As Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth reported in 2012, the Church of Scientology put several actresses through an “audition process,” in which they were tried out as potential girlfriends for Tom Cruise. Nazanin Boniadi was one of them, and, as Orth reported, she was allegedly coerced into breaking up with her boyfriend and enter a highly monitored relationship with Cruise—who, months later, moved on with Katie Holmes.
Scarlett Johansson, however, was not ever an actress put through this process—and she has strong words for anyone who suggests she was.
On Wednesday, former Scientologist Brendan Tighe appeared on Megyn Kelly Today, where he told the host that Johansson has been one of the actresses to audition to be Cruise’s girlfriend. Johansson wrote in a statement provided to Vanity Fair that she was not pleased with this claim for more than one reason.
“The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning. I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships. Only a man, a.k.a. Brendan Tighe, would come up with a crazy story like that,” she wrote.
Tighe, who claims to have been a member of Cruise’s Scientology security unit, said a report that mentioned Johansson and her audition was sent to his printer by mistake. He said he also read in the document that Parenthood’s Erika Christensen, who’s spoken out about her association with Scientology, had to “disconnect from Scarlett Johansson because [the audition] didn’t go well.” In response to a request for comment, Christensen sent the following statement: “I’ve worked with Scarlett and think Scarlett is a lovely person, incredibly talented. This story made me laugh but should be set straight for its intention to create some conflict. It’s a strange feeling to be a part of a story that’s untrue. There is no conflict—I think Scarlett’s great and would love to work with her again.” .