Who wouldn't want Paula Wagner in his camp?
Tom Cruise's United Artists partner lashed out Friday at Andrew Morton and the author's new Unauthorized Biography of her longtime friend, which is supposedly riddled with falsehoods about Cruise and Scientology, calling the tome a "disgraceful piece of gossipmongering."
Morton's book is "filled with distortions and outright lies that no sensible person will take seriously," Wagner said in a statement. "I am not a Scientologist, nor are most of the people Tom and I work with, but that doesn't mean I can sit by silently while he is attacked for his religious beliefs.
"As a filmmaker and an American, I feel strongly that an individual's religion should have no bearing on their professional life."
Thanks to the previous controversy that has swirled around Cruise's involvement with Scientology for the past couple of years, Morton's tell-all has been garnering all sorts of attention—especially from Cruise's legal camp, which is standing by.
The Jerry Maguire star's attorney, Bert Fields, called the work "a bunch of tired old lies about Tom and his religion." He characterized passages about the conception of Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter Suri as "sick and bizarre."
And while Morton's publisher, St. Martin's Press, said it stood by the author and his book, the Church of Scientology wasted little time alerting the public that Morton conducted his research without its help.
"For the last two years, the Church of Scientology requested to be interviewed or be presented with any allegations so we could respond," read a statement released Wednesday. "Morton refused despite our insistence in offering our cooperation. At no time did he request interviews nor did he attempt to get any information from us."
Morton, meanwhile, has pointed out pages in his book that refer directly to attempts to contact the Church, a possible protection if any lawsuit arises.
And Morton's book isn't the only Scientology-related ephemera out there that have Cruise's camp in a tizzy.
Wagner's shout-out comes a few days after a video shot in 2004, depicting Cruise discussing the ins and outs of Scientology, hit Defamer and Gawker, providing instant ammunition for those looking to take comical aim at Cruise's M.O.
"I have always believed that Americans celebrated these differences, and to see the vitriol that has been directed toward my friend is truly discouraging," Wagner's statement continued. "It's easy to mock an out-of-context video, but that doesn't change the fact that Tom Cruise is one of the hardest working and nicest human beings I have ever known."
In the video, in which the Mission: Impossible theme plays in the background, Cruise says that Scientology, which is "something you have to earn," can "create new and better realities and improve conditions."
While that's just a sampling of the insight Cruise provides, he may have provided an explanation as to why there was a period a few years ago during which there seemed to be a glut of news reports featuring Cruise saving someone from being trampled in a crowd or otherwise harmed.
Superhero? Not exactly.
"Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it's not like everyone else," Cruise says on the tape. "If you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one that can really help. That's what drives me, is that I know we have an opportunity to really help for the first time and effectively change people's lives.
"I'm absolutely, uncompromisingly dedicated to that."
And the Church of Scientology is now absolutely dedicated to making sure this video is excommunicated.
In a letter to gawker.com and defamer.com requesting that the video be taken down, the Church's legal camp writes that Cruise's tape was recorded for educational purposes only and meant for Church business and activities alone.
The tape was stolen from the Church, and Gawker's use of the video amounts to copyright infringement and receipt of stolen property, wrote an attorney for the Church.
The Website, meanwhile, maintains it has broken no laws and is fully within its rights as a news disseminator and has refused to yank the video, which was originally posted on YouTube.
"We are using this video in the context of news reporting and critical commentary, which are uses that may not be authorized by your client, but which serve the public interest," an attorney for Gawker Media wrote. "For this, and other reasons, we believe our use is fair."
Their legal exchange is handily posted on gawker.com.