News and Commentary

Ex-Scientologist: Church ‘Auditioned’ Scarlett Johansson To Be Tom Cruise’s Girlfriend. Johansson Responds.

A claim by an ex-Scientologist on Megyn Kelly Today on Wednesday elicited a sharp response from “Avengers” actress Scarlett Johansson.

Former Scientologist Brendan Tighe, who says he was once required to sign a “Billion-Year Contract” with the group’s infamous Sea Organization before he left six years ago, told NBC host Megyn Kelly that in his role as security guard for the cult, he had a lot of contact with some big names, including one of the organization’s most high-profile promoters, Tom Cruise.

As Yahoo Entertainment highlights, among Tighe’s many “bizarre stories” about Cruise, including those who came in frequent contact with him being required to get their teeth whitened, was an alleged church-conducted search for a replacement significant other for Cruise after his marriage with Nicole Kidman dissolved in 2001.

Tighe told Kelly that he accidentally came upon evidence of the church’s alleged attempts to “audition” Cruise’s next girlfriend. Reports on the girlfriend search, he said, were mistakenly sent to his printer.

“The only [name in the reports] I recognized was Scarlett Johansson,” he told Kelly. “That particular report said [the attempt] didn’t go well. And that another actress, Erika Christensen [co-star of “The Perfect Score”], had to disconnect from Scarlett Johansson because that didn’t go well.”

But in a statement provided by her representative Wednesday, the actress scoffed at the notion that she’d take part in an “audition” for a relationship.

“The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning,” Johansson said in a statement to Yahoo. “I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships. Only a man, AKA Brendan Tighe, would come up with a crazy story like that.”

The alleged failed matchmaking attempt between Cruise and Johansson has been previously reported. Here’s how “Today” reported it back in June 2005:

The “Lost in Translation” star was expected to co-star with Cruise in “Mission: Impossible III” but was dropped because of “scheduling conflicts.” But it seems that there may have been other conflicts as well. Cruise invited Johansson to a Scientology center where he showed her literature about joining his controversial church, according to a report. “After two hours of proselytizing,” according to, “Cruise opened a door to reveal a second room full of upper-level Scientologists who had been waiting to dine with the pair, at which point the cool-headed ingénue politely excused herself.”

The Scoop called Johansson’s mother/manager for comment and she declined, referring us to Johansson’s publicist, who didn’t return calls or emails. Cruise’s rep didn’t respond to requests for comment, but Rick Ross of told the Scoop: “Is this Tom Cruise’s version of a first date? It’s becoming increasingly difficult to make distinctions between his personal, professional and religious life. Tom Cruise and Scientology seem intent on recruiting a hot young star. Apparently, Scarlett Johansson flunked her test, but Katie Holmes passed.”

Among the other Scientology claims Tighe made on “Megyn Kelly Today” was that Cruise and John Travolta “didn’t like each other” because they apparently saw each other as rivals for celebrity status in the organization.

Related: Ex-Scientologists Discuss John Travolta’s ‘Dark Side,’ ‘True Believer’ Wife