London: Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son has denied he ever considered joining Scientology after it was rumoured that Tom Cruise tried to convert him.
According to the Daily Beast, Lachlan Murdoch was assiduously courted by the Hollywood star in 1999 while they were both living in Australia.
Cruise, who had moved to live near his then-wife Nicole Kidman’s family, was said to be determined to bring the younger Murdoch into the Scientologist fold, believing that he would soon take over his father’s media empire
Cruise reportedly travelled with Murdoch and his friend James Packer on private jets, all the while evangelising about his new religion.
While Packer was said to have been intrigued by the American faith, Murdoch remained skeptical and ultimately stayed away from Scientology, the Telegraph reported.
The Murdoch family’s relationship with Cruise’s faith has come under scrutiny after Rupert Murdoch make an unexpected foray into the media frenzy surrounding the star’s divorce from Katie Holmes.
The media mogul tweeted: “Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop. Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.”
His unprompted tweets led to speculation that he remained angry over Cruise’s alleged courtship of his son more than a decade ago.
“He has a long memory and no love for Scientology,” a source told the Daily Beast.
In his own statement, Lachlan Murdoch denied that he ever thought about joining the group.
“I can confirm, on the record, that I have never considered or close to considered becoming a Scientologist in any way or at any time.
“The premise of the story is entirely wrong. I probably come close to sharing my father’s views about the religion, but I resist tweeting them,” he said.
Following Cruise and Kidman’s divorce in 2001, the Murdoch family publicly rallied around the Australian actress.
The older Murdoch dined with her regularly and asked her to be the godmother to his youngest daughters Grace and Chloe. Tony Blair is Grace’s godfather.
Insiders said that Murdoch’s tweets in support of Katie Holmes suggested he may be preparing to show the same backing for Cruise’s soon-to-be third ex-wife.