According to the October issue of Vanity Fair, in 2004 Tom and the church of Scientology devised an elaborate scheme to recruit existing Scientology members to become Tom’s new girlfriend.
The report claims potential girlfriends were tricked into thinking they were auditioning for a new church training video. They were then asked questions like “what do you think of Tom Cruise?” and forced to divulge their sexual history and personal secrets.
The month-long process found Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born actress. She was told by church officials to “lose her braces, her red highlights, and her boyfriend.”
Nazanin was then sent on her first date with Tom (and a throng of Scientology aides), after which they spent the night together. Reports insist they did not have sex, but Tom told Nazanin: “I’ve never felt this way before.”
She then signed a confidentiality agreement banning her from telling anyone about her new A-list boyfriend – including her family, who only knew she was in New York for a special Scientology project.
She moved into his apartment before the relationship soured a few months later, with Tom allegedly reporting all questionable behaviour to Scientology auditors. After her behaviour was deemed “disrespectful”, Tom broke up with her via a third party. She was told Cruise wanted “someone with her own power – like Nicole [Kidman]”, with Tom complaining that he got “more love from an extra” than he got from their relationship.
According to the magazine, Boniadi was then sent to a Scientology centre in Florida, where she was forbidden to speak of her relationship with the actor. When she later confided in a friend after being unable to control her tears, she was forced to “scrub toilets with a toothbrush, clean bathroom tiles with acid, and dig ditches in the middle of the night.”
The church of Scientology has denied the claims, calling them the work of disgruntled former members. “The Church does not punish people, especially in [that] manner,” said a spokesperson.