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To those following the coverage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ recent paparazzi-chronicled nuptials, the attendance of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony probably wasn’t much of a surprise (unlike Brooke Shields and her husband). Lopez has been best friends with “King of Queens” star and Scientologist Leah Remini for years. But Lopez surprised gossip columnists (yes, you Perez Hilton) when she told a local Miami television station that her father has been a Scientologist for 20 years.

When asked by NBC 6 about the Cruise-Holmes wedding and her thoughts on peoples’ negative perceptions of Scientology, she replied, “I, myself, am Catholic. But it’s just sad that people would look at it (Scientology) in that way.”

“My dad has been a Scientologist for 20 years. It’s weird people want to paint it in a negative way.”

Although speculation has been rife that Cruise has been courting Lopez to join the Church of Scientology, and that she has allegedly turned to the religion to help conceive, her spokesperson Leslie Sloane Zelnick continues to deny that the singer/actor is abandoning her Catholic faith, saying that “the fact that Lopez socializes with friends who happen to be Scientologists doesn’t mean anything more or anything less other than she enjoys their company.”

So, why is it that she’s kept this tidbit about her father on the down low? It’s true that her father is not a clebrity and therefore shouldn’t be exposed to the harsh light of public scrutiny. And, yes, this would be a non-issue if he had turned out to be, say, a Congregationalist. But for better or worse, the mix of secrecy and celebrity that the Church of Scientology promotes makes this a “bombshell” of a story.

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