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.

The bargain trail comes to the Lockyer Valley

NEIGHBOURS: Sandra Hudspith, Rochelle Price, Kathy King and Abby Graham at their garage sale.

The Lockyer Valley welcomed the 2016 Garage Sale Trail.

Safety fears for kids waiting for bus by busy road

DANGEROUS: There is no designated bus stop off the busy Gatton-Laidley Road.

Concerns have been raised for school children catching bus.

Local Partners

Multiple fires along the Warrego Highway

SIX firefighting crews are currently on scene at a grass fire on the Warrego Highway.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June