Yesterday I told you how People magazine had succumbed to promoting Scientology in exchange for an interview with poster boy Tom Cruise.
Now comes word from my sources that Cruise's former father-in-law helped screenwriters with a script about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
According to my sources, Phil Rogers, the father of actress Mimi Rogers, was the advisor on a secret script written for HBO by John Stockwell and Nancy Stoddart. The screenplay, called Immortal Thetan, chronicled the life and death of Hubbard. It was commenced in 1997 and finished in 1999.
Rogers' participation is said to have caused a rift with his daughter. Phil Rogers left Scientology after Hubbard's death and the installation of a new regime. Mimi Rogers is said to be part of that new regime. She was raised in Scientology and is said to have become an "auditor" at age 14. She married Cruise in 1987 soon after he became a Scientologist.
What happened to Immortal Thetan was a confluence of changing execs at HBO and a fear of retaliation from the notoriously vindictive tax-exempted group.
Stockwell and Stoddart are said to have a polished and ready-to-go script, but no studio fearless enough to make the deal.
Last week in sunny Florence, Italy, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Stefano Bemer -- the custom shoemaker for whom Oscar winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis worked a couple of years ago.
Bemer's very small shop is not in a fashionable area of Florence, but sort of hidden away and extremely discreet. It consists of a tiny waiting area with a counter, adjoined by a similar workspace. There, a couple of workers bang on nails and try not to inhale glue as they make one of a kind pairs of men's shoes.
The shoes all carry the same price tag: $1,500 for the actual product, plus $250 for the three required fittings. I tried on a pair of suede desert boots which Bemer had in my size. The price tag for these was $730. They were lovely, but I declined in several languages.
Bemer had nothing but praise for Day-Lewis, whom he called a hard worker. "I used to say to him, 'Daniel, no one is perfect,'" said Bemer, noting that Day-Lewis would often become disturbed when a stitch was not exactly right.
Day-Lewis worked for Bemer for an astounding 11 months in 1999. The shoe man would definitely take him back. In the meantime, Bemer makes shoes for the likes of Sting -- who has a villa in Tuscany.
I, however, have returned to the Timberland outlet shop.