STAR SETUPS

Tom Cruise & More Stars With Reportedly Arranged Marriages (Photos)

“Vanity Fair” claims Scientology “auditioned” wives for Tom Cruise. See others whose matches were made.

“Vanity Fair” claims Scientology “auditioned” wives for Tom Cruise. From Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, see other couples whose matches were made—or reported to be.

AP Photo

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Auditioning for major roles is a way of life in Hollywood, and that apparently includes starring as Mrs. Tom Cruise. According to an article by Maureen Orth in the October issue of Vanity Fair, the Church of Scientology held secret wife auditions for Cruise after his divorce from Nicole Kidman. From 2004 to 2005, Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi was reportedly selected to be Cruise’s girlfriend for what she believed was going to be an arranged marriage. The church issued a statement calling the article “hogwash,” but director Paul Haggis, a former Scientologist and friend of Boniadi, supported the claims. The Vanity Fair story also reignited questions about whether Cruise’s marriage to Holmes—whom he began dating months after splitting from Boniadi—was arranged by Scientology. Orth reports that Holmes’s pre-nup, which was negotiated by her divorce attorney father, filled five Banker’s Boxes.

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

When your wedding costs a reported $10 million and your marriage lasts just 72 days, people will talk. So when Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kris Humphries after less than three months, the conspiracy theories began. “It was pretty much an arranged marriage right from the start,” a source told RadarOnline about the made-for-reality-TV nuptials. “Kim was looking for a husband, and Kris was selected for her, amongst others. She wasn’t really into him, but she hoped she would be able to develop some feelings, but it never happened. She was never particularly attracted to him, and by all accounts absolutely hated sleeping with him or even having to make out with him.” And even Humphries agreed. In December 2011, he sought to have the marriage annulled. His grounds? “Fraud.”

AP Photo

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

A year after actor Jeff Conaway died, his former fiancée Vikki Lizzi made outrageous claims about Conaway’s former Grease co-star John Travolta. Lizzi told Star magazine, published by American Media Inc., that Travolta and Kelly Preston were in a fake marriage. “Jeff told me that John and Kelly’s marriage was an arrangement,” she said. “Jeff said that Kelly knows that John is gay, and that’s why she’s OK with it.” Travolta’s attorney, Martin Singer, emphatically denied the allegations, telling Gossip Cop, “Vikki Lizzi, the late Jeff Conaway’s estranged girlfriend, has been a regular paid source for the AMI tabloids, yet this is the very first time we are hearing this new outlandish story…Why did this story surface only now, after the AMI tabloids sparked a frenzy with its bogus Doe #1 story, and a year after Mr. Conaway’s death, when he is no longer around to refute it?”

AP Photo

Prince Charles & Diana Spencer

“Diana only married me so that she could go through red traffic lights,” Prince Charles once joked with reporters. And even if Diana believed in her royal fairy tale (“Are you in love?” she was asked when she got engaged. “Of course,” Diana said. “Whatever love means,” Charles answered.) Thirty years after the Wedding of the Century, Tom Brokaw, who reported on the nuptials for the Today show, reflected on Charles and Diana’s romance: “I had dinner a couple of times with people who were close to the court, women who knew the relationship, and they all said the same thing: This is an arranged marriage, he has another girlfriend, Camilla, that the queen will not approve of him marrying her. We reflected that very discreetly on the air.”

AP Photo

Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates

In 1955, after Confidential magazine threatened to reveal that Rock Hudson was gay, his agent, Henry Wilson, arranged a marriage for the actor to make the scandal go away—and Hudson quickly wed Wilson’s secretary, Phyllis Gates. “She was not the love of his life. It was an arrangement,” actress Arlene Dahl told People magazine in 1985. And while the couple divorced after three years, Gates maintained that the union was legitimate. ‘‘I was very much in love,” she told Hudson’s biographer. ‘‘I thought he would be a wonderful husband. He was charming, his career was red hot, he was gorgeous...How many women would have said no?” And in 2004, Gates told Larry King that Hudson “told some people he only loved two people in his whole life, and one was me.”

Kim Kulish / Getty Images

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

During a 2003 interview with Lisa Marie Presley, Diane Sawyer asked point blank why she married Michael Jackson. After providing several roundabout explanations, Presley finally confessed, “I fell in love with him. I did.”  But in his 2009 biography, Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, author Ian Halperin offered another explanation: the marriage was orchestrated by the Church of Scientology. According to Halperin’s theory, the church, which counts Presley and her mother as members, desperately wanted Jackson to join. In turn, marrying Presley could help quiet reports that the singer was gay. But perhaps there is another reason the King of Pop married the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s daughter: Jackson had a new CD to promote when they wed. As Presley told GQ in 2004: “There was a record coming out but I just shut that out at the time. It didn’t seem possible that a person would be so cynical.”

AP Photo

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

There may be plenty of loveless arranged marriages, but there is also the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 1840, King Leopold I of Belgium orchestrated the marriage of his 20-year-old niece, Victoria, to his nephew Albert. They remained together for 21 years until his premature death, but Victoria remained devoted to him even as a widow. “It was an arranged marriage that ended up a real, passionate love affair,” Stanley Weintraub, author of Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert, told USA Today in 2009. “She had nine children, but when she asked her doctor how to stop having children, he told her all you can do is stop having sex. She was horrified by that idea.”

Bettmann / Corbis

Brooke Astor and John Dryden Kuser

In an era when wealthy families arranged marriages like royalty, 16-year-old Brooke Russell wed politician John Dryden Kuser, who came from a prominent New Jersey family. Though she had a son with Kuser and remained with him for 10 years, Astor later recalled the marriage as “the worst years of my life.” The couple remained together until he was elected to the Senate, and then she married the love of her life, Charles H. Marshall. A year after Marshall’s death, she married for the third and final time when she wed Vincent Astor, son of John Jacob Astor. And in 1980, 21 years after his death, The New York Times asked Brooke Astor if she would ever marry again. “Frankly, I think I’m unmarriageable now,” she said at 78. “I’m too used to having things my way. But I still enjoy a flirt now and then.”

AP Photo

Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI

Theirs was a marriage based not on true love but realpolitik. In 1770, Austrian archduchess Marie Antoinette wed the Dauphin of France in an effort to make peace between the two countries. The bride was 14 and the groom, who was soon to become Louis XVI, was an ancient 15. And although their marriage lasted nearly 23 years, it did not end well: the two were beheaded following the French Revolution.