Church Of Scientology Responds To 'Defamatory' Vanity Fair Article
The Church of Scientology is fighting mad, and they want Vanity Fair and everyone associated with them to know it. The church has sent an eight-page letter to Vanity Fair, penned by lawyer Jeffrey K. Riffer of the law firm Elkins Kalt Weintraud Reuben Gartside LLP, responding to the magazine's October 2012 issue report that Scientology leaders David Miscavige and his wife Shelly Miscavige presided over meetings and interviews to find a wife for actor and Scientology bigwig Tom Cruise prior to his marriage to Katie Holmes and following his divorce from Nicole Kidman.
The Church of Scientology fervidly denies the claims in the article, calling out Vanity Fair's editor, Graydon Carter, and the writer of the article, Maureen Orth. "We are writing regarding your, your editor's and reporter's shoddy journalism, religious bigotry and potential legal liability arising out of Vanity Fair's upcoming story about the Tom Cruise divorce," the letter read, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The letter denied claims made in the article that women were auditioned for the real-life part of Cruise's wife and that How I Met Your Mother and Iron Man actress Nazanin Boniadi, 32, was chosen for the part, ordered to split from her boyfriend at the time, and groomed for several months before being determined unfit because she reportedly offended the Miscaviges.
"Significantly," went the letter, "while Maureen Orth was preparing her story, Vanity Fair ignored its staff and contributors who have firsthand knowledge of Mr. Cruise and of Mr. Miscavige and who would burden her story with the truth."
The letter went on to accuse everyone associated with the article of "bigotry and ignorance," defending Scientology as a new religion that should be extended the courtesy of religious tolerance even more so than beliefs "of more ancient history." In addition, Orth's integrity as a journalist was targeted, her article called "defamatory" and her "implications … demonstrably false," especially when it came to her portrayal of Mr. Miscavige.
And if you were wondering when the church would get down to the inevitable legal threats, here you have it: "If Vanity Fair goes forward with publication of such defamatory allegations, now that it is on notice that the story is false, the stain on its reputation will last long after any reader even remembers the article. The sting of the jury verdict will last longer still; far longer than any pleasure from racing to publish a poorly researched and sourced story."
Vanity Fair has since released a statement to CNN saying, "We absolutely stand by Maureen Orth's story."
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