"It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it," she said of her move to New York amidst the split.
Katie Holmes acknowledges she lives under constant scrutiny "as a public person," but never as much as she did during the period after her divorce from Tom Cruise.
In the latest issue of InStyle, the April cover star opened up about moving to New York with her daughter, Suri, in 2012 after splitting with the actor and how they dealt with media attention at the time.
"It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it," the "Batman Begins" star explained. "And when you have a lot of attention, sometimes you don't want to leave the house because it's just too much."
"You can get consumed by what people think, but suddenly you just decide to do things on your own terms," she added. "I feel like I'm finally figuring that out."
Katie had married Tom in 2006, seven months after giving birth to Suri, whom they share. After the dramatic divorce, Katie transplanted her life from Los Angeles to New York, where the relentless attention caused the young mother and child to "go to the park at 6 a.m. just to get outside."
But the Toledo, Ohio native knows a thing or two about living in the spotlight as she rocketed to fame as Joey Potter on the immensely popular teen drama "Dawson's Creek," which debuted in 1998.
"I've gotten a lot of attention at different periods in my life. But when I was young, Dawson's Creek was such a huge leap," she explained. "Within a year of graduating from high school, we were known everywhere. It was quite a lot."
"Obviously, the world was not what it is today — there weren't as many paparazzi or people with phones," Katie detailed. "But it was still weird that I was treated differently. It felt unnatural, and I didn't understand it. Now I don't lead with being a public person; I lead with being a person. You should be kind because that's what people do, not because you want people to think you are kind."
The attention she received in the Big Apple upon her arrival with Suri wasn't all negative, however, as several New Yorkers lent a helping hand, according to the actress.
"We had some funny moments out and about in public," she dished. "So many people I didn't know became my friends and helped us out, and that's what I love about the city."