If Tom Cruise thinks he’s had a rough time with American journalists, just wait until he sees what the Brits have in store for him. West Coast sources say Andrew Morton, the notorious unauthorized biographer, was in California last week researching a gimlet-eyed exposé on Cruise and his Scientology pals.
Morton, whose explosive 1992 tome Diana: Her True Story revealed the truth about the beloved royal’s bouts with bulimia and her fractured marriage to Prince Charles, was spotted having a working lunch at the Rose Café in Venice with celebrity sleuth Paul Barresi and L.A.-based lawyer—and outspoken Scientology critic—Graham Berry.
Both men have had run-ins with the Church of Scientology over the years. Barresi, who once told the National Enquirer he had a two-year affair with actor John Travolta, was harassed by the sect’s army of private eyes until he recanted the story. Berry also endured an avalanche of attacks from the Church—reportedly including goons plastering his neighborhood with fliers calling him a child molester—after he represented a psychiatrist quoted in a landmark 1991 Time magazine article on Scientology in a libel suit.
An indefatigable reporter of the dumpster-diving variety, Morton, who has also penned bios of Monica Lewinsky and Madonna, is unlikely to succumb to such strong-arm tactics. After all, he was reportedly unfazed when “thieves” ransacked his London home for tapes and source material while he was writing Diana. And it sounds like Morton isn’t expecting a warm reception in Hollywood, either. According to a witness at the restaurant, the former Daily Mail reporter was overheard lambasting the Church as a “totalitarian” organization and comparing Cruise to Charles Lindbergh, the celebrated aviator and fascist sympathizer.
Asked about the lunch, Berry confirmed that the meeting took place but declined to discuss the nature of the conversation. Neither Morton, who is now based in New York City, nor Barresi could be reached for comment.