(NEW YORK) — The Church of Scientology devised “a top-secret process” of auditioning actresses to play the real-life role of girlfriend for Tom Cruise, according to Vanity Fair.
In the October issue of Vanity Fair, special correspondent Maureen Orth, reported that Nazanin Boniadi was selected from a group of Scientologist actresses to play the role of Tom Cruise’s girlfriend. The actresses were reportedly told they were auditioning for a training film, and asked “What do you think of Tom Cruise?”
Orth, who interviewed “several sources,” claims that the entire arrangement was headed by Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology chief David Miscavige.
A rep for Cruise told ABC News in a statement, “Lies in a different font are still lies – designed to sell magazines.” The Church of Scientology denied to the magazine that there was any such recruiting project and did not respond to ABC News’ request for a statement.
Vanity Fair reports that “in a month-long preparation,” Boniadi was “told to lose her braces, her red highlights and her boyfriend.” The Iranian-born, London-raised actress even reportedly signed a confidentiality agreement and was told if she “messed up” she would be declared an enemy of Scientology, the magazine wrote.
Boniadi and Cruise first met in November 2004, according to the article. Boniadi, the magazine claims, “first sensed that this was possibly going to be an arranged marriage” and although they spent that first night together “they did not have sex.”
Vanity Fair reported that Cruise told Boniadi, “I’ve never felt this way before,” and eventually his affection became “overwhelming” for the actress. Cruise reportedly complained to Boniadi, “I get more love from an extra than from you,” according to Vanity Fair.
“Coming on top of his divorce it’s just one more thing,” said ABC News consultant Howard Bragman of Reputation.com. “Nobody wants to be exposed to critical articles like this, true or not. If it’s not true it’s frustrating, if it is true it’s some of his most personal moments in his life so I’m sure this is just one more headache for Tom Cruise right now.”
The article claims that Boniadi moved into Cruise’s home and was given a credit card issued in the name of his production company as her only source of money.
The relationship ended in January 2005, the magazine reported, just three months before Cruise appeared in public with Katie Holmes. The article claims that Cruise wanted “someone with her own power, like Nicole Kidman.”
Boniadi, the magazine writes, was then reportedly sent to a Scientology center where she broke down and revealed her relationship with Cruise to a friend, which supposedly violated her confidentially agreement. As punishment, Vanity Fair says her chores included “scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush, cleaning tiles with acid and digging ditches in the middle of the night.”
The Church of Scientology, however, denied this to the magazine, saying, “The Church does not punish people, especially in that way.”
“People who are skeptical of Tom Cruise and his Scientology connection are going to go say, ‘See I told you so.’ People who love Tom Cruise and don’t care about scientology are just going to let it go over their heads and just ignore it,” said Bragman. “But the bottom line is, I don’t think it’s going to make a difference to his career.”
Following the reported failed relationship, Boniadi, 32, went on to appear in the soap opera “General Hospital” and had a role in the 2010 blockbuster film, Iron Man. Boniadi is now a spokesperson for Amnesty International and no longer involved with Scientology, according to the magazine.
Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise earlier this year after six years of marriage. The couple has a 6-year-old daughter named Suri. Holmes did not become a Scientologist until she started dating Cruise, and a rep for Holmes told ABC News the Vanity Fair story was done without her participation.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Levenson, CNN
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com