Tom Cruise in placenta flap

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Tom Cruise, who last year made waves while promoting War of the Worlds, is again making waves while he is promoting his upcoming film Mission: Impossible III. This time, Cruise joked he will eat the placenta and umbilical cord of pregnant girlfriend, Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes, after she gives birth to their first child together.

In an interview in the May issue of GQ magazine, Cruise says, "I'm gonna eat the placenta. I thought that would be good. Very nutritious. I'm gonna eat the cord and the placenta right there."

However, on Friday night's interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primtime, Cruise said it was all a joke.

"Isn't that normal and natural? No, we're not eating it," he replied when asked by Sawyer about the comment.

Cruise's admission that it was a joke came too late for many Web news sources that had already reported the actor's placenta-eating remark. It's easy to understand why news sites would take the comment seriously, as the actor has been exhibiting increasingly strange behavior over the past year.

Last year, Cruise embarked on a memorable press tour wherein he argued with Matt Lauer on The Today Show , chastised Brooke Shields for having postpartum depression, told an Access Hollywood reporter he hated psychiatry because he cared about "all of you," and jumped maniacally on Oprah Winfrey's couch (a scene parodied in the film, Scary Movie 4).

Recently, Cruise has been causing tongue-wagging with his insistence that Holmes practice the Scientology method of "silent birth." Cruise also purchased his own ultrasound machine and performs his own ultrasound scans on the baby, a move that was decried by physicians, as Cruise has no medical experience.

Elsewhere in the GQ interview, the actor discusses his and Holmes' sex life ("it's spectacular") and her conversion to Scientology, the religious faith created in the 1950s by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard of which Cruise is a follower.

Cruise and Holmes have been dating since spring of last year, and were engaged in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris last June. In October, they announced Holmes' pregnancy.

As odd as it may sound, placenta ingestion isn't completely unheard of. Many mammals eat their placenta, and "placentophagia" is practiced by humans in many parts of the world. Some Web sites even list placenta recipes, touting it as a way to ward off postpartum depression.

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