Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce: Why Katie, Nicole and Sofia Fear Hollywood’s Top Gun (EXCLUSIVE GUEST BLOG)

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Best-selling biographer Andrew Morton, author of Tom Cruise: An Authorized Biography, reveals how Modern Family star Sofia Vergara baulked at the role of becoming Tom Cruise’s third wife — and why the woman who ultimately got the part, Katie Holmes, now fears the star’s controversial religion could take their daughter.

Months before Tom Cruise snagged doe-eyed Katie Holmes as bride number three, Hollywood’s Top Gun had another dark-haired beauty in his sights.

Top of his wish list of future wives was curvy Colombian-born model, Sofia Vergara, now the star of Modern Family. She was first contacted in Montreal, Canada, where she was shooting the bloody revenge movie, Four Brothers. Cruise’s fellow Scientologist Will Smith sent her an invitation asking her to join him at the pre-Oscar party he and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith were hosting in February 2005  in Los Angeles. She had never met the Smiths but was intrigued and went along.

Inside the party she was introduced to Cruise. He knew a lot about her career – and he laid on the charm with a trowel.

The next day the remorsely romantic star sent her flowers, notes and chocolates. She even read some of his gushing text messages to her pals. Vergara, at 5ft 7ins and as tall as her beau, played it cool. After all the actress voted one of the world’s sexiest women by FHM magazine had dated any number of eligible bachelors including Mark Wahlberg.

Cruise continued his charm offensive inviting her and her son, Manolo, to play with his two adopted children, Connor and Isabel. It was not long before Cruise casually suggested that Vergara join him on a trip to Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.  There she met Cruise’s good friend, David Miscavige, the head of the controversial organization founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Vergara, raised a strict Catholic, was given Scientology literature and encouraged to bring her mother Margarita along for her next visit.

Cruise was keen, only leaving her side when she had to return to Montreal to finish filming. Although they had only known each other for a matter of weeks, the relationship had become so intense that marriage looked the next logical step. One friend told me: “She met his children, there was no doubt he was auditioning her for the part of his wife. If she had been interested she would today be the next Mrs. Cruise.Was it going to go further? No doubt about it. He wanted to marry her – that was the idea.” Cruise had found a feisty, athletic adventurous mother who could provide him with what he craved – a child of his own.

As affectionate and attentive as Cruise was, Vergara found the world of Scientology cloying and suffocating. She felt she was being followed or watched and that her phone calls were being monitored. It was as if Cruise and Scientology were trying to take over her life.

At some point, it was made clear that if their relationship was going to end in wedding bells she had to renounce her Catholic faith and join an organization that believes in immortality. “She was fundamentally terrified by Scientology,” recalls a friend. “She sincerely believed that she would be struck down by God and burn in hell if she joined. That is what she said.”

Sassy, street smart and obstinate, Vergara, who had survived thyroid cancer, proved immune to Cruise’s charm. “She had plenty of opportunity to hitch her wagon to Hollywood and to Tom,” recalls a friend. “She was not swayed by that.” On an Easter weekend in 2005, the couple had arranged to go to Clearwater, Fla. Scientology headquarters. Instead she stood him up, packed a bag and “headed for the hills.”

Even as the blooms on the flowers sent to Vergara by Cruise were fading, he was romancing a wholesome wide-eyed girl from America’s heartland, ex-Dawson’s Creek star Holmes. Vergara recognized her own narrow escape when she saw the TomKat show on television. Unlike Vergara, Holmes signed up for Scientology before Cruise even asked the question. “Sofia pitied the poor girl,” recalls a friend. “Katie is a much weaker more innocent person than Sofia.”

Last week, even the woman known as ‘Dead Eyed Katie’ because of her robotic behavior, finally had enough of the role of Mrs. Cruise Mark 111 and she filed for a divorce. Like Vergara, she now lives in fear. Her greatest dread is losing custody of Suri, six. That is why she filed for divorce in New York, plotting her escape like she was breaking out of a high security prison. Under New York law she is more likely to win sole custody of the couple’s only daughter. If she shares custody with Cruise there will be a huge court battle about how the youngster is going to be raised — inside — or outside — the church of Scientology.

She fears that if the court rules that Suri remains a Scientologist she will eventually be brainwashed into rejecting her own birth mother. This happens frequently when one partner in a marriage decides to quit the church. The rest of the family ‘disconnect’ from them – the church writes them out of their lives.

Holmes will have seen first hand what happened to Mrs. Cruise Mark ll.

Nicole Kidman barely saw her adopted children, Bella and Connor, both raised in Scientology, after her divorce from Cruise. Holmes fears the same will happen to her.

Now that she has hired an attorney to fight her divorce, she will be seen as a ‘suppressive person’ by the church. Scientologists are supposed to accept internal arbitration. Cruise and the church will unite in trying to defeat her. There are reports that she is being followed by unmarked vehicles when she ventures out of the New York apartment where she is hiding. It is believed they are Scientology intelligent operatives. No wonder she wears a haunted look these days.

Like Sofia Vergara and Nicole Kidman before her, Katie Holmes is discovering that it is a risky business taking on Hollywood’s Top Gun.

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