Nearly two months after the minor accident that unraveled his life and destroyed his image, Tiger Woods still isn't talking. Nonetheless it seems a picture is starting to emerge about the events of Thanksgiving week that started with allegations of infidelity and ended with a disgraced Tiger's self-imposed absence from the game of golf.
After weeks of research, Gerald Posner, an experienced investigative reporter now working for The Daily Beast, has compiled a timeline of the events that led to the crash and Woods' eventual admission of "transgressions." Like the infamous "plastic surgery" email everyone forwarded you a few weeks back, Posner's account matches up well with the facts. Unlike that email, however, Posner's story bears the unmistakable ring of mundane truth.
Posner crafted his timeline by talking with two anonymous friends of Elin Woods. It's important to note that the use of anonymous sources doesn't automatically mean someone's lying -- the Watergate scandal was broken open by anonymous sources -- but you also need to take into account why someone would want to remain anonymous. If it's to preserve a friendship, well, that's certainly a nice enough reason. Not "to protect my family" or "to keep my job" or whatever, but still.
But as you'll see in the next few paragraphs, if Elin Woods did tell the truth to friends and said friends did turn around and reveal it to the press, Elin's not going to have a very hard time figuring out who squealed. So, the rule is -- use your own best judgment as to the truth of these allegations. (And, of course, you're free to walk away from this story right here if you're sick of TigerGate.)
So, the story, according to Posner, goes like this:
• Tiger knew about the Enquirer story linking him with Rachel Uchitel before it was even going to hit newsstands the day before Thanksgiving, and warned Elin. He said at the time that he'd only met Uchitel on social occasions.
• Once the story hit, Tiger somehow managed to get Elin and Rachel hooked up via phone, where they spoke for "half an hour." After this conversation, Elin was convinced of the truth of Tiger's story.
• However, once she started learning the specifics of the story, including an alleged hookup in Australia, Elin began to grow more suspicious. Woods walked away from the argument and decided to go to sleep. Posner's sources charge that Woods used Ambien to sleep.
• And that's when things started to unravel. Elin located Tiger's phone and began scanning text messages to Uchitel's number. One of those allegedly said, "You are the only one I've loved." Yeah, you can see how that might upset a wife.
• So then it gets weird. Elin started texting Uchitel, impersonating Tiger, asking when they're going to meet again. Uchitel replied, seemingly surprised -- and this is key -- that Tiger was awake, indicating that she'd texted/spoken with him earlier that evening. Elin then called Uchitel, who replies with a non-family-friendly word that indicated she'd been caught.
• Furious, Elin woke Tiger from his sleep. Somehow, he got hold of his phone and texted Uchitel that it was all going south. Elin then chased Tiger out of the house, at which point he got into his Escalade and attempted to drive off, hitting that infamous fire hydrant along the way. And from there, the floodgates opened.
Monday morning, Posner spoke in greater detail on "The Today Show" about this article:
In the course of his interview, Posner suggests that Uchitel is the only one of the many alleged mistresses that Tiger actually "fell for," the only one with whom he actually wanted to keep up a relationship. Posner also believes that Tiger woefully underestimated the resolve of his wife in discovering his secrets. He notes in his article that representatives of Tiger, Elin and Uchitel have repeatedly refused requests for comment on this story.
So there you have it. If you believe this version, a couple of text messages kicked off a domestic dispute that ballooned into a worldwide story and a multibillion-dollar controversy. Sad, sad, sad for everyone concerned.
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