Washington (ANI): Devoted Scientologists Tom Cruise and Kelly Preston have denied claims that they influenced Fox News to sack a popular entertainment journalist for his longstanding criticism of the faith. Roger Friedman, who was fired in April, had announced that he intended to sue his former employer for unjust termination, claiming various Hollywood stars pressurised network bosses to dismiss him since he had a history of criticising their Scientology beliefs.
The reporter, who intends to file the lawsuit soon in New York, alleges his columns infuriated high profile Scientologists including Cruise, who he claims was in negotiations to sign on to future Fox movie projects at the time of his sacking.
He further accused Preston of calling him a 'religious bigot' at a funeral last August, alleging she subsequently orchestrated a meeting between senior Fox executives and Scientology leaders in an effort have him removed from the media network.
"In falsely claiming Roger engaged in piracy, they attempted to destroy the reputation of a fine journalist. I''ve seen how Scientology intimidates even the most powerful media. That seems to be what happened here," Contactmusic quoted Friedman's attorney Martin Garbus as saying.
But Cruise's lawyers have hit back at the claims, dubbing them as 'utterly false'. Preston's lawyer Martin Singer also blasted the allegations as 'absurd and ridiculous'. He added: "(Friedman) was terminated just days after (his X-Men Origins column was published). It is outrageous to try to blame my client on the basis of something that supposedly took place eight months earlier."