With the spotlight beaming down on your every move, being rich and famous is not always as easy or as pleasant as one might think.
The slightest misdemeanor by the rich and famous is quickly devoured by the ever hungry tabloids and gossip columns and then instantly spat out for public consumption and in today’s world of rapid communications, those misdemeanors are often circulated within seconds of them happening. Ask Tiger Woods… He knows all about it!
Tiger Slips On The Green Jacket For The 5th Time
At the age of 43, Tiger Woods recently astounded the golfing world by winning the US Masters for the 5th time in his golfing career. At the awards ceremony when presented with coveted Green Jacket, Tiger was joined by his young son who up to that moment had not seen his father win a tournament during his short lifetime.
The scene of father and son sharing the joy with a hug was reminiscent of Tiger hugging his own father Earl Woods, at the very same spot 22 years earlier when Tiger won his first Masters Tournament.
When Eldrick Woods was a mere 2 years old, his father, Earl Woods knew that his son was destined to play golf, but at the time, he could not have known that his young son would be become one of the greatest Golfers in the history of the sport.
One day, whilst practising his swing at a golf driving range, Earl Woods, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, noticed that he was being imitated by his young son Eldrick who had accompanied him for the day.
Eldrick, later nicknamed ‘Tiger’ was only 2 years old, but despite his tender age, his father couldn’t help but notice that the boy seemed to possess a natural rhythm for the game of golf and so he decided to buy him a set of golf clubs.
Over the next few years, he coached his young protege’ in the finer points of the game and by the time Tiger had reached the age of 6, he was winning matches against other boys far more his senior.
At the tender age of 8, Tiger entered and won the Junior World Golf Championship. Tiger’s win was a turning point for his father who decided it was time to employ the services of a professional coach.
Tiger Goes To College
Rudy Duran was selected for that role and he soon had Tiger practising for several hours every day. Tiger continued to win matches at an amateur level and in 1992 he competed in his first professional golf tournament. When the scores from that tournament were tallied-up, Tiger was placed down in the lower order, but he had experienced his first taste of professional golf and he was just 16 years old.
In 1994, Tiger enrolled at Stanford University on a full Golf Scholarship and in between his studies, he won the US Amateur title plus 2 others. As his passion for the game grew, he entered more competitions and by 1997 he had won 3 Professional Tournaments. In that year he also won the US Masters and set a new world record in beating his opponents by a margin of 12 points.
He continued to win innumerable Golf Tournaments and at the age of 21, he became the youngest ever player to make the Number 1 spot in world golf rankings. He also went on to win the Grand Slam twice, an achievement previously accomplished by only one other player in the world, the legendary Jack Nicklaas. After just two years at Stanford, Tiger decided to leave college in pursuit of a professional golfing career.
It was a move that surprised many as most kids would give their right arm to attend Stanford and in recent times, a few well known parents almost did just that!
Possible Jail Time For Celebrities
More than 50 people have been criminally charged In a recent scandal that involved under the table payments by parents in an attempt to get their kids admitted to the world renowned college of Stanford. The people already charged includes, parents, exam administrators and college coaches.
In an FBI investigation code-named ‘Operation Varsity Blues’ it has been revealed that a bribery scam saw as much as $25M exchanging hands by wealthy parents trying to secure a position for their kids at several Top Universities including Stanford and Yale.
The bribe money was used in several ways including, entrance exams being written by experts, bribing testing administrators and paying college coaches to admit kids with athletic abilities when in fact the kids possessed none of those attributes.
To ensure a place for their kids, it’s been reported that some parents paid vast amounts of money to secure a place for the kids, with a chinese family purportedly spending as much $6.5m.
Screen actresses and celebrities, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are just two from a group of parents who paid a hefty price to have their kids enrolled at top colleges with Loughlin, better known for her role in the mid 80’s sitcom ‘Full House’ purported to have paid as much as $ 500.000 in an effort to guarantee her two daughters a place at the University of California.
Felicity Huffman and her actor husband, Willam H. Macy are reported to have spent $15,000 to get one of their daughters extended time for writing her SATS test.
In addition to trying to get her own daughters enrolled at the University of California, Laughlin is also accused of aiding a fellow parent desperate to get her daughter enrolled at USC.
In an effort to get her daughter enrolled as an athlete, the mother falsely stated in the college application that her daughter was the crew coxswain for the L.A. Marine Club Team, and Laughlin is accused of offering to have the daughter photographed on a rowing machine to substantiate the girls athleticism and back-up the claim.
The case is still pending, but it has been mentioned that jail time might be on the cards for those who are found guilty of the charges.
A Tiger Cornered
The year 2009 saw the golfing career of Tiger Woods at its peak. From a total of 19 tournaments he had won 7, and ended up in the top 10 from the other 16. He was riding a huge wave of success, but that success was about to start crumbling as the year approached Thanksgiving.
As with most celebrities, the world’s No 1 Golfer was under constant surveillance by the hungry pack of wolves from the tabloids whose editors were always on the prowl for a juicy story and as November approached, their appetite was about to be rewarded with one of the biggest scoops of the year.
