September 3, 2012

Tom Cruise & The Church of Scientology May Not Be Able to Survive This One

What I have found regarding "rumours" and Hollywood is this:  99% of the one-off rumours about who is sleeping with whom or weird stuff that celebs supposedly do/did or catfights are false.  But when the same rumour continues to rear its ugly head -- usually about "are they really getting divorced?" "is she/he really gay," or "he/she is such a nightmare to work with" and especially ones that stick around for DECADES (John Travolta and happy endings, Tom Cruise rumours/Church of Scientology) then they usually are based on some (or a lot) of facts...
Labor Day weekend is turning into another massive PR nightmare for Hollywood’s top-earning actor. One that not even his once formidable protector Pat Kinglsey could have likely circumvented.
First came the Saturday online tease for Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth October issue cover story “What Katie Didn’t Know.” The article details how Iranian-born actress Nazanin Boniadi was unwittingly auditioned in late 2004 by the Church of Scientology to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend and slotted into that role for what turned out to be a tumultuous few months. CoS watcher Tony Ortega commented Sunday that Orth deserves extra credit for figuring out a way to expose this latest bit of sordid CoS history (officially denied by the church):
Boniadi has wanted to tell her story for years, we’d heard, but she’s bound by multiple non-disclosure agreements from doing so. We hear that Orth managed to do a classic “write-around,” putting together Boniadi’s story without help from Boniadi herself.
Then, last night, Showbiz 411 columnist Roger Friedmanpublished two emails sent to him by ex-church member Paul Haggis. The writer-director confirms the shocking Vanity Fairallegations:
“I’ve known Nazanin for about three years. I met her through a mutual friend when I was doing my own personal research into the allegations against Scientology, before I wrote my letter of resignation. Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent. However I 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 her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done. It wasn’t just the threats; they actually made her feel ashamed, when all she had been was human and trusting.”
Haggis tells Friedman these emails will be his only comment on the Boniadi matter. Cruise meanwhile must decide whether to dodge or directly confront these latest damning accusations about the practices of his church.
Update – 09/03/12: A spokesperson for Cruise released the following statement in response to theVanity Fair cover story: “”Lies in a different font are still lies — designed to sell magazines.”