Women Who Allegedly Auditioned To Be Tom Cruise's Girlfriend

Tom Cruise's dating life has been quiet since he divorced Katie Holmes in 2012. However, before marrying the former Dawson's Creek actress in 2006, the movie star's efforts to find a new love resembled, well, Mission: Impossible. Cruise reportedly got some help from the Church of Scientology in his efforts to find a new lady love, employing the church's leader, David Miscavige, to help with matchmaking, according to Vanity Fair. Thus was born the rumor of "audition tapes" to date Cruise, an allegation the Church of Scientology has firmly denied since its inception.

Scientologist Marc Headley, who worked for the church's video studio and claims to have seen some of the audition tapes, told Vanity Fair, "It's not like you only have to please your husband — you have to toe the line for all Scientology ... You can't do anything to displease Scientology, because Tom Cruise will freak out."

Headley's wife, Claire, told the magazine that part of why Cruise couldn't get a date was because "[Scientology higher-ups] couldn't find a woman to have the relationship with at a time when Cruise was talking about donating his excess millions to fund Scientology buildings."

However, most of the women who allegedly auditioned for the role of Cruise's new lady (Radar Online estimates there were two dozen of them) didn't realize that's what they signed up for. Sources reportedly told Vanity Fair that the women were told they were auditioning for a training film and then asked what they thought of Cruise.

Penelope Cruz

Cruise's Vanilla Sky (2001) co-star Penelope Cruz was his first paramour following his divorce from Nicole Kidman, and it didn't work out. The matching-monikered couple were together for three years before calling it quits in 2004. Radar Online reported that Cruise even considered proposing to Cruz, with whom he was madly in love. However, Cruz reportedly just wasn't that into Scientology.

A source told the site, "Penelope pulled the plug on the relationship because she felt that the Church of Scientology was the third wheel in their relationship. Penelope doesn't have anything against the Church, but it just wasn't her thing. She admired Tom's dedication to it, but it wasn't her cup of tea and wasn't something she wanted to give her life up for."

Vanity Fair reports that Cruz took a set of Scientology courses during her relationship with Cruise (a fact People confirmed with Cruz's rep at the time of their split), but that David Miscavige called her a "dilettante." Cruise and Cruz reportedly couldn't agree on the religion, and sources claimed Cruise needed a "devout Scientologist." The breakup with Cruz over his religion was reportedly the catalyst for the rest of his relationships and courtships moving forward.

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara was reportedly one of the women Cruise courted after he and Cruz split, but the Modern Family star didn't know what she was getting into at first — and when she found out, she ran for the hills.

The New York Post reported that Vergara was on a short list of female celebrities in whom Cruise was interested and that Cruise enlisted his close friend Will Smith to invite Vergara to a pre-Oscar party. Vergara reportedly didn't know she was being set up to meet Cruise or being vetted by the Church of Scientology, but when she did meet the marquee hunk, she was smitten. Cruise is said to have courted her with charm, chocolates, and flowers, but when he eventually invited her to the Scientology Celebrity Center, Miscavige was waiting and asked her to renounce her lifelong Catholicism for her alleged audition to be the third Mrs. Tom Cruise. Vergara got spooked in a big way.

"She was fundamentally terrified of Scientology," a source told the outlet. "She sincerely believed that she would be struck down by God and burn in hell if she joined."

The insider added, "She had a narrow escape. ... She privately pitied [Katie Holmes]. Katie is a much weaker, more innocent person than Sofia."

Jennifer Garner

In Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography (via the Daily Mail), author Andrew Morton claimed that in 2004, after Cruise and Cruz split, he also pursued Jennifer Garner, reportedly leaving her vague voicemails asking her, "Do you know what true freedom is?" Morton even claims that Cruise went as far as to send Garner an actual, live Bengal tiger after he learned that was the actress' favorite animal.

It didn't work: Garner, a relatively devout Methodist (seriously, how often do paparazzi snap this woman going to church?), was neither interested in Cruise nor in the Church of Scientology. She was, however, interested in Ben Affleck, whom she married and had kids with not long after Cruise's attempts to court her.

The Church of Scientology adamantly refuted Morton's claims that Cruise chased Garner, releasing a whopping 15-page statement about the book, calling it a "bigoted, defamatory assault" on the religion as well as on Cruise's character.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba was dating now-husband Cash Warren when Cruise allegedly courted her to "audition" to be his next love, according to Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison Of Belief (via the New York Daily News). However, Alba didn't take the bait and never even showed up at the Scientology Celebrity Center to "try out."

The Church Of Scientology has adamantly refuted the claims. While Alba has never spoken publicly about the alleged audition process, she did shade Katie Holmes' romance with Cruise, hinting that Holmes was using the publicity surrounding their relationship to try bolstering her then-floundering career.

"I don't date actors and I don't date people to get ahead in my career," Alba told Female First. "I don't want to comment on Tom's relationship with Katie ... but I'm a very private person and I don't feel you should talk about your private life. I think it's best to keep this sort of thing to yourself."

Erika Christensen, Lindsay Lohan, and Kate Bosworth

Tom Cruise reportedly looked to several other starlets, in addition to Alba, Johansson, and Garner, after his breakup from Cruz.

