Remember the great Cruise-Cruz romance of 2001-2004?
In between his second and third marriages (to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes), Tom Cruise dated Penelope Cruz, his stunning Vanilla Sky costar, for three years.
And although the Spanish actress, 38, is now happily married to Javier Bardem with an adorable son Leo, 19 months, the explosive new cover story of Vanity Fair alleges that Cruz and Cruise, 50, parted ways over Scientology. Specifically, sources claim in Maureen Orth's story, Cruz refused to give up her own devout Buddhist beliefs.
The future Oscar winner reportedly began the process of taking courses -- and auditing sessions -- in Scientology. But Church leader and close Cruise confidante David Miscavige branded her a "dilettante" when he learned that she wouldn't give up her own religion.
Once that romance thus fizzled, the article claims, Cruise's team of handlers began a supposed auditioning process to find a suitable potential wife for Cruise -- hopefully a woman already enmeshed in the Church of Scientology.
"It's not like you only have to please your husband -- you have to toe the line for all Scientology," former Scientologist Marc Headley, who claims to have watched dozens of "auditions" for the future Mrs. Cruise, tells the magazine. "You can't do anything to displease Scientology, because Tom Cruise will freak out."
The Church of Scientology strongly denied to Vanity Fair that any "auditions" ever took place, or that they objected to Cruz's religious beliefs, or that Miscavige was involved in Cruise's personal life.
In separate statement to Us Weekly, the Church said: "The allegations and entire premise of the Vanity Fair article related to Mr. Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, are totally unfounded and false and categorically denied. The statements and events described about the Church are denied in their entirety."