A look behind-the-scenes at the alleged 2004 search by the Church of Scientology for the next Mrs. Tom Cruise:
Nazanin Boniadi, 25, who had not yet become the human-rights activist for Amnesty International and the actor she is today, was summoned in October 2004 to meet an important church official at the Celebrity Centre International, in Hollywood. She arrived to find the high-ranking Greg Wilhere, who, according to a knowledgeable source, told her she had been selected for a very hush-hush mission that would entail meeting dignitaries around the world. He added that if she succeeded she would be helping to make the world a better place. Thus began a month-long preparation process that entailed her getting audited every day and telling Wilhere her innermost secrets, including every detail of her sex life. Nobody who had been in a threesome, for example, would be considered—a rule that apparently eliminated one candidate. Since Boniadi was a gung-ho Scientologist who had already attained a level of O.T. V—beyond the Wall of Fire—she embraced the church’s motto ‘Think for Yourself’ and threw herself into every task she was assigned. Wilhere, meanwhile, had frequent whispered phone conversations with the person he called ‘the project director,’ says the source. Early on, he sent Boniadi to a photo shoot, which revealed that she wore braces and that her naturally black hair had red highlights. She was told that she had to lose the braces and make her hair one color to emphasize her ethnicity. It didn’t matter that she still had a good six months to wear the braces; they had to go. So did her boyfriend.
“What Katie Didn’t Know.” — Maureen Orth, Vanity Fair
More by Orth
In celebrity journalism, what do we really know? Absolutely nothing, argues the writer, who constructs a counter-narrative that Katie Holmes has played everyone:
They compare the pap-friendliness of various celebrities. Among the best are Cruise, in fact, and Hugh Jackman. Scarlett Johansson, who always runs, scowling, is ‘the worst.’ They scoff at the hypocritical attention-seeking of celebrities (‘Why do you think Alec Baldwin tweets his location?’). A middle-aged woman with curly gray hair, tinted granny glasses, and a Hawaiian shirt wanders over. She’s pet-sitting for someone in the building, and she wants to know why the media won’t pay this kind of attention to the problem of puppy mills. Craigslist has really become lax, she says. There’s a ‘secret kill site’ on 110th Street. There’s also—
‘Katie! Katie! Katie!’
Holmes, accompanied by a bald, burly off-duty police officer, has emerged from Whole Foods and begun the half-block walk back to the entrance of her building. She’s wearing a salmon blouse and blue jeans, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. The puppy-mills lady is left talking to the air as eight paparazzi swoop in front of Holmes, forming a solid wall of jutting lenses that moves furiously backward, calling her name as their legs backpedal and their shutters snap, keeping a few feet ahead of her as she proceeds up the sidewalk, eyes down, her crooked half-smile fixed on her face, and then disappears inside the building.
“An Inquiry Into the Very Public Private Marriage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.” — Benjamin Wallace, New York magazine