Who could have ever imagined that Katie Holmes shared a friendship with Nicole Kidman?

It comes as a big surprise to know that Holmes, 33, found a pillar of support in her husband's second ex-wife, who divorced Cruise in 2001.

To be more specific,
an insider told the new "Us Weekly" of Holmes and Kidman, 45: "They've spoken over the last few weeks". "Nicole has been supportive, saying she's been through it too and to hang in there." (One way Holmes may have made those secret calls to Kidman? "The Los Angeles Times" reported Tuesday that the Romantics actress used a disposable cell phone provided by a friend to plot her split without the detection of Cruise and his team.)

Before you suppose that this a a brand-new friendship between Holmes and Kidman, the confidante claims, telling Us that the women have been speaking since Holmes' 2006 marriage to Cruise, 50. Just for the record, Kidman shares kids Isabella, 19, and Connor, 17, with Cruise, although much has been made of her estrangement from their kids.

"She has been a private friend not many people know about," the source reveals.

As Holmes reached the breaking point in her marriage to Cruise - and with mounting fears about daughter Suri - she reached out again to Kidman for advice. "Nicole offered her support and help," the insider adds.

Are you surprised by their friendship?

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