New York: Katie Holmes’ childhood friends and family have opened up about the actress’ conversion to Scientology after she married Tom Cruise, and the rift it caused among those closest to her.
Kari Somo, 32, a former classmate of Holmes’ at Catholic Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Ohio, said that the star’s transformation from a strict Catholic to Scientologist was “jarring — and caused severe rifts within her family.”
“We thought it was very shocking when [Katie] turned to Scientology, since we were all brought up Catholic,” the New York Post quoted Somo, now a restaurant manager, as telling Web site Celebuzz.
“I know (Katie’s) parents had an issue with it. I don’t think they were very happy with it,” she said.
Another former classmate, Angela Domschot, said of Holmes’ conversion to Scientology when she married Cruise: “It was so bizarre that she got involved in Scientology,” adding, “We were all shocked when she turned to Scientology, but when you’re besotted with someone, I guess you’ll do what they want.”
Domschot is now a police officer in Toledo.
Holmes’ childhood friends also recall that Holmes “didn’t even have a boyfriend at school,” because “her parent’s strict Catholic principles discouraged it.”
According to reports, Holmes usually only interacted with boys through plays that were organized by Notre Dame’s sister school, all-boys St. John’s Jesuits.
Thomas Higgins, who’s married to a cousin of Holmes’, said that the actress now rarely returns to Toledo.
“Katie used to babysit for us a few years ago. But now she only comes back for funerals.
“We only get to see her at sad occasions and bad events... often, the family only know she’s been in town after the event. She keeps it hush-hush, and her side of the family is quite large,” Higgins said.