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Arts and Entertainment

The Woman (Before Katie Holmes) Who Failed Her Audition To Be Tom Cruise's Wife

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Earlier this year we read reports claiming that Scientology held auditions to help Tom Cruise find a new wife. It was rumored that Jennifer Garner, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba were considered for the role before Scientologists came across then-26-year-old Katie Holmes.This week Vanity Fair has a cover story with more details on the "secret wife-auditioning process" and one of the candidates who came pretty far along in the process before Holmes: Nazanin Boniadi. (Nope, we hadn't heard of her either.)

The Iranian-born, London-raised actress and Scientologist dated Cruise from November 2004 until January 2005. Her preparation began in October 2004, when she was told only that she was preparing for "a very important mission" on behalf of Scientology.

Boniadi was audited every single day, asked to reveal her innermost secrets and every detail of her sex life, according to Vanity Fair. Anonymous sources told the magazine that she was even convinced to break up with her boyfriend after his own secrets were revealed to her by Scientologists (a spokesman denies that confidential files were ever breached). During that time, she got a "She's All That"-worthy makeover, losing her braces and changing her hair color.

After this month-long process, she was introduced to Cruise:

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For their first date Cruise and Boniadi went to dinner at Nobu with an entourage of Scientology aides, then to the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, which was closed to the public especially for them. The two spent that first night together but, according to several sources, they did not have sex. At the Trump Tower, where Cruise and the entourage had rented an entire floor, Cruise purportedly told Boniadi, “I’ve never felt this way before.” She was given a second confidentiality agreement specifically about Cruise to sign. Boniadi could tell her worried parents (her mother was also formerly a Scientologist) only that she was in New York on a special Scientology project.

But this turned out to be a mission impossible for Boniadi. She just didn't quite make the cut, thanks to a couple verbal missteps with Scientology leader David Miscavige and Cruise. That and the fact that she couldn't match his intense public displays of affection (and this was pre-couch jumping). Boniadi moved in with Cruise and shared a bedroom, but by the third week of January, she was asked to move into Scientology's Celebrity Centre. Cruise reportedly had the Scientologists do the dirty work of breaking up with his live-in girlfriend.Vanity Fair reports that Boniadi broke her confidentiality agreement and explained to a friend what she had just been through. This friend reported her to Scientology, and Boniadi found herself being punished by digging ditches and scrubbing toilets (a spokesperson for Scientology denies this, too).

Boniadi has since left Scientology.

Why Katie Holmes Filed For Divorce From Tom Cruise In New York
Reports: Katie Holmes Just Wasn't That Into Scientology
One Thing Scientology Maybe Didn't Ruin: TomKat's Marriage
Katie Holmes Has Nasty Lawyers, Worries About Scientology's Hold On Suri
TomKat Prenup: Katie Holmes Gets Shafted By Scientology