The New York Post reported that Cruise initially began his search for a girlfriend within the Church Of Scientology, since that would make it much easier to find a partner who accepted the controversial religion. He reportedly "auditioned" Scientologists Erika Christensen, Sofia Milos, and Erica Howard, but none worked out. (Interestingly, Christensen would later come out in defense of Johansson after rumors emerged that Johansson's nixed audition caused friction with her.)

When none of those ladies worked out, he and his handlers expanded their search. In Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison Of Belief (via the New York Daily News), Lawrence Wright claimed that Cruise also sought out Lindsay Lohan (seriously) and Kate Bosworth as potential matches, but neither ended up as a love connection for the action hero.

Nazanin Boniadi

Iranian-American and Scientologist actress Nazanin Boniadi had a boyfriend when the Church of Scientology reportedly began courting her as a potential girlfriend for Cruise.

Vanity Fair reported that Boniadi was told she was being groomed for a top-secret mission to improve the world. She was ordered to dump her boyfriend, dye her hair, and have her orthodontic braces removed. She was also allegedly instructed to write a 20-page, single-spaced essay about what she wanted in a partner and in her life, as well as to sign a confidentiality agreement.

She was then introduced to Tom Cruise at the New York Scientology Center in November 2004 and dated him for about two months, during which time the Church reportedly controlled her every move.

By January 2005, however, Cruise's ardor for Boniadi had cooled, and sources claim that it was in part due to Boniadi not always understanding David Miscavige's American English. Miscavige then dumped Boniadi on Cruise's behalf. Insiders said she was "punished" after the split and forced to dig ditches during the night and clean toilets with a toothbrush, among other indignities.

Marc Headey told the magazine that Scientology kept producing audition tapes for Cruise throughout his relationship with Boniadi. "Tom never broke up with her," Headey said. "He never spoke to her ... [It was] O.K., boom, next one. O.K., boom, next one. She gets kicked to the curb."

Scientology denied any of this ever happened.

Katie Holmes

The Church of Scientology reportedly hand-picked Katie Holmes for Cruise after reading a Seventeen magazine interview she'd done in October 2004 in which she said she dreamed of marrying him.

Less than a year later, she allegedly passed her audition. In May 2005, Cruise had his infamous couch-jumping moment on Oprah.

The New York Post reported that Holmes signed a contract with Scientology in June 2005. Cruise proposed to Holmes at the Eiffel Tower that month. She announced her pregnancy in October 2005, and daughter Suri was born in April 2006. Holmes and Cruise wed that November.

Since marrying Cruise, Holmes' dead-eyed interviews and general freedoms were reportedly scarce; she told Vanity Fair they "don't go outside very much." She was always surrounded by Scientology minders.

Holmes filed for divorce seemingly out of nowhere in 2011, according to The Hollywood ReporterHolmes reportedly worked closely with her father, a divorce attorney, to blindside Cruise — and the Church of Scientology — with the news, using disposable cellphones and laptops to avoid being traced or followed by private investigators. She filed for sole custody of Suri, reportedly to keep her out of the religion's clutches. Thanks to a masterful prenup, and perhaps fear of public humiliation on both sides, Holmes and Cruise settled their divorce within just 11 days.

The Church of Scientology denies any and all allegations of controlling or monitoring Holmes pre- or post-split.

Scarlett Johansson

In July 2012, Vanity Fair and the New York Post each reported that Scarlett Johansson was one of the few women on Cruise's short list of starlets to take the bait and come in for an audition, though it's unclear if she knew what she was allegedly auditioning for. A source told the New York Post of ScarJo's Cruise experience, "When she arrived at the address and found out it was the Scientology center in Hollywood, she freaked out and didn't do a tape."

Johansson didn't issue any confirmations or denials of her experience at the time.

In June 2018, former Scientologist Brendan Tighe told Megyn Kelly Today that he saw Johansson's name on a report, listing her as one of the women who'd come in to try out to be the next Mrs. Tom Cruise. That was when Johansson got mad.

She fumed in a statement to Vanity Fair, "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."

Yolanda Pecoraro

Yolanda Pecoraro was reportedly set up with Tom Cruise not once, but twice.

Pecoraro is a lifelong Scientologist and a struggling actress "known" for roles like "Sexy Brunette" in an episode of Greek and "sexy woman" in The Ugly Truth (2009). If nothing else, she could surely use the boost in name recognition.

Andrew Morton claimed in Cruise's unauthorized biography (via the Daily Mail) that Pecoraro briefly dated Cruise after his breakup with Penelope Cruz in 2004. It didn't last, likely in part because Pecoraro was only 19 at the time and Cruise was 42, but Cruise was reportedly "head over heels" for the stunner, allegedly even paying for extensive Scientology courses for her.

However, Scientology experts told the National Enquirer (via the Daily Mail) that, after Cruise's embarrassing split from Holmes, he'd likely find his next partner within the Church — and in entered Pecoraro again, described as a "Scientology princess" who was "perfect" for the actor. A source dished, "[The Church of Scientology wants] to show that Tom has rebounded fast and that his new wife is beautiful and steeped in Scientology. If the church decides to make Yolanda Tom's next wife, they'd certainly want her to have a child soon, so she could quickly be going from her modest apartment to a mansion in Beverly Hills with a baby on the way. And there's little doubt she'd do what's best for the church."

But their alleged romance apparently didn't work out because Pecoraro got engaged to Malcolm in the Middle star Chris Masterson in June 2018.