Media mogul Rupert Murdoch weighed in on the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce story Sunday, saying he thinks Scientologists are "creepy" and possibly even evil.
The News Corporation chief urged his Twitter followers to watch the story, which broke on Friday when Holmes announced she was filing from divorce from Hollywood A-lister Cruise, a prominent member of the Church of Scientology.
"Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop. Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people," Murdoch said on his Twitter account, @rupertmurdoch.
The fairytale Hollywood couple's split was revealed when Holmes' publicist announced that the actress had filed for divorce after five years of marriage, ending an unexpected love story dogged by tabloid rumors.
A spokesman for Cruise said the "Mission Impossible" star was "deeply saddened" by the news, fueling reports that his wife's announcement had taken him by surprise.
Speculation about why Holmes wanted out has included suggestions she was concerned that Cruise was forcing their six-year-old daughter Suri deeper into the Church of Scientology.
The TMZ celebrity news website has reported that Holmes is seeking sole custody of Suri. Citing unnamed sources, it said she feared "that Tom would drag Suri deep into the church."
"We're told the couple had been arguing over Suri -- that she's now of the age where Scientology becomes a significant part of her life," it said.
Murdoch's Scientology comment generated a surge of Twitter traffic, prompting another tweet: "Since Scientology tweet hundreds of attacks. Expect they will increase and get worse and maybe threatening. "Still stick to my story," he added.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment from the Church of Scientology, or from publicists for Cruise or Holmes.
A short time after his Scientology tweet, Murdoch was asked his views on Mormonism -- in the spotlight currently as Mormon Mitt Romney takes on President Barack Obama for the White House. "Mormonism a mystery to me, but Mormons certainly not evil," the News Corp tycoon replied. (AFP)
<관련 한글 기사>
톱 스타 부부 이혼, ‘괴이한’ 종교 때문?
언론재벌 루퍼트 머독이 지난 일요일 톰 크루즈와 케이티 홈즈의 이혼과 관련해 “사이언톨로지는 괴상하고 사악한 종교”라고 자신의 트위터를 통해 주장했다.
톰 크루즈-케이티 홈즈 부부는 5년간의 결혼생활 끝에 케이티 홈즈가 이혼소송을 청구했다는 사실을 발표하면서 파경에 이르렀다.
톰 크루즈는 대변인을 통해 “대단히 슬프다”고 심경을 밝혀 케이티 홈즈가 일방적으로 이혼발표를 한 것이라는 추측이 제기되고 있다.
한편 케이티 홈즈가 이혼소송을 제기한 이유에 대해서는 톰 크루즈가 딸인 수리를 사이언톨로지 교로 끌어들이려고 했다는 주장이 있다.
사이언톨로지는 과학기술이 인간의 모든 문제를 해결할 수 있다고 믿는 종교로 신과 같은 초월적 존재를 부인하는 게 특징. 론 하버드란 SF 작가가 지난 1954년에 만들었다.
한 일간지에 따르면 케이티 홈즈는 딸 수리에 대한 단독양육권을 주장하고 있다고 한다.
그러나 톰 크루즈-케이티 홈즈 부부의 이혼과 관련해 사이언톨로지 측에서는 어떠한 대응도 하지 않고 있다.