Tom Cruise has been selected to co-host this year’s Nobel Peace Prize concert — and some critics say that’s risky business.
Cruise and Oprah Winfrey are both scheduled to host the star-studded concert on Dec. 11 in Oslo, and it will be carried live in more than 100 countries. But some critics are saying they’re worried that Cruise and his church, Scientology, will use the event to promote the controversial religion. The choice of Cruise has erupted into controversy in Norway and neighboring Sweden after some Scientology foes appealed to the Nobel Institute, asking it to reconsider.
“They’re a manipulative sect that takes over people’s lives and finances,” Karl-Erik Nylund, a priest from the Magdalena Kyrka church in Stockholm, told the Norwegian paper Dagbladet, according to our interpreter. “[Cruise] isn’t going to be there as a missionary. But it’s difficult to separate the artist Tom Cruise from Scientology Tom Cruise.”
“It’s very wrong to let Cruise lead the gala,” Scientology foe Andreas Heldal-Lund told the Swedish paper Expressen. “[The Church of Scientology is] going to call it a validation and use it as far as they can. I’ve met tons of people who have had their lives devastated by Scientology and this is such an important event. I have the greatest respect for the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Institute and it’s very sad that I’ve been forced to come out publicly with my criticism, but they’ve chosen Tom Cruise.”
Cruise’s rep didn’t return The Scoop’s calls for comment, but a rep for the Church of Scientology defended the religion and attacked its critics, telling Expressen “I usually say: ‘Would you support an organization that works for a peaceful world and a world without drugs?’ You can wonder what Andreas Heldal-Lund’s goals are in his life, is it to persecute other religions? He works against an organization that definitely will improve the world and that works for human rights.”
“We’re obviously aware that Tom Cruise is a Scientologist but that’s not why we chose him,” the Director for the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad, told Dagbladet. “We chose him because he’s a known person who is interested in the Nobel Peace Prize and we’re proud that we have him.” When quizzed about Scientology, Lundestad replied, “I don’t really know anything special about it” — but added that he believes in freedom of speech and religion.
Gisele Bundchen snapped at a reporter when he quizzed the model about the nature of her long-time romance with Leonardo DiCaprio.
The catwalker was talking with an interviewer from the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo about her new flick “Taxi” — when the questions got personal. “Why do people say that your affair with DiCaprio is just another business?” the reporter asked.
Bundchen’s face reddened and she spoke quickly. “I think this is ridiculous,” she replied, according to our source. “People are poor-spirited. Why can’t I love anyone? If I do can’t I be with him because he’s famous? It’s not my fault if I met someone with such incredible heart... I’m a Cancer, what I prize the most is family, privacy... I never discussed business with my boyfriend, only with my agents... you know what? I don’t give a s---.”
And then the interview was over.
Notes from all over
Moby actually has something nice to say about his long-time nemesis Eminem. The two have feuded over the years, but they’ve come together over their hatred of George W. Bush. “You know that Eminem and I have had our differences in the past,” Moby writes on his Internet journal. “But this video [and then he provides a link to Eminem’s anti-Bush video, “Mosh”] is the best thing that I’ve seen all year. It’s an amazing song and an even more amazing video. Please go watch.” . . .Sharon Osbourne is making snide comments about Simon Cowell’s private life, telling the London Sun, “He’s one of the most repressed men I’ve ever met. He would enjoy his life a lot more if he would just come out. I reckon he’s dying to.” . . . Bjork is blasting Beyoncé Knowles. The Icelandic singer insists she’s a big fan of the Bootylicious star, but says she’s disappointed that Knowles is shilling for so many companies. “I love her voice, but maybe not what she stands for,” Bjork says, according to World Entertainment News Network. “I’m really [bleeped] off she’s doing all of those commercials. I can’t believe she did Pepsi. Doing that is like selling your soul to the devil.”
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