Ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis Confirms 'Vanity Fair' Tom Cruise Story
Director and former Scientologist Paul Haggis has stepped forward to comment on Vanity Fair’s new cover story on Tom Cruise.
Following VF’s Friday teaser — which highlighted the Church of Scientology’s careful monitoring of Cruise’s 2004 relationship with actress Nazinin Boniadi — Haggis sent an e-mail to Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman.
“I’m appalled that any church would treat its parishioners this way, but Naz has never cast herself as a victim. She is strong and resilient and I am very proud to call her a friend,” Haggis wrote.
Haggis, who left Scientology in 2009, claims he met Boniadi three years ago through a mutual friend.
“Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent,” Haggis added in his e-mail.
What other insider information did the ‘Crash’ director reveal about his former church?
According to Haggis, the church “repeatedly descended on me” when he wrote a resignation letter back in 2009. Scientology members told the Oscar winning director to quietly resign without a letter.
“I told them that wasn’t an option for me. I also told them that I had more sources of information about the troubling nature of the organization then I was at liberty to divulge,” Haggis told Showbiz411.
Boniadi’s experience, Haggis added, was one example of the church's disturbing environment.
On Friday, Vanity Fair released a teaser for special correspondent Maureen Orth’s upcoming article on Scientology’s top-secret “wife-auditioning” process it had for Cruise, before his Katie Holmes days.
Orth reports that the search was led by Scientology chief David Miscavige’s wife Shelly, who, along with select members of the church, told potential Mrs. Cruises that they were auditioning for a new training film.
After unknowingly being screened and selected by the church, Boniadi dated Cruise for a few months, before their relationship fizzled in January 2005.
“Boniadi was told that Cruise ‘wants someone with her own power — like Nicole.’ When she asked why Cruise would not break up with her himself, she was told he was not to be disturbed,” Orth wrote in the VF story.
After Boniadi confided in a friend at a Scientology center in Florida, she was reported to the church and punished with bathroom cleaning duties and other bizarre tasks, like digging ditches in the middle of the night, a source told Orth.
“The last thing [Boniadi] wanted or needed is this kind of publicity, but here it is, and I am sure she will deal with it with the same grace and dignity she exudes in her daily life,” Haggis wrote to Showbiz411 on the weekend.
He also added,
“FYI, in case this wasn’t clear, Naz quietly and privately resigned from the church a couple of years ago after several years of trying to handle this injustice internally, to no avail.”
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