The Biggest Rumors About Tiger Woods That Just Won't Die

Despite facing consistent claims by detractors that his career is over for good, Tiger Woods has had inspiring comeback after comeback, and the sporting legend is widely revered as one of the greatest golfers to ever grace the course. However, Woods' legacy is marred by scandals, controversies, and damaging rumors.

Throughout his career, Woods was frequently forced to take breaks from the competition circuit due to persistent and painful injuries, which necessitated surgeries and extensive physiotherapy. As he aged, Woods was confronted with the daunting task of contemplating his future career prospects, a decision made all the more difficult by his apparent reluctance to retire.

In addition, Woods' continued standing in the golf world makes the prospect of walking away even less attractive. Sure, he's far from being the world's formidable and unbeatable number-one that he once was and, realistically, never will be again. However, Woods finished a respectable 18th in the December 2023 Hero World Challenge, resulting in him leaping 430 places in the world ranking, from 1,328 to 898. Still, as the athlete pushes 50, the main topic of conversation regarding Woods is whether it is time for him to retire gracefully. Other golfing greats carried on for considerably longer, though: Jack Nicklaus was 65, Arnold Palmer 77, and Gary Player 74 when they quit the pro circuit. But, in fairness, unlike Woods, they weren't hounded by the paparazzi, subjected to salacious headlines, and besieged by continued rumors that just won't die.

Tiger apparently agreed to a $350 million non-cheating prenup clause

Tiger Woods had an estimated 120 affairs while married to Elin Nordegren. But she remained stoic — aside from an alleged incident with a golf club and smashed windows. Nordegren gave just two interviews following their split, both with People, and hasn't publicly spoken since. Cynics claim Nordegren's silence is because of an iron-clad NDA signed in return for her divorce payout, estimated to be in the region of $100 million. Others insist she's simply a class act who wants to move on with her life.

"I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," Nordegren told People in August 2010, vowing to live her life privately now. "I have moved on, and I am in a good place," she said when speaking to the outlet in 2014."Our relationship is centered around our children, and we are doing really good."

Still, the rumors about Woods continued to affect Nordegren long after their divorce was finalized. Speculation rose its ugly head in 2013 when The National Enquirer (via Fox Sports) claimed Woods proposed to Nordegren over the 2012 holidays. Apparently, she was up for it on condition that a $350 million anti-cheating penalty was written into a prenup. The story is "farcical, bogus, absolutely fiction, false, and that she is spending her time being a lovely mom raising her lovely kids," a family friend told The Chicago Sun-Times, according to Bleacher Report.

Tiger reportedly has a sex addiction

The 120 affairs Tiger Woods is estimated to have had during his nearly six-year marriage to Elin Nordegren sparked rumors he has a sex addiction. Woods never admitted or denied the reports, but speculation increased when he reportedly entered a treatment facility in December 2009 for undisclosed reasons.

"For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I'm facing," Woods revealed to reporters upon his release in February 2010, according to Reuters. "I have a long way to go. But I've taken my first steps in the right direction." Woods confessed to engaging in "repeated irresponsible behavior" and admitted, "I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated."

Later in the month, Woods issued a heartfelt apology to fans, friends, and family. "Everyone of you has good reason to be critical of me," he said. "I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior." In March 2010, Woods got candid in an interview with ESPN, admitting he had been "living a life of a lie." As for the sheer number of women he cheated with, Woods replied, "Just one is enough. And obviously, that wasn't the case." Heartbreakingly, when asked why he'd married Nordegren in the first place, Woods admitted, "Because I loved her. I loved Elin with everything I had. And that's something that makes me feel even worse."

Tiger purportedly sexually harassed an employee-turned-girlfriend then kicked her out of their house

Some particularly nasty rumors about Tiger Woods surfaced in March 2023 following a bitter breakup with a former employee turned girlfriend. They came to light after US Weekly obtained a copy of a $30 million lawsuit filed by Erica Herman in October 2022, accusing Woods of illegally kicking her out of the house they shared after encouraging her to take a vacation and then changing the locks while she was away.

Herman followed up with a second lawsuit in March 2023, requesting the court nullify an NDA that Woods allegedly pressured her into signing after they started dating in 2017. Per Sports Illustrated, Herman said she struck up a sexual relationship with the golfer while employed at his Florida restaurant, The Woods. Herman claimed he then threatened to fire her if she didn't sign an NDA gagging her from discussing their affair. "A boss imposing different work conditions on his employee because of their sexual relationship is sexual harassment," her attorney charged.

In November 2023, Herman dismissed both of her lawsuits with prejudice, and she denied her previous accusations against Woods of sexual harassment and unfair eviction. It wasn't clear if both parties reached a settlement out of court, halting further proceedings. Meanwhile, Woods' attorney accused Herman of being a bitter ex-girlfriend with an axe to grind.

Tiger allegedly abuses steroids

Tiger Woods landed in legal hot water in May 2017 when he was busted for driving under the influence in Florida. He faced even harsher potential penalties, though, when his toxicology report revealed he had Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien, and Delta-9 carboxy THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) in his system.

In addition to the combo being enough to seriously impair an elephant, two of the substances, Dilaudid and Delta-9 carboxy THC, are listed in the PGA's anti-doping guide. Still, Woods being Woods, the organization gave him a free ride. "As he has stated previously, Tiger is remorseful about his actions and committed to correcting his mistakes going forward," PGA commissioner Jay Monahan told The Guardian, vowing, "The tour is committed to helping him in any way we can, as he is a member of our family."

However, more seriously, Woods has been plagued with rumors that he uses performance-enhancing steroids. No physical evidence has come to light, but accusations have swirled for years, most recently from former PGA tour star Mark Lye. He didn't hold back in April 2024 when "Don't @ Me" podcast host Dan Dakich asked if it's believed in golfing circles that Woods takes steroids. "It is except for the people in Tiger's corner," Lye claimed, saying it was a forbidden subject. Still, "There's just no doubt. And I would say about 80 or 90% of the people out there know something ain't right," he continued.

Tiger isn't a fan of splashing the cash

In March 2024, Celebrity Net Worth listed Tiger Woods' fortune as $800 million, with a yearly salary of $50 million. However, don't expect to see the golfer living like a royal because he's not about the Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on a timepiece, jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash — far from it. In fact, multiple friends, acquaintances, and past love interests claim that Woods prefers staying under an umbrella rather than making it rain.

In a Vanity Fair tell-all, Mark Seal claimed that instead of wining and dining one of his lucky past paramours, Mindy Lawton, at some fancy eatery, Woods treated her to a chicken wrap from Subway instead. However, according to Woods' longtime friend and former European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, Lawton was lucky to get that. "He had a very successful savings account," Clarke told the "Dubai Eye Sports Tonight" podcast, as noted by Golf Digest. "He didn't quite pay for too many dinners whenever we were out, I have to say. ... He couldn't even be coerced into paying for dinners."

Meanwhile, it's safe to say that Woods' ex-coach, Hank Hanley, isn't a fan of his former student — personality or spending-wise. Hanley spilled the tea in his 2012 book, "The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods." According to excert from the book published by the Daily Mail, he described the athlete as "cheap, petty, ruthless and selfish."