$30-million Legal battle between Tiger Woods and his ex-girlfriend Escalating, Erica Herman has accused the golf superstar of starting their sexual relationship while he was her employee and threatened to fire her if she didn’t sign a non-disclosure agreement she now wants to void.
Harman, in court documents filed late Friday, accused Woods of lying to her after her lawyer broke up with her at an airport in October, saying they were going on a weekend trip. The lawyer then evicted her from the Woods’ $54 million mansion north of Palm Beach.
The documents were filed ahead of a scheduled hearing Tuesday where Woods’ attorneys are expected to ask Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger to drop Herman’s case against their billionaire client. They say the ex-couple’s nondisclosure agreement requires all disputes to be settled privately by an arbitrator, not in court.
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Herman, who managed the Woods’ Palm Beach County restaurant during the early years of their romantic relationship, argued that the nondisclosure agreement was unenforceable under a new federal law that says such agreements can be voided in cases of sexual assault or harassment. His attorney, Benjamin Hodas, claimed that Woods’ alleged threat to fire him if he did not sign the contract was harassment.
“A boss imposing different working conditions on an employee because of their sexual relationship is sexual harassment,” says Hodas.
Herman, 39, is separately suing the trust that owns Woods’ mansion for $30 million, saying he verbally promised in 2017 that he would stay there for at least 11 years, but was kicked out five years later.
Woods’ attorney, JB Murray, denied that the 47-year-old golfer ever sexually assaulted or harassed Herman, calling her allegations “totally without merit” in court documents.
Neither Hodas nor Murray responded to emails and phone calls seeking comment.
It is unknown if Woods will attend Tuesday’s hearing.
In Herman’s suit against Woods, he wants Judge Metzger to void the nondisclosure agreement or at least give him guidelines on what he can say publicly. For example, can he discuss events that occurred before their engagement or after their separation? What about the information he learned about Woods from others? He also argues that the contract only covers his working relationship with Woods, not their personal affairs.
In her wrongful eviction suit against the trust, she based her $30 million claim on what it would cost to rent a property like the Woods Mansion for six years of residence that she was allegedly denied.
When Hodus filed her lawsuit against the trust in October, she checked a box on a standard form saying the lawsuit did not involve sexual abuse. In Herman’s March lawsuit against Woods, Hodus checked the box saying the lawsuit involved abuse. Hodas did not explain the apparent discrepancy.
Before they dated, Woods hired Herman in 2014 and then helped manage the golfer’s The Woods Sports Bar and Restaurant in nearby Jupiter — but they don’t agree when their romantic relationship and cohabitation began.
Herman said in his court filing that their romantic relationship began in 2015 and that in late 2016 he moved into a nearly 30,000-square-foot mansion in the Woods in the Ridge Hobe Sound community.
Woods, in her court documents, said their romantic relationship began in 2017, shortly before she moved in with him in August — at which time the nondisclosure agreement was signed. In March 2017, Woods left the mansion to the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, an entity he created with only himself and his two children as beneficiaries. Forbes magazine estimates Woods’ net worth at $1.1 billion.
Their first public appearance as a couple was at the Presidents Cup in late September 2017, and Herrmann has been a steady presence at major tournaments and events, including his last win at the 2019 Masters. He was with Woods at the White House in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Herman said Woods pressured him to quit his restaurant management job in 2020, saying he wanted to spend more time taking care of her and his children.
Herrmann says Woods ousted him through a “trick.” She says Woods told her they were going on a weekend trip to the Bahamas, so she packed a small bag and he drove her to the airport, where they parked near a private jet.
But instead of boarding, Woods told Herman to talk to his lawyer and left, she said.
“Out of the blue,” the lawyer told her the relationship was over and she was being evicted, she says. He says he refused to sign another non-disclosure agreement that the lawyer tried to force on him.
When Woods’ lawyers returned his personal belongings, they kept $40,000 in cash, making “defamatory and defamatory allegations” about how he got it, he alleged.
Woods and his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, divorced in 2010 about nine months after he was caught in a series of extramarital affairs that cost him blue-chip corporate sponsors and tarnished an image that was largely impeccable.
Since then, he has had multiple injuries and surgeries, including fusion surgery on his lower back in 2017, and in February 2021, he broke his right leg in an accident in Los Angeles when he drove his SUV off a coastal road, nearly 85 years old. mph (137 kph).
Woods made the cut at the recent Masters but withdrew in the third round due to leg pain. He underwent ankle surgery last month and it is unknown when he will compete next.