A representative for Scientologist Tom Cruise on Tuesday derided an article that contends the Church of Scientology embarked on a secret project to find the actor a girlfriend following his 2001 divorce from actress Nicole Kidman.
"Vanity Fair's story is essentially a rehash of tired old lies previously run in the supermarket tabloids, quoting the same bogus 'sources,'" said Bert Fields, Cruise's attorney. "It's long, boring and false."
The church also weighed in, describing the October issue article by special correspondent Maureen Orth as "hogwash."
Vanity Fair magazine, which provided a preview of the article on its website, said Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, headed an "auditioning" process in 2004.
Actresses who were Scientologists were called in for other reasons and asked, "What do you think of Tom Cruise?" the article says.
Actress Nazanin Boniadi was eventually selected and dated Cruise for a few months, according to the article. Boniadi met Cruise in November 2004 and sensed the possibility of an arranged marriage, according to Vanity Fair.
The relationship ended in January 2005, according to the article.
Boniadi's representative told CNN that she was not available for comment Tuesday evening.
In its statement Tuesday, the Church of Scientology said, "there was no project, secret or otherwise, ever conducted by the church to find a bride (via audition or otherwise) for any member of the church. Never. "
Vanity Fair relied on a small group of "anti-Scientologists" for its information, the church said. "These apostates have shamelessly exploited Tom Cruise's divorce by spreading false and invented tabloid stories in hopes of promoting themselves."
The Church of Scientology said Orth came to the church only after the article was written. Further, it said, Boniadi is a member of the "anti-Scientologists."
The church's statement also said a member of the group, who was a source for the Vanity Fair article, previously said under oath in an unrelated matter that he was a paid tabloid source. The statement questioned whether Vanity Fair paid for his "cooperation" in "corroborating" its article.
Vanity Fair denied that claim and released a brief statement when contacted by CNN for comment on the article.
"We absolutely stand by Maureen Orth's story," spokeswoman Beth Kseniak said. "Vanity Fair has never paid sources and never would."
Vanity Fair said Cruise and David Miscavige had declined to be interviewed.
Orth did not immediately respond to a message left Tuesday night by CNN.
Cruise has two children from his marriage with the Academy Award-winning Kidman. They divorced in 2001.
He later married actress Katie Holmes. They were divorced in July.
CNN's Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.
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