Was Scar­lett Jo­hans­son a tar­get of Tom Cruise’s Scien­tol­ogy wife search?

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Martha Ross mross@ba­yare­anews­group.com

In 2004, the Church of Scien­tol­ogy em­barked on a top-se­cret project to find a new wife for Tom Cruise af­ter his divorce from Ni­cole Kid­man and the end of his re­la­tion­ship with ac­tress Pene­lope Cruise, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Van­ity Fair.

The project in­volved an elab­o­rate au­di­tion­ing process in which ac­tresses were brought in to try out for a film, then asked a se­ries of ques­tions that in­cluded: “What do you think of Tom Cruise?”

In an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day, a for­mer Scien­tol­ogy mem­ber, who said he served on Cruise’s Scien­tol­ogy se­cu­rity de­tail, claims that one of the ac­tresses who au­di­tioned to be Cruise’s “sec­ond dy­namic” was Scar­lett Jo­hans­son. While ap­pear­ing on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly To­day” on Wed­nes­day, Bren­dan Tighe, who was born into the or­ga­ni­za­tion but left in2011, saidhe in­ad­ver­tently came across re­ports of women who au­di­tioned to be in a re­la­tion­ship with the “Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble” ac­tor — and one was Jo­hans­son.

The re­ports, by Cruise’s celebrity “han­dler” Tommy Davis, were mis­tak­enly sent to Tighe’s prin­ter, he said.

“The only name I re- mem­ber was Scar­lett Jo­hans­son,” Tighe told Kelly. “It­was right there inthe re­port.”

In a state­ment to The Hollywood Re­porter, Jo­hans­son, 33, ve­he­mently de­nied Tighe’s as­ser­tion. “The very idea of any per­son au­di­tion­ing to be in a re­la­tion­ship is so de­mean­ing,” the “Avengers” ac­tress said. “I refuse for any­one to spread the idea that I lack the in­tegrity to choose my own re­la­tion­ships. Only a man aka Bren­dan Tighe would come up with a crazy story like that.”

But the 2012 Van­ity Fair re­port con­firms the essence of Tighe’s as­ser­tion. The story said that Cruise had at­tempted to en­tice sev­eral beau­ti­ful, well-known women to ac­cept his de­vo­tion to Scien­tol­ogy — and Jo­hans­son was one of them.

To­day.com, cit­ing a re­port fromRadarMagazine.com, said Cruise in­vited Jo­hans­son to the Scien­tol­ogy cen­ter where he showed her lit­er­a­ture about join­ing his con­tro­ver­sial self-styled re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Af­ter two hours of pros­e­ly­tiz­ing, Cruise opened a door to re­veal a sec­ond room­full of up­per-level Scien­tol­o­gists who had been wait­ing to dine with the pair,” RadarMagazine.com re­ported. At that point, “the cool-headed in­génue po­litely ex­cused her­self,” the mag­a­zine said.

RICH POLK — GETTY IMAGES FOR DIS­NEY

Scar­lett Jo­hans­son at­tends the pre­miere of “Avengers: In­fin­ity War” in Los An­ge­les in April.

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