Scarlett Johansson really isn’t here for ex-Scientologist Brendan Tighe and his “crazy” story.
Hollywood and Scientology have long been linked, with Tom Cruise the church’s most famous spokesperson: indeed, Scientology is said to have had a written program governing celebrity recruitment since at least 1955, when L. Ron Hubbard created ‘Project Celebrity’, offering rewards to Scientologists who recruited targeted celebrities.
It has also been widely reported that Los Angeles is awash with Scientology centres, all of which specifically target performers and offer acting classes (Jerry Seinfeld recommends the “communication” course) – which means that actors are often recruited into the ranks during the early flush of their careers.
One of the most enduring rumours about Scientology, though, came about after Lawrence Wright penned a tell-all book about the religious sect. In it, he claimed that Scientologist matchmakers summoned unwitting female stars to read for a non-existent part in the Mission: Impossible series.
According to Wright, the real goal of these “auditions”, though, was to find a wife for a then-single Cruise (they allegedly took place before his marriage to – and subsequent divorce from – Katie Holmes).
These rumours were recently resurrected during an NBC appearance on Megyn Kelly Today, when former Scientologist Brendan Tighe said it came to his attention while he was among the rank and file that various women, including Scarlett Johansson, auditioned to be in a relationship with Tom Cruise after his break up with Nicole Kidman in 2001.
“Another actress, Erika Christensen, had to disconnect from Scarlett Johansson because it didn’t go well. That was in that report,” Tighe said.
However, Johansson has now refuted his “demeaning” claims in a powerhouse statement.
“The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning,” Johansson said to The Hollywood Reporter. “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,” she added.
The Church of Scientology also denied Tighe’s claims regarding his role with Cruise.
Karin Pouw, from the Church of Scientology International, told THR: “Brendan Tighe was a Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization security guard/night watchman from 2002 to 2009. The ‘access’ he boasts of having was largely limited to viewing security cameras from a guard booth.
“He was removed from that position for dereliction of duty.”