A woman who might have taken Katie Holmes' place as Tom Cruise's third wife in 2004 has an Orange County background.
Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-born actress, graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor's degree in science in 2003.
She was a Scientologist at that time and served as official spokeswoman for Amnesty International USA when she wasn't winning awards for cancer and heart transplant research.
Boniadi planned to become a doctor after graduating, but according to Vanity Fair journalist Maureen Orth, she instead was screened to become the next Mrs. Tom Cruise.
Orth said most of her sources were on the record, and some are high-level members of Scientology who still believe in the religion but question those now in authority.
Boniadi was applying to medical school in 2004, Orth said, but that year Scientologists contacted her and said she was being screened for a movie. They asked several personal questions including "What do you think of Tom Cruise," Orth said.
"She had to write a 20-page, single-spaced paper about her hopes, dreams, aspirations. All of her sex life was asked about," Orth said. "She was getting audited for hours every day because she was being told that she was going to meet world leaders and there was a very special mission for the church."
She allegedly dated Cruise, but things did not work out, and she was heartbroken and later punished for divulging her story.
"She was forbidden to ever mention this happened with Tom Cruise," Orth said. "But she did and, as a result, she had to get down on her hands and knees and scrub toilets with a toothbrush."
Boniadi graduated with honors from UCI's School of Biological Sciences after winning the competitive Chang Pin-Chun undergraduate research award. She has been a recurring guest on How I Met Your Mother, among other acting roles.
Editor's Note: An earlier headline on this story incorrectly said Boniadi could have been Tom Cruise's second wife. He had already been married twice before marrying Katie Holmes.