It had long been suspected that Tiger was involved in extramarital affairs, and on November 23rd, the internet was alive with rumours about his latest fling with girlfriend, Rachel Uchitel who claimed she was in love with the golfer and she didn’t care about his wife.
The tabloids grabbed the story with both hands, but the cornered Tiger wasn’t going to let things go without a fight and after being confronted by his beautiful Swedish wife of 5 years and mother to their two children,Elin Nordegren he denied all knowledge of the rumoured affair with Uchitel and even arranged a phone call between his wife and suspected mistress who claimed the relationship was not sexual.
Tiger Caught With His Pants Down
Satisfied that he had allayed his wife’s suspicion about an affair with Rachel Uchitel, Tiger fell into a deep sleep on Thanksgiving night, but his wife was smarter than he gave her credit for and while he slumbered in restful sleep, Elin searched the messages on his unattended mobile phone.
She soon came across an SMS that read. ‘You are the only one I’ve ever loved’. Knowing that she had never been the recipient of that message from her husband, she decided to send her own text to the number which read. ‘’I miss you, when are we seeing other again?’’.
Elin received a reply shortly afterwards and decided to call the unknown number. When her call as answered, Elin immediately recognised the voice of Rachel Uchitel. Needless to say the beautiful Swede exploded!
Her shouting roused the sleeping Tiger who dressed only in a flimsy T shirt and a pair of shorts, soon found himself being pursued by his furious wife who had chosen a golf club as her weapon of choice to inflict damage on her cheating husband.
In his attempt to escape her wrath, Tiger clambered into his Cadillac SUV and put his foot to the floor, but in his haste to escape his angry wife, he proceeded to destroy half the neighbourhood with his powerful vehicle by ploughing into hedges, concrete kerbs, and a fire hydrant before finally bringing his car to an abrupt halt by crashing into a tree in a neighbours front yard.
His problems didn’t end there, as his wife caught up with him and began panel beating his Cadillac SUV with a flailing golf club, finally shattering its windscreen before she was done.
To Love And To Cherish
At the age of 39, Elin Nordegren is still a beautiful woman. She was born in Stockholm Sweden in 1980, and has a psychology degree.
In her younger years, she started modelling and her good looks soon had her on the cover of a glossy magazine named ‘Cafe Sport’. In between modelling jobs she worked in a Stckholm clothing store called Champagne and it was there that she met Mia Parnevik, the wife of Swedish Golfer, Jesper Parnevik.
At the time, Mia was on a home visit from the USA and when she told Elin she was looking for a nanny to look after her four children, Elin jumped at the opportunity and soon joined the family in America.
Jesper Parnevik’s had been in the world’s top 10 list of golfers for some time and was accustomed to rubbing shoulders with most of the top players, including Tiger Woods, who had been pestering Parnevik for an introduction to Elin from the moment he had first heard about her.
The introduction was made, but Elin had no intention of getting involved with a celebrity golfer and she turned down the world’s number 1 when he asked her out on a date.
Elin’s initial rejection of the golfer’s attention soon gave way and two years after meeting each other, the couple were married in a secretitive, yet lavish affair in Barbados at an estimated cost of $2M.
A few years later when news of Tiger’s infidelity made the headlines, Jesper Parnevik said Elin should have used a Golf wood instead of an iron when she attacked his car.
Cheating Is A Costly Affair
It’s been rumoured that Tiger’s indiscretions, have cost him a lot more than he had bargained for in his divorce settlement from his former Swedish wife Elin Nordegren. Initial figures being bandied about were in the $750M region, but financial analysts have put a more sober figure on the payout at being more along the lines of $100M.
What is clear, is that certain prerequisites were agreed to when the couple finally settled and some of these included, Tiger not being allowed to introduce his young daughter and son to any women other trusted staff members who are known to his former wife.
He also had to agree that he would not introduce any other women to his kids unless he was married to them. On her part, Elin agreed that the exact details of their divorce settlement would not be disclosed to the public and there lies the reason why it is a tough task to put any real figure on the final payout.
Of one thing, everyone can be sure. If the estimated $100M is anything to go by, the former Swedish shop assistant and part time model has earned around $20M for each year she was married to Tiger – Not bad earnings in anyone’s book.
Top Divorce Payouts
As far as top divorce payouts are concerned, Elin Nordegren Woods, didn’t do too badly. Other celebrity divorce settlements have exceeded that amount, but most of the partners who scored had been involved in the marriage for a whole lot longer.
Other headline divorce settlements that have made the headlines include, Rupert and Anna Murdock’s. After being married for almost 30 years it’s estimated that Anna received around $1.2B. That averages out at approximately $42M for every year she had to endure her husband’s company. They parted ways in 1999 when the dollar went further than it does today and only a mathematician could figure that one out.
Stephen Spielberg didn’t do too well when he was forced to hand over almost half his wealth at the time to his wife of just four years. The figure quoted for that agreement was around $100M, or $25M for every year she was married to the Film Director.
In 1982, Adnan Koshoggi had to shove $847M into his ex wife Soraya’s bank account and after 21 years of marriage, that gave her an annual allowance of around $42M for every year she had been married to the Saudi Arms Dealer.
