December 02, 2009
And so it goes. ... On Tuesday, 24-year-old Jaimee Grubbs came forward and alleged that she has been carrying on a two-year-plus affair with Tiger Woods. Grubbs indicated that she had evidence to support her charges, and now she's gone public with it. Us Weekly has just released audio it obtained from Grubbs in which he apparently asks her to change her outgoing voicemail message. Listen here:
"Hey, it's Tiger," Woods says in the voicemail. "I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. Just have it as a number on the voicemail. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye."
Grubbs told Us Weekly that she and Tiger met in April 2007 and had more than 20 "encounters," to put it politely, over the next 31 months. She has also apparently kept more than 300 text messages he sent her, including one where he allegedly wrote, "I will wear you out."
Shortly after news broke that Us Weekly had obtained Grubb's voicemail and text, Gawker reported that Us Weekly had paid $150,000 for the evidence. In a telephone interview with Yahoo! Sports, a spokesman for Us Weekly said, "We have not paid for the story." When asked whether Us Weekly paid for the voicemail, the spokesman reaffirmed, "There was no payment for the story." Gawker sources contacted by Yahoo! Sports indicated they had not received any complaint from Us Weekly about the story.
It's important to note that nowhere on that tape does Tiger confess to anything, and that text messages in and of themselves show nothing other than bad judgment. It's also important to note that audio files can easily be manipulated and text messages easily faked. That said, if this audiotape and the text messages are authentic, circumstantial evidence would lead you to connect the dots with little difficulty.
This entire story began last Wednesday when the National Enquirer alleged that a New York woman, Rachel Uchitel, was involved with the married Woods. Two days later, in the early morning of Nov. 27, Woods was briefly hospitalized after he wrecked his Escalade in a one-car accident that raised several questions about his behavior and that of his wife, Elin. Citing injuries from the crash, Woods issued a statement Monday saying he would not attend or play in the Chevron World Challenge, the tournament he hosts that benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. (Tournament organizers are now offering full refunds to ticketholders, though to date few have accepted.) The police announced Tuesday that they would be closing the legal book against Woods by pressing careless-driving charges.
While this story is no longer a legal issue, it obviously has become a full-blown celebrity scandal. For Woods, this is no longer a private matter; he's built a billion-dollar endorsement empire on his image, and that image is taking a severe beating right now because of what seems to be his behind-the-scenes actions. Woods has so far chosen to remain silent on the matter aside from a brief Sunday statement; how much longer will he be able to remain quiet?
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