling Stones. It’s out via (little brown) and all good booksellers.