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Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend sues over NDA, says he locked her out of his home

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The ex-girlfriend of golfer Tiger Woods asked a judge in Florida to nullify a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she signed with him during their six-year relationship.

Erica Herman, who started dating Woods in 2017, filed a complaint on Monday in Martin County Circuit Court seeking declaratory judgement on what she can and cannot say under the NDA, as per court filings obtained by The Associated Press. Herman and her lawyers have argued the agreement should be cancelled due to the “Speak Out Act,” a piece of American legislation enacted in 2022 that declared an NDA cannot silence a victim of sexual harassment.

Herman, 37, has not publicly accused Woods, 47, of sexual harassment or assault. The Associated Press reported the filing’s civil cover sheet, however, does indicate that the case involves sexual abuse.

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Herman alleged via the complaint that a trust controlled by Woods, called the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, is trying to silence her from speaking about her “personal and professional relationship” with the pro golfer.

Woods and his agent have not commented on the legal claim.

Herman and Woods have not publicly announced their breakup. She was not present when he competed at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the first week of December 2022, or at the Genesis Invitational he hosted at Riviera three weeks ago. Herman was once an employee at The Woods Jupiter, a restaurant owned by Woods in Florida.

In a separate lawsuit filed in October 2022, Herman argued she is owed US$30 million because Woods and his trust allegedly violated the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

She claimed she and Woods had an 11-year oral tenancy agreement that he violated when he used “trickery” to lock her out of his home in Hobe Sound, Fla. As per the legal filing, the oral agreement still had five years remaining.

Herman alleged Woods convinced her to go on a short vacation, only to have his trust call her once she arrived at the airport and inform her that she was not to return to the house. The legal complaint claimed Herman’s belongings were removed from the house and that $40,000 in cash that belonged to her was misappropriated. In the filing, Herman claims Woods’ representatives made “scurrilous and defamatory allegations about how she obtained the money.”

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Tiger Woods and Erica Herman celebrate after the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on Sept. 23, 2018, in Atlanta, Ga. Getty Images

She also claimed Woods and his people “attempted to justify their illegal conduct” by paying for room and board for a short time period.

Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren, divorced in 2010, some nine months after he was caught in a series of extramarital affairs that cost him blue-chip corporate sponsors and tarnished an image that had been largely impeccable.

Since then, he has had a series of injuries and surgeries, including fusion surgery on his lower back in 2017, and shattered bones in his right leg from a February 2021 crash in Los Angeles when he drove his SUV off a coastal road while driving about 136 kilometres per hour.

He returned from four back surgeries to win the 2019 Masters for his first major in 11 years and his 15th career Grand Slam title. Equally remarkable was coming back from the car crash that he said nearly led to the amputation of his right leg, playing in the Masters — and making the cut — just over a year later.

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Woods chose to sit out The Players Championship this week, instead resting for the Masters on April 6 to 9. He needs one more PGA Tour victory to set the career record he shares with Sam Snead at 82.

— with files from The Associated Press

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