Was Katie Holmes hand-picked to be the new Mrs. Tom Cruise by talent scouts working for the Church of Scientology?
Respected celebrity writer Andrew Morton says she was. The author of the book Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, says Holmes was one of a string of starlets selected by Scientologists trying to find a wife for Cruise shortly after his divorce from Nicole Kidman in 2001.
One name at the top of the list—Sofia Vergara—before she hit it big on Modern Family.
Unknown to her, "She was being auditioned for the biggest role of her life—Mrs. Tom Cruise, III," Morton claims.
He says that relationship went nowhere because Vergara would not commit to Scientology, so the search intensified.
"The Church of Scientology went out of their way to interview Scientology actresses to try and find him a new girlfriend," said Morton.
But none fit the bill, Morton says, so the bridal scouts "had to look outside the herd" again and consider non-Scientologists too.
The list reportedly included Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner.
"Finally the Scientology casting crew hit on Katie Holmes," Morton says in an article he wrote for the New York Post.
Cruise and Holmes met for a date, and the romance was on.
And from the moment Cruise leaped up on Oprah's couch to gush about Holmes, "the romance was carefully choreographed by Scientology," Morton says.
US magazine Senior Editor Ian Drew says Holmes was heavily vetted for the role of Mrs. Cruise.
Drew told INSIDE EDITION, "She went in for a meeting, and it was many hours. It was quite a few hours where they talked about her, they looked into her background. So, it was quite an extensive thing."
But Drew says for all the screening, the marriage was ultimately doomed.
"She ended it early because she just couldn't take it anymore," said Drew.
One oddity about Cruise's three marriages, to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and now Katie Holmes, all ended when his wives were aged 33.