Tiger Woods’ personal life is about to take another public beating.
Just when it seemed like his turbulent life had settled down, that he was a happy family man with a long-term companion and his two children, Woods’ world is about to be turned upside down again in public.
Erica Herman, Woods’ girlfriend of some six years, is taking the 47-year-old golf superstar to court according to documents filed in Martin County, Florida, hoping to nullify a nondisclosure agreement Woods made her sign at the beginning of their relationship.
Herman is claiming the NDA shouldn’t be enforced due to the Speak Out Act, which provides an exemption in scenarios where there is evidence of sexual assault or harassment.
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Though there has been no accusation or evidence of sexual assault or harassment on the part of Woods, given his dubious track record, this raises antennae — whether fair or not.
Woods, of course, was the subject of a very public cheating scandal in 2009 that wrecked his marriage with his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, the mother of his two children, Sam and Charlie.
He was alleged to have had affairs with numerous different women, some of whom went public with the juicy details of their trysts, making money for paid appearances and interviews about Woods.
This is surely why Woods insisted on Herman signing that NDA, hoping to protect himself from some sort of tell-all situation if their relationship ever ended in acrimony.
And yet here we are.
But this latest relationship mess of Woods doesn’t appear to be about infidelity.
It appears to be about money.
Herman alleges that she was thrown out of the house she shared with Woods.
Herman had become a fabric of Woods’ life, almost always present at tournaments in which he played, often hanging out with his kids.
She was frequently spotted at the kids’ sporting events.
She seemed to have a profound effect in turning Woods into a much more grounded, humble person.
In his meetings with the press, Woods appeared happier and more content than he had before he’d settled down with Herman.
Herman, too, was the opposite of some of the women Woods had dated previously, like world-class skier Lindsey Vonn, in that she was neither famous nor flashy.
Herman had a girl-next-door vibe, and she was extremely close to Woods’ children.
I’ll never forget seeing Herman with Woods’ mother, Tida, Sam, and Charlie huddled together at a corner table inside the Augusta National clubhouse in 2019 as Woods was about to win the Masters.
Herman doted on the kids, who were restlessly ripping their way through candy and leaving wrappers everywhere, and she fidgeted nervously while watching Woods on the TV screen trying to close out his 15th career major championship.
This isn’t the end-game that the Woods-Herman relationship appeared headed — at least given what we saw in public.
News of this court filing by Herman caught a lot of people in golf off-guard, though she had not been seen with him at the last three golf events he was at, beginning with his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas and then the PNC Championship and the Genesis Invitational last month.This split is further evidence that you never know what goes on behind closed doors in anyone’s life — even those you may think you know based on what you see in public.