Ex Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, reluctantly handed over $50M to his ex wife Heather Mills after just four short years of marriage, giving her an annual income of around $12.2M for every year she had to listen to his music in his Scottish Castle.
Dark Times In The Jungle For The Tiger
By his own admission, the best year in the life of Tiger Woods was when he was a mere 11 years of age. By that time he had already played and won 113 golf competitions, was achieving A. Grades at school and also had one of the best looking girlfriends in the 6th grade.
Many years later, as an adult, those carefree days at age 11 seem to have faded into the mists of time, perhaps never to return again.
The man who dominated the world of golf for so many years hadn’t won a Major tournament since 2008 and in the path of his personal problems which first came to public light in 2009, it looked as if the career of the once formidable Tiger was over.
In addition to all his personal problems, injuries had set. The first one being a leg muscle strain that over time began to hinder his performance on the golf circuit and as his game began to suffer, his world standing began to wane.
After intensive treatment, his leg injury began to improve, but that injury was soon replaced by knee problems and the once great Golfer was soon having to retire from tournaments half way through the tournament.
As if to prove that things come in threes, Tiger had no sooner recovered from his knee problem when his back began to fail him and during the next few years, he was compelled to undergo several surgeries in an attempt to correct the ailment.
Adding to his woes, Tiger lost his father to cancer in 2006. Their relationship had always been a close one and his passing had a devastating effect on Tiger and major tournament wins would continue to elude him for several more years.
The Gathering Of The Vultures
Being rich and famous is something most people just dream about, but fame also brings with it, public scrutiny and the gutter press are always on standby to make the most of gossip that guarantee sales.
If the Tabloids are to be believed, Tiger’s indiscretions whilst married to Elin exceeded well over a dozen women, perhaps even more. They ranged from waitresses, to hookers, and at least three women have prospered from selling their secrets to the ever hungry tabloids. There are possibly even a few more who have shared their stories with the public whilst retaining their anonymity.
The tabloid frenzy that followed that fateful night at the Florida home of the world’s Nr. 1 golfer was such, that payment was and still continues to be offered to anyone who had anything to do with the champ, irrespective of how insignificant that relationship might have been.
A previously unknown 33 year old waitress at a diner in Orlando, named Mindy Lawton, managed to fill her purse after claiming to have sex with Tiger at his home and also in the parking lot of a church.
24 year old Jaimee Grubbs, also a waitress, is another who has cashed in with voice mail recordings sold to US Weekly, but the most famous of these women is by far Rachel Uchitel, who was instrumental in starting the whole thing.
The Other Woman
Rachel Uchitel, had been engaged to an investment banker who was tragically killed in the 911 terrorist attack on New York in 2001. Looking back, she claims her life would have turned out differently had it not been for that fateful day when she lost her fiance’.
She had worked as a News Producer for Bloomberg before becoming a hostess at a nightclub where she first met the world’s Nr. 1 golfer Tiger Woods and it’s no secret that the two became embroiled in a long standing love affair thereafter.
After being publicly exposed by the tabloids as the other woman, she went to ground for a while, but later emerged to receive a $10M payout from Tiger to hush her up about the affair.
The payout came with the provision of a confidentiality clause whereby she agreed to never discuss or reveal any more details about the affair, an agreement, which according to Tiger’s legal team, was later breached by the bombshell.
At the time of the payout, Uchitel was represented by lawyer, Gloria Allred who received $4M for her legal consultation and when she learned about Uchitel’s breach of contract, Alred advised her client to return the money to avoid prosecution.
With little choice left, Uchitel reluctantly returned the money, but she has never felt comfortable about Alred being allowed to keep her $4M and she is now looking at suing her previous lawyer for bad legal advice.
Life has not gone too well for Uchitel who married Matt Hahn about two years after the much publicised night on Thanksgiving, but that union also failed after 18 months and the couple went through a messy divorce and custody battle over their daughter.
Tiger Bounces Back
Tiger Woods has certainly had his fair share of trials and tribulations, both professionally and personally.
In the year of 2009, he was regarded as one of the best players in golfing history, sharing the accolade with the likes of Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Seve Balleteros to name but a few, but following a long list of indiscretions, infidelity and physical injuries, it looked as if the once invincible golfer was on a downward trend from which he would never recover.
But things did start to turn around for the golfer who has more wins to his name than any other golfer and by the time 2012 arrived, sparks of hope began to ignite as the previous world’s Nr.1 golfer began to make his come back.
Selection to team America for the fiercely contested Ryders Cup between the USA and Europe was just the beginning, and that was followed by several displays of impressive golf by the former champion with him coming close to winning a few and the increase in his ratings leapt a massive 69%.
During his illustrious career, he has won 18 majors, just two behind the legendary Jack Nicklaus and with a total of 81 wins in all tournaments, he ranks just one point behind Sam Snead’s record of 82.
In 2000, he achieved the lowest scoring average of 68.17 beating Brian Nelson’s previous record of 68.3 in 1945, but at the age of 43, Tiger’s fifth win in the 2019 US Masters, has surely put him back on course towards former glory.