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Tom Cruise Aids Mugging Victim

October 2, 1998 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Tom Cruise’s latest role is that of hero, according to a mugging victim.

Rita Simmonds told Thursday’s Evening Standard that Cruise ran to her rescue Sept. 23 as attackers pulled open the door of her Porsche and yanked off about $120,000 worth of jewelry.

``Tom was brilliant,″ Simmonds told the newspaper.

Pat Kingsley, a spokeswoman for the actor, said the attack had already taken place by the time Cruise arrived on the scene.

``He and a friend were taking a stroll and heard the commotion,″ she said. ``A couple of people were standing there to help the women. He tried to console her.″

Simmonds said she was badly bruised during the assault.

Cruise is renting a house in London with his wife, Nicole Kidman, and their children. Ms. Kidman is currently appearing in a sold-out production of ``The Blue Room.″

This is not the first time Cruise has come to the aid of the distressed; in 1996, he got help for a woman who had been hit by a car.