Melbourne: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ marriage was allegedly affected by his relationship with scientology’s leader, David Miscavige.
Miscavige heads the controversial cult of which the actor is a follower, and was the best man at the couple’s wedding.
Sources close to the couple told the Sun that the “intense friendship” between the two men had doomed Holmes’s hopes of a normal life with her husband from the beginning.
The paper named Miscavige as the third person in the marriage and said he was mockingly known as Cruise’s “manwife”.
“Tom really values his opinion and Katie often felt like she came in second place,” News.com.au quoted a source as telling the publication.
“When it became clear how much influence he had over her husband she knew she had to get away,” the source said.
Miscavige had even joined the Hollywood A-list couple on their honeymoon.
The 52-year-old heads the Church of Scientology and its affiliated organisations, and sees it as his job to protect L. Ron Hubbard’s legacy and defend Scientology.
He has been accused of personally authorising illegal and unethical practices, including the sustained harassment of critics of the church, the separation of family members and the humiliation and physical beating of church members, all of which he has vehemently denied.
Perhaps the most disturbing accusation against him is that Miscavige is somehow connected to the “disappearance” of his wife, Shelly, who has reportedly not been seen in public since 2006.
“According to Rinder and Brousseau, in June, 2006, while Miscavige was away from the Gold Base, his wife, Shelly, filled several job vacancies without her husband’s permission. Soon afterward, she disappeared. Her current status is unknown. Tommy Davis told me, ‘I definitely know where she is,’ but he won’t disclose where that is,” Wright wrote in the New Yorker last year.
The activist group Why We Protest has launched high-profile campaign to find her whereabouts, but without any success.
Some have claimed that she’s in hiding while others have said she died from cancer. The most sensational and sinister rumour is that she was sent away to an undisclosed location for behavioural correction.
Katie, 33, filed for divorce from Tom last Thursday, and one of the main reasons she took the step was because she feared their six-year-old daughter Suri would be heavily influenced by Scientology if she stayed in the relationship.