Katie Holmes has been warned to watch her back during bitter divorce proceedings with Tom Cruise and told that Scientologists are “experts at twisting the truth”.
The heads-up comes from former Church member Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige.
Miscavige is the controversial figure described as the third person in the Holmes-Cruise marriage. He was Cruise’s best man at their 2006 wedding.
Mascavige Hill, now 28, warned of “intimidation tactics” as Holmes gears up for a battle from New York, where she hopes to gain sole custody of the glamour couple’s daughter Suri.
The niece, who left the church in 2005 citing a “lousy education and mental anguish”, said the organisation was “no place for an innocent child”.
Fears over Suri’s future are rumoured to have taken Holmes to breaking point. She reportedly didn’t want her daughter exposed deeper to the Church of Scientology.
Holmes has set up camp in New York, where she’s staying with Suri in a Chelsea apartment. Cruise is in Iceland filming Oblivion, and communication between the two has reportedly all but broken down.
Holmes’ plan, partially hatched by her father Martin, included switching all her phone numbers and email addresses in secret.
“She was talking to Tom on the phone up until last week saying, ‘I love you’,” a sourced told People Magazine.
“Her inner circle has been planning this and switching out cell phones since she was in China [in mid-June].
“When new cell phones arrived, then nobody could reach her. Her old best friends from last week don’t have her new number, no e-mail. She’s unreachable.”
‘Not like Nicole’
Holmes wants sole custody of her daughter because she fears being cut out of her life in what looks like an increasingly acrimonious divorce battle.
An insider close to the 33-year-old actress said that after seeing Tom’s second wife Nicole Kidman cut out of the lives of their adopted children – Bella, 19, and Connor, 17 – Katie was determined to become Suri’s primary carer.
Katie filed for divorce from Cruise a week ago in New York, asking for sole custody of their six-year-old daughter Suri, and it has been claimed she is worried if she shares custody she could end up being phased out of her child’s life.
Katie is said to be determined to win the custody battle after seeing how little contact Tom’s adopted children, Bella, 19, and Connor, 17, have with their mother, the actor’s second wife Nicole Kidman.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Bella and Connor aren’t that close to Nicole, and Katie is determined that she won’t be cut out of Suri’s life.
“Bella and Connor are devoted to their father and Scientology, and Katie saw this first hand, and this is one of the reasons she filed for sole custody.
“Katie will not be relegated to a secondary role in her daughter’s life. Period. And she is prepared to fight Tom in court.
“Katie isn’t going to back down and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that she raises Suri herself.”
Tom Cruise furious
Tom Cruise would prefer to engage legal proceedings in LA because he believes he has a better chance of seeing his daughter.
“Tom is extremely disappointed that Katie filed in New York, and he feels that she is trying to cut him out of their daughter’s life,” a Daily Mail source was quoted as saying.
Holmes talked about launching a “new phase” in her life weeks before her divorce bombshell.
Holmes hinted that all was not well in her marriage, according to remarks published today as Cruise reportedly denied Scientology sparked the split.
In an interview with Elle magazine, conducted before last Friday’s announcement that she was ending their five-year marriage, Holmes said she felt “sexier” than ever.
“He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years – I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go, so I want to focus on that,” she said in excerpts published online from the magazine’s August edition.
Suri faced Scientology bootcamp
Asked in the interview if being Cruise’s wife helped her in the film industry, she said: “Things are not handed to anyone. If anything, you work a little bit harder when you’re in such visible circumstances.”