Scientologists threatened to blackmail Nicole Kidman if she spoke out against the controversial religion after her failed marriage to its most famous follower, Tom Cruise, a new book claims.
Author Andrew Morton writes in his unauthorised biography of Cruise that Scientology played a major role in the breakdown of Kidman’s marriage to the Hollywood superstar.
A former senior Scientologist told Morton how Kidman’s lawyer, Bill Beslow, revealed that Kidman “hated” Scientology by the time Cruise decided to leave her in 2000.
However, she agreed not to speak out against the religion in case she lost contact with the two children she had adopted with Cruise and details of her sex life with the actor were exposed, the book says.
“At this point Nicole hated Scientology but was concerned for the kids,” the Scientologist told Morton, according to extracts from the book published in The Mail on Sunday newspaper.
“She did not want to ruin her relationship with them.
“I told the lawyer if she wants to stay with the children she will have to be quiet and not speak out about Scientology.”
Morton, who also wrote the groundbreaking biography of Princess Diana, claims that high-ranking Scientologists were concerned that Kidman could be a problem for Cruise because her father was a psychologist and she was a devoted Catholic.
In 1999, about nine years after his relationship with Kidman began, Cruise took part in a “potential trouble source/suppressive person” course, which Scientologists use to pinpoint people in a follower’s life who could create “problems”.
“The fear was that a lukewarm Nicole could fatally compromise Tom’s commitment to his faith,” Morton wrote.
The book goes on to say that Cruise has become the de-facto second in charge within the Church of Scientology.
Cruise rejects all of the claims made in the book, branding it “a bunch of lies”.
Scientology lawyers are believed to be preparing to sue publishers St Martin’s Press.
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