Even

Tom Cruise

has emotional scars.

Yes, even the Impossible Missionary himself.

The star tells Esquire he was deeply affected when his pops, Thomas Cruise Mapother III, abandoned him after his parents' divorce.

"He didn't try to help the family financially or spiritually, and I lived with the effects of the chaos," says Tom.

A decade later, when Tom was fresh off the success of '83's Risky Business, he found out his dad was dying and visited him in the hospital.

"He knew that he'd blown it," Tom says, "he was torturing himself. . . . All I could do was tell him, 'Look, it's OK.' "

Tom says his only concern was to understand his dad, so he could avoid his fate: "I looked at my father there dying and thought, 'How can I not be that guy?' "

She's the dancing queen

Nicole Scherzinger

is the new champion of ABC's

Dancing With the Stars.

The Pussycat Dolls frontwoman and partner

Derek Hough

took home the mirror-ball trophy Tuesday night in the season finale, besting Olympic figure skater

Evan Lysacek

and his partner,

Anna Trebunskaya

. ESPN reporter

Erin Andrews

and partner

Maksim Chmerkovskiy

finished third.

Mindy McCready hospitalized

Country singer

Mindy McCready

, 34, was taken to a Florida hospital Tuesday. The warbler's rep,

Brent Young

, tells TMZ that Mindy, who broke a toe Saturday night, was hospitalized after having a bad reaction to the narcotic painkiller Darvocet. She was back home Tuesday night.

Superb teacher or filthy linguist?

London's Daily Mail says the French government is scrambling to remove a YouTube clip showing France's first lady,

Carla Bruni

, explaining how to describe - and ask for - various sex acts in different languages. Bruni, 42, who married French prez

Nicolas Sarkozy

in '08, delivered her linguistics lesson on a '96 episode of a Eurotrash TV talk show called, um,

Eurotrash

. On the show, the Italian hottie heartily recommends a series of tourist guides called

Hot International Sex Guides

, which teach sex talk in seven languages. (Très United Colors of Benetton!)

Bono's OK! His tour? It's dead

The good news is that

Bono

has been released from the hospital after emergency back surgery in Germany on Friday. The bad news is that he'll need eight weeks to recover, so

U2

's North American tour is postponed till next year. That includes the July 12 Philly show.

According to Bono's surgeon, the 50-year-old had been suffering from "severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg." After successful surgery, Bono now has "complete recovery of his motor deficit." - Dan DeLuca

Christina abandons her fans

Speaking of broken promises,

Christina Aguilera

's rep says the singer has postponed her summer tour to 2011. Christina, scheduled to play the Susquehanna Bank Center on July 22, is too busy shooting her new flick,

Burlesque

, and recording her new CD,

Bionic

. Will fans survive?

Tidbits 'n' pieces

RadarOnline has revealed that quasi-celeb

Tila Tequila

signed to star in

Celebrity Rehab 4

to kick her addiction to the sleeping aid Ambien. . . .

Sarah Jessica Parker

's

Sex and the City 2

, the most aggressively hyped pop-cult event since

Nero

picked up his fiddle, had its New York premiere Monday. After a survey of early reviews, Gawker.com has concluded that

Sex 2

is a stinker. . . .

Bret Michaels

has another malady to worry about: The

Celebrity Apprentice

champ tells

Access Hollywood

he'll have surgery in the fall to repair a hole in his heart.

Visit "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com. This article has information from Inquirer wire services.