I was one of women auditioned to be Tom Cruise’s wife, says former Scientologist

Norwegian woman recounts personal questions from interview

Los Angeles

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 the Australian 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.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone