Scarlett Johansson denies ever ‘auditioning’ to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend

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On Wednesday’s Today Show, Megyn Kelly interviewed a former Scientologist and Sea Org employee who claimed to have some inside information on Tom Cruise. The information isn’t really new though: the most noteworthy piece of gossip Brendan Tighe shared was that Cruise and David Miscavige held “auditions” for Cruise’s next girlfriend, circa 2004-05. That’s not a new story: there were rumors about Cruise’s “girlfriend auditions” for years, literally, and then in 2012, Vanity Fair did a lengthy story about how at least one actress, Nazanin Boniadi, was groomed by David Miscavige to be Cruise’s new partner, only it didn’t work out. Brendan Tighe claims that he saw the list of women who auditioned, and that Scarlett Johansson was on the list. Now ScarJo wants you to know that this is false.

Scarlett Johansson is fighting back against a claim that she auditioned to date Tom Cruise following his split from Nicole Kidman.

“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 aka Brendan Tighe would come up with a crazy story like that,” Johansson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

While appearing on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today on Wednesday, Tighe said that while serving as a member of Cruise’s Scientology security unit, he came across reports of women who auditioned to be in a relationship with the actor, one of which was Johansson. Though Tighe explained that he only saw the reports after they were accidentally sent to his printer, he said he only recalled Johansson because hers was the only name he recognized.

“Another actress, Erika Christensen, had to disconnect from Scarlett Johansson because it didn’t go well. That was in that report,” Tighe said.

Apart from Johansson, the Church of Scientology also denied Tighe’s claims regarding his role with Cruise. Karin Pouw, from the Church of Scientology International, told Kelly, “Brendan Tighe was a Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization security guard/night watchman from 2002 to 2009. The ‘access’ he boasts of having was largely limited to viewing security cameras from a guard booth. He was removed from that position for dereliction of duty.”

[From THR]

Here’s the thing: I never assumed that Scarlett *knowingly* auditioned to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend. It would have been very easy for Tom and his (Scientology) people to host “auditions” for a future project, and do a “casting call” with all of the young actresses around. I’ve heard the Scarlett rumor before, but I never believed that she knowingly went into a room thinking that she was truly auditioning to be Cruise’s girlfriend. She went into the room, allegedly, because she thought it was about a movie. That’s how they got Katie Holmes too, I’ve always believed that, that Holmes met Cruise on what she thought was a legit audition for a role, and then suddenly they were together.

* HOLMES AND CRUISE CONFIRM ITALIAN WEDDING PLANS

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54 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson denies ever ‘auditioning’ to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend”

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  1. launicaangelina says:

    That’s absolutely my interpretation too. They thought it was a legit movie audition and then he charmed and “love bombed” the one he wanted.

  2. Mia4s says:

    Yeah I don’t get why Scarlett picked now to freak out. The story has been around for years (YEARS!) and set out in Vanity Fair no less. Never once was it implied that the actresses knew they were auditioning to be the “wife”. It was set up as something for one of the Mission Impossible movies as I recall. It wasn’t until they got there that some of them realized what was up.

    Maybe Scarlett feels embarrassed (don’t know why, not her fault) but protesting that she didn’t know when no one says she did seems…odd. Then again she’s never been the smartest cookie.

    • Bridget says:

      That’s an interesting question. Scarlett was intentionally quiet for years – reportedly, she showed up for a meeting (she was actually cast in the movie at the time, the girlfriend auditions were to replace her) and it ended up being Cruise and a roomful of $ci people who gave her a really hard press. The word was the Scarlett was so weirded out that she walked away from the movie. But she’s never talked about it, why this denial now so long after the fact? And that doesn’t really address what was rumored to have happened?

    • Louise177 says:

      I didn’t see the original interview but the excerpt makes it sound like Scarlett knew it was an audition to be Tom’s girlfriend not a movie role. That’s probably why she said something when it was always reported the actresses were tricked.

  3. Meg says:

    Glad Scarlett set the record straight. These rumors took a life of its own. And Scarlett didn’t go to audition for any movie. That you just made up. She was already signed for MIssion Impossible in 2004. It doesn’t make sense she would audition for the movie in 2005. Google it. The report about auditoning girlfriends first came from Radar Magazine, a rag which only published three editions until it was foiled. They have no credibility. There was no audition for girlfriends or any movie.

    • Mia4s says:

      No it was reported in Vanity

      http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2012/09/tom-cruise-scientology-marriage-katie-holmes/amp

      And the Independent for starters:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/i-was-one-of-women-auditioned-to-be-tom-cruise-s-wife-says-former-scientologist-8786726.html%3famp

      So I don’t know why you’d sa…wait, I recognize the signs! The Xenu crowd has come to visit everyone! I’m so excited! Greetings! How are your thetan levels? Ummm, hail Travolta? 😁

      • KBB says:

        Neither of those articles mention Scarlett. I think the Scarlett thing originated on the internet and then maybe Radar reported it as fact.

      • Mia4s says:

        The full list was put out in the book Going Clear. Five years ago! They noted Scarlett, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Alba, and *drum roll* Lindsay Lohan! In addition to Holmes. The stories were everywhere.

        So Scarlett’s sudden freak out now is odd considering how much attention the story will get (when 5 years ago it just went away).

        In all seriousness…is she OK? Agreeing to wear Marchesa at a major A list event, putting out a statement that makes no sense but aims to discredit a former Scientologist. There’s no nice way to say this…but do you get the feeling someone has something on her?

      • KBB says:

        I think she’s just kind of a weirdo who takes weird stances on things. She thinks she is a lot brighter and enlightened than she really is. She kind of reminds me of Amber Tamblyn.

        But oh my God, Lindsay Lohan and Tom Cruise would have been glorious for gossip.

    • KBB says:

      Radar Magazine wasn’t always a tabloid. It was a magazine for years until the people who owned the National Enquirer and now Us Weekly bought it and turned it into what it is today. There were definitely more than three issues. It was around for years. I don’t think Radar is where the Scarlett thing originated though, they just repeated existing rumors, right?

      And there were absolutely auditions for girlfriends, the debate is whether or not they involved Scarlett Johansson specifically.

    • JEM says:

      Are you a Scientologist, Meg? You seem very defensive for someone who isn’t.

    • H says:

      Hey @Meg, all hail Xenu! The OSA must have you working overtime for what $20 a day?

      I never believed the rumors about Scarlett either, but the gossip about them auditioning “wives” for Cruise, its been verified for years by multiple ex-CoS persons, otherwise the Vanity Fair article would never have been published with the way Scientology loves to sue people. Various lower ranking members who were actresses thought they were auditioning for a Mission Impossible role, only to find out later it wasn’t a real role in that movie. Erika Christensen and Nazanin Boniadi, who ultimately found out she was Cruise’s new gf and “won” the role. She had to dump her current bf to stay in “good standing” with the Church.

      I was in Clearwater earlier in the year and stopped downtown at the local Starbucks, the nasty looks we got while walking around (downtown Clearwater is dead and most shops are run by the Scientologists) freaked my out-of-town friends out. I’m used to it. They hate us Wogs, as we’re preventing them from “clearing” the planet. Whatever, I flipped off the Fort Harrison Hotel as we drove out of town. But rumor from locals is that Tommy boy is moving there after his latest movie is done. He just had an old building renovated that has penthouse views, permits had to be filed with the city. Since son Connor already lives there, I’m fairly sure the gossip is probably legit. Maybe he’ll be looking for wife #4 next?

      • BeanieBean says:

        H—I’ve been in that STBX. I was there when a whole troop of COSers came in during a break in their ‘studies’, I guess. They all wore khaki pants & white shirts & name badges. Not a single woman wore a skirt, not even a khaki skirt. I didn’t realize they had a dress code. Nice town, but what they’re doing to that place—taking over historical buildings & making them into gigantic…whatevers. Not sure what they need giant buildings for.

      • H says:

        @BeanieBean, those are the Sea Org minions in their uniforms. They used to look like Naval uniforms, but they’ve changed them recently. Scientology started buying up Clearwater real estate once Miscavige took over. They have Scientologists on the city council, in law enforcement and other positions in the town. Longtime locals hate them. I think they bought up most of the buildings in preparation for when L.Ron comes back from the dead or whatever. I moved out of the area a few years ago, but go back for visits because I love the beaches there. But yeah, the Scienos hate us. Believe me, the feeling’s mutual.

  4. KBB says:

    I agree, she didn’t know she was being auditioned. And it’s probably upsetting to find out after the fact and that may be why she’s denying it, but she did nothing wrong. I just do not understand why he targeted women that weren’t Scientologists for so long. Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, and Katie Holmes were all raised Catholic. Of course it wasn’t going to work out.

    • smcollins says:

      Tom was also raised Catholic, even considered joining the priesthood. Maybe he thought he could more easily “turn” them since they had a similar religious background? And Nicole’s late father was also a psychiatrist, something Scientology is opposed to. They just proved to be too smart for that nonsense.

    • perplexed says:

      He seems to like really pretty women. I figured that’s why he was fanatical about picking them…the prettiest women seem to be outside Scientology.

      I got the impression he wasn’t in that deep when he met Kidman. Wasn’t she close to pulling him out, and then the Scientologists somehow managed to intervene?

      I also wonder why no one looks at Penelope Cruz strangely the way they do with Kidman and Holmes. For some reason, the relationship with her always looked the fakest to me. The relationship with Kidman looked authentic. And I think he wanted his relationship to Holmes to be authentic. The relationship with Cruz may have been more low-key, but it still looked the most fake…

      • Christin says:

        Some of the former higher-ups in the “religion” suggested that he was drifting away during his marriage to Nicole. Then the leader doubled down on drawing him back by planting doubts about Nicole. I think he also became the unofficial number 2 in the religion, which likely fed his need for control and ego.

        I’ve thought the same about the Cruz relationship. I also thought his first marriage (Mimi) was odd.

      • Mia4s says:

        I think no one looks at the Penelope Cruz thing because so few recall the relationship! I remember quite a few saying it seemed like a pretty typical arrangement at the time (lesser known actress gets exposure). The thing was they had zero heat, but also there was very little craziness (compared to the bats**t insane Katie Holmes roll out). They seemed like friends hanging out. Very dull. So no one really took much interest.

        It was very clear that the Holmes relationship was meant to be “exciting!” and “sexy!”. All Cruise has is being a movie star and that image (he certainly doesn’t seem to care about being seen as a good father). It was an image thing, super sexy movie star with a hot young thing on his arm (barf!). Unfortunately not long after the Holmes debacle kicked off a little couple known as Brangelina was confirmed. So much for the Tomkat!

      • KBB says:

        Wasn’t it the Scientologists who convinced him to tap Nicole’s phone?

      • smcollins says:

        I agree about that whole Cruise & Cruz thing, seemed like a total showmance. I seem to recall PC saying in an interview that he did try to introduce her to Scientology but she wasn’t interested. And I also agree about Kidman. I think he truly was in love with her but then the “church” dug it’s claws in and that they say was that.

    • Liz says:

      Didn’t she come out now because that guy was just on the Megan Kelley show saying he saw her name? I know the VF article is older, but that interview is new, isn’t it?

  5. Lizzie says:

    Maybe she just doesn’t want to be associated with Scientology *at all* so she’s coming out hot since the rumor finally hit the Today show instead of just radar and star mag.

  6. JennyJazzhands says:

    I believe that she wasn’t auditioning. I also believe that they were “auditioning” her. Two different things. They probably have files on people that have never stepped foot in one of their buildings.

  7. QueenB says:

    “the idea that I lack the integrity”
    LOOOOL take a good look at your google alerts while you dine with Woody, ok?

    Also I believe her, she was probably too busy auditioning for parts for asian women.

  8. Bridget says:

    That’s my interpretation too, but with one correction: Scarlett was already cast in Mission Impossible 3. The rumor was that Cruise got super weird and she backed out – the movie had a major re-cast/re-imagining. Originally it was supposed to be Scarlett, Carrie Ann Moss, and Kenneth Branaugh as the villain. And funny enough, the “girlfriend auditions” were supposedly under the guise of MI3 auditions for the re-cast.

    So no, Scarlett didn’t audition to be Cruise’s girlfriend, rather Cruise was using his movie as his potential dating pool.

    • CooCooCatchoo says:

      I really, really, REALLY think it’s sad that the CoS has convinced Tom C. that his career will be over if his “shameful gay secret” comes out. John Travolta, too. These rumors were circulating when I started my first post-college PR job in Hollywood… and that was 1993! For goodness sake, the world WANTS… no, EXPECTS… that you’ll both come out eventually. Nobody is going to think “less” of you, TC and JT… everyone deserves to live a full and happy life, and you boys aren’t getting any younger. You’ll probably get MORE acting jobs due to your honesty. This isn’t the 1950s, for cripe’s SAKE! Let the Co$ do it’s worst… the rest of us will respect you SOOOO much more for it!

  9. Eliza says:

    The auditioning process is the white male privilege term. Just like being in Victoria’s Secret catalogue is an “audition” to be Leos girlfriend. It’s basically these guy’s assuming they can pull any girl so they put them in their orbit to see if they want to pursue.

    I doubt any woman auditioning for a movie or posing for catalogue would assume it’s a dating pool. But to these men it is.

  10. Bridget says:

    Anyone else remember that this was also the around time that Cruise briefly dated Sofia Vergara?

  11. Wigs says:

    I believe this interpretation as well, but I also believe Scarlett knows that it happened. Scarlett’s trying to enter politics and is trying to distance herself from her “scandalous” past behavior. She wants to clear up these rumors before she starts a campaign.

  12. Shelly says:

    Seeing that old photo of Katie Holmes with Tom Cruise when she was still obviously smitten makes me sad, but she’s with the amazing Jamie Foxx now so true happiness is the best revenge!!

  13. WendyNerd says:

    Good god, that word salad. Scarlett tries so hard to sound educated that it just makes her fail that much harder. LEARN TO DIAGRAM YOUR SENTENCES.

  14. holly hobby says:

    Yep from my recollection of the original story, he lured these actresses in under the guise of auditioning for Mission Impossible. While she can deny she specifically auditioned to be a wife, she was invited for an audition for a possible role. The story went that as soon as she got an inkling that this was something other than what it was suppose to be, she backed out.

  15. Tiffany says:

    I will never forget one of the first stories about TomKat. She was at a studio talking to him and he had her car cleaned out because he thought it was too much stuff in it.

    Not washed, literally cleaned out the inside of her car. Because that is what every girl wants when a dude is perusing her.

    Wow, that relationship still feels like it was last year, doesn’t it?