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Scientologists deny tailing Cruise wife, eyeing daughter

Actor Tom Cruise holds his daughter Suri as he arrives with his fiancee Katie Holmes (L) at a restaurant in Rome in this November 16, 2006 file photo. Hollywood superstar couple Cruise and Holmes are planning to divorce, People magazine reported, citing Holmes' attorney. (REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli/Files)

LOS ANGELES: The Church of Scientology denied Monday sending anyone to follow Katie Holmes after she filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, amid reports she feared her husband’s plans for their daughter.

A lawyer for the church also dismissed reports that Cruise – a prominent Scientologist – wanted their 6-year-old daughter Suri to join the Sea Organization, described as a boot camp for the controversial religion.

“There is no truth whatsoever to the TMZ.com report [or any other report] that the Church of Scientology has sent anyone to follow or surveil Katie Holmes,” lawyer Gary Soter told AFP in an emailed letter.

“The allegation about a 6-year-old joining the Sea Org is similarly untrue,” added Soter, who described himself as counsel for the Church of Scientology International.

Celebrity news website TMZ reported that Holmes, who announced Friday that she was filing for divorce, feared that he wanted their daughter to join the Sea Org in the near future.

But it cited the Scientologist’s lawyer as saying nobody under the age of 16 can join the elite body, adding that minors must have the “consent of both parents and/or all legal guardians” to become members.

TMZ also cited sources close to Holmes as saying she believes the Church of Scientology views her as a threat to the organization, and has put a team on her tail, with “mysterious” men and vehicles tailing her in recent weeks.

American Scientology leader David Miscavige was said to have officiated the couple’s wedding, arguably the most high-profile Scientology wedding to date, in a ceremony that lasted no more than 15 minutes.

Tabloids have speculated for some time that the relationship was on the rocks after the pair was not seen together for months.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 04, 2012, on page 11.

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