Scientology helped Tom Cruise audition girlfriends, says Vanity Fair

nazanin-boniadi-tom-cruise-scientology-gi.jpgThe Church of Scientology played matchmaker for Tom Cruise in between his relationships with Penelope Cruz and Katie Holmes, according to a magazine report, setting him up with actress and Scientologist Nazanin Boniadi.

The October issue of Vanity Fair, which features Holmes on the cover, includes a piece by writer Maureen Orth that says in late 2004, Scientology "embarked on a top-secret project" to help find a girlfriend for Cruise. Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology head David Miscavige, led the effort.

The story says the church approached several actresses who were Scientology members and put them on camera for what was purportedly for a training film. They were asked several questions, including "What do you think of Tom Cruise?"

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Scientology reps tell Vanity Fair no such search took place and deny several other aspects of the story.

The process eventually led to Cruise embarking on a short relationship with actress Nazanin Boniadi, a church member who played Barney's ( Neil Patrick Harris) erstwhile girlfriend Nora on "How I Met Your Mother." Vanity Fair says she was directed to break up with her boyfriend and get rid of her braces in preparation for getting together with Cruise.

Boniadi and Cruise met in November 2004, and their first month together was "bliss," the magazine says, even though Boniadi had to sing multiple confidentiality agreements about what she was doing. Things went sideways after that, however, and Boniadi was moved to Scientology's Celebrity Centre in January 2005. When she asked why Cruise wouldn't break up with her in person, she was told Cruise wasn't to be bothered.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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