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Tiger Woods’ Hard Lesson

By Rachel Stockton

Although Tiger Woods has been fiercely private in the past, he is now learning a troublesome paradox with regards to celebrity:  when life is going smoothly, reticence towards the media typically pays off.  Cameramen will keep their distance, showing up on when appropriate.  However, when a monkey wrench is thrown into the mix, aloofness towards the paparazzi backfires in a huge way.

Woods made news last Friday morning when someone called 911 to report that his “neighbor” had been in an accident, and that he was “laying on the ground,” seemingly unresponsive. 

Woods put off talking to state troopers for three days, causing the media to speculate on his personal life; and when the media speculates, all hell can break loose.

The circumstances were beyond odd; first of all, Cadillac Escalade looked pretty banged up, implying that Woods was traveling at a fairly good clip when he hit his neighbor’s tree and a fire hydrant. 

Then there’s the behavior of his wife, Elan.  According to Woods, Elan was a “hero;” the couple claimed that she grabbed a golf club and smashed two of his windows in so she could free an unconscious Tiger from the vehicle.  CNN mentioned to officer who was on the scene that one would think that instead of grabbing a club, she could have just grabbed some keys and opened his door.  The policeman concurred.

As if all of that weren’t enough to invite closer inspection by the press, there were also reports that Woods’ face was scratched and bloody.

A few days prior to the accident, the National Enquirer alleged in their tabloid that Woods had been carrying on an affair with nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel.  Woods and Uchitel both vigorously denied the accusations, despite the Enquirer’s assertion on CNN that they had “proof” (as in pictures) that Uchitel met Woods at a hotel at one point.   They also claim to have proof that Woods followed Uchitel to Australia several weeks ago.

The Enquirer also maintains they have proof of Tiger Woods’ text messages to Uchitel, despite her vehement denials.

On the subject of Woods’ text messages, another cocktail waitress, Jaimee Grubbs, told US Weekly that she has over 300 text messages proving she had a 31-month affair with the golf great.

Who Cares?

Apparently, a lot of people care about this situation a great deal; Woods is inarguably one of the most famous athletes in the entire world, and people are wondering why he would jeopardize his marriage and home life by carrying on an affair with Uchitel.

To be perfectly honest, whether or not he and his wife argued about the Enquirer story before Woods left his house in the middle of the night is none of our bees-wax.  However, according to some pundits, whether or not Woods’ wife assaulted him with the golf club should be investigated.  On December 1, Nancy Grace of CNN Headline News reminded viewers that if Woods had been an ordinary Joe Schmo, the officers would have been more insistent because of the implausibility of the Woods’ rendition of events.

She’s right; and, we can be sure that if the shoe was on the other foot and Woods assaulted Elan instead of the other way around, officials would have demanded an explanation (remember Chris Browne and Rhianna?), and would have likely arrested Woods on the spot. 

Whatever the outcome of all of this, Woods (not to mention, Rachel Uchitel) is learning a valuable lesson:  before he makes the decision to engage in risky behavior, he better make sure the “thrill” is worth the intrusion into his hard won privacy.