Daily Mail Reporter
19:27 EST, 3 September 2012
22:36 EST, 3 September 2012
Tom Cruise has blasted a Vanity Fair article claiming Scientology officials auditioned dozens of women to marry him, calling the story a fabricated pack of ‘lies’.
But his denials may be difficult to stand up next to one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed writers, producers and directors, Paul Haggis.
The Oscar-winning Crash director and former Scientologist has come forward to support actress Nazanin Boniadi, who he says was ‘embarrassed’ to be one of the women auditioned for Cruise.
Support: Crash director and former Scientologist Paul Haggis has come forward to support actress Nazanin Boniadi, who he says was ‘embarrassed’ to be one of the women auditioned to marry actor Tom Cruise
Haggis, who left the Scientology movement in October 2009 after being a devotee for 35 years, has spoken out, in what could be seen as a confirmation of part of the publication’s article, which claims that Boniadi was being groomed by the church to be Cruise’s wife.
The Hollywood heavyweight has slammed the church for the harsh treatment of Boniadi, which she allegedly received following a reported three month relationship with the actor in 2004.
As reported by Vanity Fair, Boniadi was the first choice to be Cruise’s wife – not his now ex-wife Katie Holmes.
Boniadi, then 24, an Iranian-born actress who grew up in Britain, was selected by Shelly Miscavige, wife of the church’s top official David Miscavige to be the megastar’s new partner.
Newly single: Cruise poses with fans while out with friends in Croatia last night; the star’s representative has issued a statement dismissing as ‘lies’ Vanity Fair’s report that the Scientology Church recruited girlfriends for him
After dating the actor for three months,
Cruise was said to have grown tired of her, and she was subsequently
sent back to a Florida Scientology center and forced to clean toilets
with a toothbrush.
She later received more harsh treatment, when one of her friends revealed to the
church that Boniadi told her how upset she was that Cruise had dumped her.
All the while, the
church had already continued their mission to find Cruise his next
wife, and he went on to marry Holmes.
Controversial cover story: The October issue of Vanity Fair
Haggis, who claims he met Boniadi three years ago through a mutual friend, says he is outraged by the church’s actions.
was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church
could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so
callously punished (Boniadi) and then so effectively silenced her when
it was done.
just the threats; they actually made her feel ashamed, when all she had
been was human and trusting,’ Haggis told Showbiz
‘I’ve met quite a
number of people who have been treated shamefully but are afraid to
speak out. This story will draw attention because of our fascination with celebrity. Most of the others are just ordinary people whose stories, if told, would not appear in a magazine.
‘They live in fear of retribution, legal, financial or personal, even some famous ones.
fear an incredibly wealthy organization that boasts that it seeks
truth, empowers people, brings families together, encourages independent
thought and free speech, and champions human rights.
would like to say that i don’t know how its members, many of them good
and intelligent people, can remain so purposely blind when they are
faced with evidence like this every day, but then I am no one to talk.
‘I was happily blind for many years, so I know the shame that Naz feels.’
He added that Boniadi was too embarrassed to speak out about the whole ordeal.
Final choice: Katie Holmes is now Tom Cruise’s ex-wife, but was apparently vetted before their marriage by ‘church’ officials
‘I’m appalled that any church would
treat its parishioners this way, but Naz has never cast herself as a
victim. She is strong and resilient and I am very proud to call her a
friend,’ he said.
was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never
wanted it to come out, so I kept silent.’
Haggis also revealed that Boniadi resigned from Scientology two years ago, after failed attempts to repair her relationship with the church.
Cruise today blasted the claims made in the Vanity Fair article.
a statement issued in response to the new report, Cruise’s
representative said: ‘Lies in a different font are still lies – designed
to sell magazines.’
According to the Vanity Fair expose, the secretive religious group organised an ‘audition’ process to find Cruise a wife, grilling dozens of young women to make sure they posed no threat to the church or its most famous member.
And his now-ex-wife Holmes was apparently not the first choice – the church wanted Cruise to marry Boniadi, who was already a Scientologist.
The shocking allegations about the
origins of the stars’ six-year marriage to Holmes are made by writer Maureen Orth
in the October issue of Vanity Fair.
claims that the project to identify a new partner for Cruise, following
the break-up of his relationships with Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz,
started in 2004 and was headed by Miscavige.
number of Scientologist actresses were interviewed by church leaders,
according to former official Marc Headley, and told they were being
considered for a role in a new training video.
Family: The once-golden Hollywood couple together with their daughter Suri in Japan in 2009
However, they were faced with unexpected questions such as: ‘What do you think of Tom Cruise?’
Holmes, who did not become a Scientologist until she started going out with Cruise, was not part of this process.
Mrs Miscavige apparently chose Boniadi to be the megastar’s new
Boniadi was told she had been selected for ‘a very important mission’, and ordered to break up with her boyfriend.
Boniadi was flown to New York and taken for dinner by Cruise at
trendy restaurant Nobu, she began to suspect she was part of an
The pair went ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, where the rink had been closed for them, then spent the night together.
The actress, who has
appeared in General Hospital, How I Met Your Mother and blockbuster Iron
Man, was made to sign multiple confidentiality agreements over her
relationship with Cruise.
Girlfriend: But Miss Boniadi was apparently perceived as disrespectful towards senior Scientologists
the process which selected Boniadi may have been arbitrary – one
of the stipulations was that Cruise could not go out with a woman who
had ever been in a threesome – the star soon fell hard for the young
However, Boniadi was not affectionate enough towards her new boyfriend, Vanity Fair reports.
Cruise was keen on extravagant romantic displays, and complained that the actress would not reciprocate his grand gestures.
Moreover, she was repeatedly in trouble for not respecting senior Scientologists – including Cruise himself.
Passion: Mr Cruise declared his love for Katie during an appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s chat show in 2005
The first time they met, she
congratulated him on winning a medal from the church, which apparently
implied that she was superior to him.
And when she met Mr Miscavige, she asked him to repeat himself because he was talking too fast.
the couple had been dating for three months, Cruise allegedly tired of
his lover, and officials asked her to move out of his house in the
Scientology Celebrity Centre.
relationship with the star remained a secret, and Vanity Fair claims
that she was once forced to do manual labour for telling her friend about
Close? Ms Holmes filed for divorce in June this year and the split was finalised just two weeks later
Scientology officials have dismissed
several of the magazine’s sources as vindictive and unreliable, and deny
the story about the wife search.
a few months after the break-up, Cruise started seeing Ms Holmes,
who converted to Scientology ahead of their marriage in November 2006.
Holmes filed for divorce in June, and the split was finalised two weeks later.