Tiger Woods being sued for $45 million after ugly split from girlfriend
Court documents have shed light on the messy break-up between Tiger Woods and his long-time partner.
Tiger Woods' ex-girlfriend Erica Herman has accused the golfer of using "trickery" to convince her to leave their Florida mansion and is reportedly seeking US$30 million ($AUD 45.5m) in compensation after her messy split from the 47-year-old. Confirmation of their break-up has only emerged this week after details of their months-long legal battle came to light.
In a civil complaint filed this week in a Florida court, Herman asked a judge to nullify a non-disclosure agreement she signed when the couple began dating in 2017, citing a recent law that limits enforcing such agreements in sexual harassment and assault cases. She believes the agreement is "invalid and unenforceable," according to the lawsuit. She did not accuse Woods specifically of harassment or assault in court papers.
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It's also emerged that Herman filed a landlord complaint against Woods, in which the golfing superstar is accused of tricking his former partner into leaving the Florida mansion under the pretence that she was going on a short vacation. According to court filings obtained by the New York Post, representatives for Woods' trust convinced Herman to “pack a suitcase for a short vacation and, when she arrived at the airport, they told her she had been locked out of her residence, in violation of the oral tenancy agreement and in violation of Florida law”.
#TigerWoods’ ex-girlfriend Erica Herman has accused the golf star of tricking her into leaving his Florida mansion under the guise of going on a “short vacation” — only to lock her out. https://t.co/UxtnhEZlm9 pic.twitter.com/qjXy0LVR6q
— New York Post (@nypost) March 8, 2023
Tiger Woods €47m luxurious mansion on Jupiter Island, Florida is where he’s spending his lockdown with his partner Erica Herman.
It has its own golf course, an Olympic swimming pool, a running track, a basketball court, a tennis court, a gym, a wine cellar and a jetty. pic.twitter.com/Ny4Iwbm0RM
— King De Maestro (@kingdemaestro_) April 16, 2020
Herman claims Woods then paid for a “hotel room and certain expenses for a short period of time”, before scaring her off returning to the massive property in Jupiter, Florida. The court documents go on to allege that Woods' representatives removed her possessions from the property, as well as $40,000 in cash that Herman claims belonged to her, before making “scurrilous and defamatory allegations about how she obtained the money”.
Woods' ex-girlfriend claimed in the court filing that she had an “oral agreement” about living in the Florida property for at least 11 years, and that she was still legally entitled to spend another five years at the property. The claim goes on to state that Herman is seeking around $30 million in compensation.
Tiger Woods and Erica Herman in messy legal battle
However, a lawyer for Woods has countered the claim from his ex-girlfriend by insisting that under Florida law, oral tenancy agreements are only valid for less than one year. The golfer's legal team filed a subsequent motion stating that by taking legal action against Woods, Herman was in violation of the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) she signed in August 2017 when the pair first started dating.
“By suing the Trust rather than Mr. Woods, Ms. Herman seeks to evade her obligation to adjudicate her claims in a confidential arbitration and, instead, seeks to gain leverage by litigating her disputes with Mr. Woods in a public forum,” that motion, filed in October, stated.
The complaint heard by a Florida court on behalf of Herman this week claims that the NDA between the pair is not enforceable by arbitration under the Speak Out Act - a federal law signed by President Joe Biden in December 2022 that limits the enforcement of NDAs in cases of sexual harassment and assault.
In the five-page request for a jury trial, Herman alleges that a trust controlled by Woods “has taken the position in litigation that the NDA is enforceable.” Woods has not been accused of any specific sexual harassment and/or assault.
“[Herman] is unsure whether she may disclose, among other things, facts giving rise to various legal claims she believes she has,” the filing read. The complaint also requests the court determine Herman’s “freedom to disclose... her own experiences” and “photographs and recordings of herself and her family members.”
Woods and Herman have not openly addressed the status of their relationship. The two have not been seen in public together since last August in New York, where they attended the US Open tennis tournament.
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