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Not out of the woods

Tiger apologizes, but more details continue to emerge

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
December 3, 2009

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Without admitting much of anything, Tiger Woods apologized yesterday, saying he had let his family down with “transgressions’’ he regrets “with all of my heart,’’ and that he plans to deal with his personal life out of the public eye. Woods’s mea culpa came amid reports that he’d had multiple affairs with women, including a Las Vegas cocktail waitress who claims she carried on a 31-month affair with the world’s No. 1 golfer - a period during which his wife gave birth to their second child.

“I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves,’’ Woods said on his website. “I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.’’

Woods did not confirm or deny any of the alleged relationships, saying only “I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves.’’

The statement came just a few hours after Us Weekly magazine posted on its website what it said was a voice mail Woods left on the phone of the cocktail waitress, Jaimee Grubbs. In the voice mail - provided to the magazine by Grubbs - a man believed to be Woods and who begins the message by saying, “Hey, it’s Tiger,’’ asks Grubbs to remove her name from her phone: “My wife went through my phone. And, uh, may be calling you. If you can, please take your name off that and, um, and what do you call it just have it as a number on the voice mail, just have it as your telephone number. That’s it, OK. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye.’’

The message was allegedly left Nov. 24, three days before Woods crashed his black Cadillac Escalade outside his mansion in Windermere, Fla., at 2:25 a.m. Woods’s virtual silence until yesterday had fueled speculation that the accident, which briefly landed Woods in the hospital, followed a heated argument between Tiger and his wife of five years, Elin Nordegren, over the alleged affairs. (The celebrity website, TMZ.com, reported yesterday that Nordegren used a sand wedge to smash the windows of her husband’s car on the night of the accident.)

Woods declined to meet with the Florida Highway Patrol about the accident - he was charged with careless driving and fined $164 - and has since communicated only on his website.

“Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means,’’ Woods said on the site yesterday. “For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives.’’

Woods had encouraging words for his wife yesterday, saying “The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.’’ The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the links legend’s spouse may be getting paid a seven-figure amount to stand by her man. In addition, according to the paper, the couple has already begun “intense marriage counseling’’ and the mother of Tiger’s two kids is demanding a complete rewrite of the couple’s prenup to make it more financially attractive for her to stick with Woods.

Grubbs, who appears on the VH1 reality show “Tool Academy,’’ told Us Weekly she had several torrid trysts with Woods over many months. “I loved how we got along,’’ she said, “but I knew, in the back of my mind, there could never be just us. There would always be the wife, or somebody else.’’ The National Enquirer has reported that Woods also had an affair with New York party promoter Rachel Uchitel - a claim she emphatically denies - and Las Vegas club manager Kalika Moquin, who has told Life & Style magazine “it’s not appropriate for me to comment one way or the other.’’

Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who along with his wife, Mia, introduced Nordegren to Tiger, ripped Woods yesterday. Parnevik told the Golf Channel that he feels badly for Elin. “We probably thought [Woods] was a better guy than he is,’’ he said. “I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of the 3-iron.’’

Meanwhile, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, whose own private life has become tabloid fodder since he broke up with his pregnant girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan, and took up with and eventually married supermodel Gisele Bundchen (now pregnant herself), was asked about Tiger’s tribulations yesterday.

“Everyone’s situation is different,’’ said Brady. “Things happen in people’s lives. I’ll just wish everybody the best. Everybody needs to find their own way, find their own happiness. We’re all . . .’’ Brady paused before continuing: “I think everybody in this room has some degree of notoriety. You have to understand what comes along with that and try to make the best decisions you can.’’

Brady-baby economics
So if Samantha Burke - Jude Law’s baby mama - is paid $300,000 for her baby photos, Christina Aguilera gets an estimated $1.5 million for exclusive shots of her son, and Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz are offered $2 million for photos of their boy Bronx, how much should Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen be paid for their baby pics? More, it seems. We’re told magazines are knocking down the door for the right to publish the first pics of Brady and Bundchen’s baby, offering the couple as much as $3 million. (It could be even more by the time the baby arrives next month.) Maybe because they value their privacy or because they don’t need the money - he’ll earn more than $10 million this year and Gi made three times that last year - the Pats QB and his supermodel spouse are saying thanks, but no thanks. At least for now. Brady told WEEI yesterday that he knows the baby’s gender. “I’m really the only one that knows at this point,’’ he said. “My dad asked me. I haven’t told him. [Gisele] doesn’t know. It’s a pretty good feeling knowing something that no one else knows. . . I wanted to find out and she didn’t, so she said, ‘Go ahead.’ It will be a surprise for her.’’ (We’re betting it’s a girl.)

Demme gets the nod
The Coolidge Corner Theatre has named Jonathan Demme the 2010 recipient of the Coolidge Award. Past winners of the award, which honors filmmakers who have made significant contributions to original cinema, have included Meryl Streep and Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Director Demme’s resume includes “The Silence of the Lambs’’ and “Rachel Getting Married.’’ He’s also made a number of documentaries, including “Neil Young Trunk Show,’’ which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Demme will be in town to accept the honor in March. . . . Belmont-native Sebastian Junger, best known for writing “The Perfect Storm,’’ has a documentary in the Sundance Film Festival. Junger’s “Restrepo,’’ which is about a platoon of soldiers in Afghanistan, will screen during the festival in January.

Around town
Keisha and Forest Whitaker were seen in the Bristol Lounge yesterday afternoon. The Oscar-winning Forest is in town to speak at Color Magazine’s second annual All-Inclusive Awards at the Marriott Copley tonight. . . . Also in town today is Joel Richard Paul, a Harvard Law grad who now teaches at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He’s promoting his book “Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright and a Spy Saved the American Revolution,’’ which takes place in 1775 and involves Benjamin Franklin, cross-dressing, and spying. Got your attention, right? You can meet Paul at the Borders on School Street at 1 p.m.

Political action
Senatorial Candidate Mike Capuano couldn’t ask for more supportive nephews. “Fantastic Four’’ star Chris Evans was in town last night to host a debate party for his uncle at Stella in the South End. Chris and his brother, “One Life to Live’’ star Scott Evans, who was stuck in New York last night, say they’ll be in town over the next week to sing Capuano’s praises.

Going public
Making one of his first local public appearances since his controversial wedding cancellation earlier this fall, Boston’s celebrity chef Todd English was at Club Monaco in the Prudential Center last night to serve up treats to holiday shoppers. Proceeds from the night went to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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