Reps for Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology have attacked a story in the current issue of Vanity Fair that alleges the church auditioned Scientology members in order to find a new wife for Cruise after his 2001 divorce from Nicole Kidman.
“Vanity Fair’s story is essentially a rehash of tired old lies previously run in the supermarket tabloids, quoting the same bogus ‘sources,’” said Bert Fields, Cruise’s attorney. “It’s long, boring and false.”
For its part, the church went on the attack in a statement issued to the media. It called the article by Maureen Orth “hogwash.”
“There was no project, secret or otherwise, ever conducted by the church to find a bride (via audition or otherwise) for any member of the church. Never,” the church statement said.
The church also claimed that Vanity Fair used a small group of “anti-Scientologists” for its information, that the magazine paid a member of the group to talk and that the writer Orth didn’t come to the church until after her article was completed.
“These apostates have shamelessly exploited Tom Cruise’s divorce by spreading false and invented tabloid stories in hopes of promoting themselves,” the church statement said.
In the article, Orth wrote that Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, headed an “auditioning” process in 2004, during which actresses who were Scientologists were called in and asked, “What do you think of Tom Cruise?”
The actress who was ultimately selected, Nazanin Boniadi, actually dated Cruise for a few months, according to the article. But their relationship ended in January 2005.
Boniadi’s representative told CNN that she was not available for comment.
“We absolutely stand by Maureen Orth’s story,” said Beth Kseniak, a spokesperson for Vanity Fair. “Vanity Fair has never paid sources and never would.”