Entertainment

Ex-sect member says she was 'auditioned' to marry Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes during happier times.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes during happier times. Bang Showbiz

A FORMER Scientologist has claimed that she was one of several women "auditioned" as a potential wife for the actor and Scientology stalwart Tom Cruise before his marriage to the actress Katie Holmes.

In an article published simultaneously in magazine Women's Day and The Underground Bunker, a blog about Scientology by the journalist Tony Ortega, Anette Iren Johansen claimed the audition took place in Copenhagen in 2005.

Ms Johansen, who describes herself on her Twitter page as an "entrepreneur, scientist, chemist, musician (trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn), artist, dancer, Scientology whistleblower, animal lover and geek from wonderful Norway", ceased taking Scientology classes in 2010 and has started blogging about her experiences, including what she describes as "terrible abuses committed within the Church".

Ms Johansen grew up in Norway, but was studying as a veterinarian in Copenhagen when she joined the Church of Scientology in 2002. She appeared in a handful of Scientology magazines and training films, and in January 2005 claims she was invited to audition for another project. This time, however, there was no script. Instead, she said: "They asked me so many questions about my life, my family background, everything I'd ever done in Scientology. There was a lot of talk about Tom Cruise at that time - he had just been in Norway [hosting] the Nobel Peace Prize concert."

Afterwards, Johansen, then 27, was ordered to sign a waiver promising not to reveal any details of the "audition". A fortnight later, she said, she received a phone call from a man at "Golden Era Productions" in California, who asked her a string of private questions, including whether she had any "sexual perversions".

The article alleged that Ms Johansen was one of a number of women considered for the role of Cruise's wife in 2004 and 2005.

Mr Ortega quoted another former Scientologist, Marc Headley, who claimed to have seen a highlight reel of the women's auditions while still in the Church. Mr Headley said Ms Johansen's interview "was for Tom Cruise, absolutely. Those are the exact same questions that they were asking the other girls… The reason the sexual question came up was that they had some girls with histories that weren't so great. So they were being careful. This girl has to be perfect in all ways." Mr Headley also claimed the Church searched the world for an ideal candidate because "it was slim pickings in Los Angeles. In LA there were a lot of pretty girls, but they had a lot of baggage, by Scientology standards".

Ms Johansen is not the first woman attached to such claims. Last year Vanity Fair published a piece alleging that the Persian-British actress Nazanin Boniadi had been similarly "auditioned" and even dated Cruise for several months. The Church of Scientology has denied the accusations.

Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the Church, told The Independent: "We stand by the statement we issued last year: there was no project, secret or otherwise, ever conducted by the Church to find a bride [via audition or otherwise] for any member."

Topics:  editors picks, katie holmes, scientology, tom cruise




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Hey Mumma: NSW launches inquiry into childhood obesity

Do you think kids need more exercise?

Hospital expected $7m in budget: it got less than 2% of that

Grafton Base Hospital. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

Fears $121,000 in budget for care centre is a delaying tactic

Latest deals and offers

Ulmarra Public School celebrates 125 years

CELEBRATION: Isabella Watts, Sophie Watts, Jean Kratz and Emily Watts cutting the cake at Ulmarra Public School's 125th birthday celebrations on Friday, June 24.

Ulmarra Public School celebrates 125 years

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.

Iconic North Coast hotel could sell for $80 million

ON THE MARKET: The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay.

Million-dollar views, good income, beer - what more could you want?