Judge turns down bid by Tiger Woods' former girlfriend to reconsider her case against him

A state judge in Florida has denied a request by Tiger Woods’ former girlfriend to reconsider her case against the famed golfer.

Judge Elizabeth Metzger issued the denial Friday, two days after Erica Herman asked the court to publicly reopen a case that stemmed from their ugly breakup in October and then involved an allegation of sexual harassment against Woods.

The judge had ruled in Woods’ favor May 17, ordering that the dispute be sent to private arbitration instead of continuing in public court, pursuant to the terms of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that Woods’ attorney said she signed in 2017. But Herman’s attorney, Benjamin Hodas, questioned the validity of that NDA and even said Herman didn’t recall signing it.

Tiger Woods at the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
Tiger Woods at the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Then Hodas stated in court documents last week that the court should reconsider the ruling to address “at least four issues that were overlooked or not considered,” including that Woods “could not meet his burden to establish the contract he seeks to enforce.”

The judge didn’t buy it.

“The Court, having reviewed the Motion and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, hereby orders and adjudges that the motion is denied,” the judge wrote.

The judge didn’t elaborate further in her one-page order, which was filed in the online court system Monday.

How did it reach this point?

Herman first filed suit in October, not against Woods, but against a trust that Woods established for his residence on the Treasure Coast of Florida. That lawsuit stated he tricked her into getting locked out of the residence in violation of an oral tenancy agreement she said she had to remain there for several more years. She claimed more than $30 million damages, but Woods’ attorney said no there was no such agreement and accused Herman of being a “jilted ex-girlfriend” who was trying to get out of her NDA to leverage her claims in public.

She then filed suit against Woods himself in March, citing new federal laws that invalidate NDAs and forced arbitration agreements in cases of sexual harassment. She hoped the court would release her from the NDA and forced arbitration, but the judge ruled against her, saying she didn’t go far enough to support her allegation of harassment and didn’t actually deny signing the NDA in question.

The lawsuit against the trust remains pending in state court, though Metzger soon could send that dispute to arbitration as well, pursuant to the terms of the same NDA.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tiger Woods' ex-girlfriend Erica Herman loses bid to reopen case