Scarlett Johansson has vehemently denied claims that she "auditioned" to be Tom Cruise's girlfriend shortly after his split from Nicole Kidman.
For years, rumors have circulated about the Church of Scientology's "auditions" for women to date Cruise, the most prominent and outspoken celebrity within the religion. On Wednesday, a former member of the church, Brendan Tighe, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today, where he said that Johansson was among the women that tried out for the real life role.
Johansson called Tighe's claim "demeaning," and denied every part of it in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter.
"The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning," she said. "I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships. Only a man [also known as] Brendan Tighe would come up with a crazy story like that."
Tighe told a different story online. Born into the Church of Scientology, he claims that he was part of Cruise's personal security detail assigned by religious officials. This gave him an ideal vantage point for learning many of the star's biggest secrets and day-to-day goings on. However, when asked about the alleged girlfriend auditions, he said he learned about them by accident.
"A bunch of reports kept coming to my printer by mistake," he explained. "Tommy Davis, who was previously Tom Cruise's person handler -- he would get interviews to make sure he was staying on the level, you know, handling Tom Cruise properly. Anything that he had to say would be written down in those reports, and a lot of it was about those interviews."
Kelly asked him what the interviews were specifically looking for.
"In Scientology terminology, his 'second dynamic.' It means his spouse, or his marital partner, sexual partner -- anything like that."
As for Johansson, Tighe said that hers was the only name in the reports that he recognized and remembered.
"Was there an audition for her?" Kelly asked, clarifying.3comments
"That's what the report said, yeah," Tighe replied. He went on to explain that the alleged interview "didn't go well," and said that the report mandated that another Scientologist was ordered to "disconnect" from Johansson.
The process of disconnection is one of the most controversial parts of Scientology, and this would imply that Johansson herself was a part of the church. Tighe offered no clarity on that.