By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Tom Cruise was devastated after then-girlfriend Penelope Cruz dumped him because the stunning Spanish actress felt that the Church of Scientology was a third wheel in their relationship, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
"Tom had absolutely planned on proposing to Penelope, and they had openly discussed marriage during the three years they were dating," a source close to the situation tells Radar exclusively. "Tom was head over heels in love with Penelope and could see them spending the rest of their lives together, and she felt the same way.
"However, Penelope pulled the plug on the relationship because she felt that the Church of Scientology was the third wheel in their relationship. Penelope doesn't have anything against the Church, but it just wasn't her thing. She admired Tom's dedication to it, but it wasn't her cup of tea and wasn't something she wanted to give her life up for.
"As we previously reported, The Church of Scientology screened at least two dozen women to date Tom Cruise after his divorce from Nicole Kidman, including unknown actress and fellow church member, Yolanda Pecoraro, who made the cut and was fixed up with the actor, after Penelope dumped the Mission Impossible star.
"The Church screened at least two dozen women to date Tom Cruise after his divorce," a source close to the situation previously told Radar. "Tom had very specific demands about the type of woman he was interested in, including long dark hair, olive complexion and preferably an actress. Of course, he wanted her to preferably be a Scientologist too. The Church did set Cruise up with Yolanda Pecoraro and they dated in the summer of 2004, after his very public split from Penelope Cruz. The relationship with Yolanda lasted a few months, but Cruise grew bored with her and wanted to date an actress that was known to the public."
A bombshell new report in Vanity Fair claims that Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, headed up the task of finding Tom an appropriate mate. Candidates were reportedly told they were auditioning for a new training film and were asked a series of questions including "What do you think of Tom Cruise?"
Iranian-born actress and longtime Scientology follower Nazanin Boniadi was the winner in the girlfriend derby, according to Vanity Fair, and she went on to date Cruise from November, 2004 to January, 2005.
Boniadi had to reportedly sign multiple confidentiality agreements and ended up falling for Cruise. But in short order, he decided she wasn't up to the task, sources told Vanity Fair, and complained to her, "I get more love from an extra than I get from you."
The Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise have vehemently denied the allegations in the Vanity Fair story, branding the report as "a rehash of tired old lies."
Tom Cruise's rep says "it's ridiculously false" that Cruise and Cruz split because of the Church of Scientology.