TMZ reports, citing "sources close to the actress," that Katie Holmes believes that the Church of Scientology began to consider her a threat as she became more estranged from high-profile church member Tom Cruise. The church's lawyer responded that it's not them.
From TMZ's original story early Sunday:
We're told Katie believes in recent weeks -- as the discord between her and Tom Cruise grew -- Scientology has been following her moves, especially in New York City.
This does not appear to be the mind of a paranoid person. People who have photographed Katie multiple times tell TMZ there have been several "mysterious" men and vehicles around Katie's apartment and following her when she's out.
Specifically ... a white Cadillac Escalade and black Mercedes SUV (see above) have been seen near Katie's NYC apartment for the past week.
FYI -- there is a publication that has put a tail on Katie, but the people doing that are separate from the people Katie believes have been dispatched from Scientology.
Then on Sunday night, TMZ posted a brief story in which the church deinied it: "Gary Soter, lawyer for the Church, tells TMZ ... the Church of Scientology is not following Katie or conducting surveillance on her in the wake of her divorce with Tom Cruise."
TMZ had previously posted items saying that Holmes and Cruise had been living apart leading up to her divorce filing last week and alleging that "Holmes is divorcing Tom Cruise because she fears Tom will force her into the Church of Scientology, hook, line and sinker."
* Now for the weird part: Rupert Murdoch's Twitter account tweeted that "Scientology back in news. Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either number two or three in hierarchy," then added a second tweet: "Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop. Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people." The posts elicited a lot of comments, pro and con. Added the Murdoch tweeter: "Since Scientology tweet hundreds of attacks. Expect they will increase and get worse and maybe threatening. Still stick to my story."