Woods embroiled in tabloid saga

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports

I never thought covering the "Tiger Woods Infidelity Beat" would be so eventful.

Tuesday began with promising news for Tiger. His alleged girlfriend, Rachel Uchitel, delivered a forceful, bizarre and strangely believable denial to the New York Post.

It came complete with accounts of Quaalude-popping hookers, accusations the mistress is a madam and a David Boreanaz cameo. She says the Tiger affair story was made up by a "hooker" she knows who sold out to The National Enquirer for "$25,000."

Uchitel had no problem admitting that her job as a "VIP hostess" in Manhattan nightclubs often descended into befriending wealthy men (or "clients," as she calls them) and going on "vacation" with them.

That's why she was in Australia last month. Not to see Tiger, but to hang with "some guys."

"I become friends with my clients and go on trips with them. … It's none of anybody's business what I was up to in Australia."

I'm guessing it was more than seeing kangaroos.

It's a fairly astounding account. It reads credibly. At the end of it, I began to wonder if Tiger Woods was somehow, someway innocent, maybe just the unlucky recipient of a bogus tabloid story that completely blew up his world. Hey, it was possible.

He was kind of due for some bad luck. He'd been blessed with more natural ability to play golf than any human ever, won the Masters at 21, earned a billion dollars and married a Swedish model who bore him two healthy kids. Maybe this was the balance of luck piling on all at once.

Then by early afternoon, US Weekly was promising a new mistress – Jaimee Grubbs – this one coming forward herself.

The magazine promises details of a 31-month relationship between the former Las Vegas cocktail waitress and Woods – the proof coming from "photos, racy texts from Tiger, as well as a voicemail from November 24, in which Tiger suggests his wife might be on to the alleged affair," according to TMZ.com, which is so on top of this story it's even scooping other media outlets about their scoops.

And so went Tiger's Husband of the Year nomination. You just hope he hid the golf clubs or parked his Escalade at a friend's house.

So maybe the false allegations about Mistress No. 1 wound up exposing the uncovering of Mistress No. 2, who (surprise, surprise) is a budding reality TV star. (She was on VH1's "Tool Academy.")

I think this should end the ridiculous moaning by egotistical media members demanding that Tiger tell them what happened. Likewise the publicity-seeking "crisis managers" on television giving ridiculous advice such as "hold a press conference." If it meant a CNN spot, some of these guys would recommend a lie-detector test administered by Nancy Grace.

I think we all know why Tiger wasn't holding any press conferences to "come clean."

That doesn't even address the potential legal ramifications of talking to the media, let alone the Florida Highway Patrol. I'm willing to bet the reason Tiger and Elin can't talk is because the story Elin told the police about smashing the windows to get her husband out of his SUV is not the truth. How could it be?

She blasted both back windows of his Escalade. One window? Ah, maybe. Two? Come on, that's a Carrie Underwood song.

If so, that meant there was at least a possibility Elin could have been hit with the charge of giving false testimony to a police officer. It was probably a long shot, but do you want to risk it?

Then there's the possibility Elin scratched up Tiger (as TMZ reported), which means a domestic-violence charge could even have been pursued. Under Florida law, those can be prosecuted even against the wishes of the victim.

Tiger has more lawyers than major championships. He isn't making any dumb moves here. He has the right to remain silent and he's taking it.

As for the public, oh well. It's too late to swing many minds now. Where there's smoke, there's a cad. The story is off the charts – 24/7 around the world. Consider this newscast from Asia, complete with animation simulation of Elin slapping Tiger and chasing him with a five iron.

There's no "getting out in front" of that.

If silence costs him any endorsers, well, the guy made $100 million last year so I think he'll keep food on the table.

At this point, his focus has to be on his family and his future.

It's been an incredible week for Woods. He's been in the public spotlight since he was a teenager, yet as of last Tuesday not a single interesting story had emerged from his private life.

Then came the Enquirer. Then came the fire hydrant. Then came Two-E Jaimee.

No one knows who or what could be next. Expect brisk sales of US Weekly in the meantime.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist.