According to the cover story in the October issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Tom Cruise briefly dated and came close to marrying a television actress prior to meeting feature-film starlet Katie Holmes. In an expose entitled "What Katie Didn't Know: Marriage, Scientology-Style," special correspondent Maureen Orth reports that a top-secret mission was undertaken by the wife of Scientology boss David Miscavige in 2004 with the goal of finding the Top Gun star a girlfriend. Following an elaborate audition process involving women who were already Scientologists, the eventual victor was Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born, London-raised beauty who has since appeared on ABC soap General Hospital and CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
The exotic brunette then underwent a month-long "auditing" procedure, a Scientology technique in which she was grilled every day regarding the most intimate secrets and details of her sex life, including whether or not she had ever participated in a threesome. "Naz," as she was commonly known to friends, was also subjected to a physical transformation in which her hair was darkened and her teeth were straightened, as well as breaking up with her boyfriend at the time.
Once she was deemed suitable for Cruise, Boniadi was flown to New York and hit it off with the Church's poster boy, as they spent the night together surrounded by Scientology aides but did not have sex. They dated from November of '04 until January 2005, during which time anything that Naz said or did that didn't meet with Cruise's approval was relayed to Scientology staff members. Although Cruise apparently told her that he had "never felt this way before" during their first night together, Boniadi was asked to move out of the superstar actor's home and into Scientology's Celebrity Center by the third week of January.
While Tom famously went on to meet Katie Holmes and propose marriage six months later, Boniadi found herself ostracized and punished by the Church after confiding her relationship with Cruise to a supposed friend who reported her to the powers-that-be. Since leaving Scientology with her mother, who was also a member, Boniadi earned an NAACP Image Award for her work on General Hospital and resumed her role as a human rights activist, particularly on the freedoms of Iranian women.
Compared to what happened to Katie's career during her marriage to Cruise, I'd say Naz was the lucky one who got out before her life was consumed by the larger-than-life shadows of Tom Cruise and Scientology. Not to be totally superficial, either, but I'd also add that it was Tom's loss. She is absolutely stunning.