Tiger Woods and his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss his former girlfriend Erica Herman’s lawsuit against him Monday, marking the latest step in their complicated separation.
Woods and his attorneys claimed in the filing obtained by Yahoo Sports that Herman both willingly agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and she agreed to settle their dispute through private arbitration — something she is now trying to do publicly.
“Ms. Herman’s response evinces a lack of understanding of the procedures to be followed at the upcoming hearing … As the record plainly demonstrates, Mr. Woods has insisted at every opportunity that [Ms.] Herman is bound by the arbitration provisions of the NDA and has sought to enforce his rights thereunder,” the filing stated.
Woods and Herman dated for almost six years, and she frequently attended major events with him and his children. The pair split in October.
Herman, in a court filing last week obtained by Yahoo Sports, revealed several details about their relationship. Woods, she said, “decided to pursue a sexual relationship with his employee, then — according to him — forced her to sign an NDA about it or else be fired from her job. And, when he became disgruntled with their sexual relationship, he tricked her into leaving her home, locked her out, took her cash, pets and personal possessions, and tried to strong-arm her into signing a different NDA.”
Woods ended the relationship through a “scheme,” Herman said. She claims she was told to pack a bag for a trip to the Bahamas, but when they arrived at the airport, Woods boarded the plane without her and referred Herman to his lawyer.
"Then, Mr. Woods’s California lawyer, out of the blue, told her that she was not going anywhere, would never see Mr. Woods again, had been locked out of the house, and could not return," Herman's court filing states. "She would not even be able to see the children or her pets again."
Woods’ team, however, claims that Herman was simply “invited” to live in Woods’ home while they were dating. Once that relationship had ended, Herman “was advised that she was no longer welcome” there.
The filing from Woods’ team Monday included emails between Herman and Woods’ chief financial officer Chris Hubman regarding the initial NDA in 2017, in which Herman was told her “employment by The Woods Jupiter and your personal relationship with TW are two separate items.” Herman had asked Hubman what would happen if the two split down the road, and that she doesn't "have any problems with what's in the document because I wouldn't go public or use anything I know to hurt him or the kids."
After their breakup last fall, Herman filed a lawsuit against the trust that Woods controls in which she is seeking $30 million in damages. She claims in that lawsuit that she has an “oral tenancy agreement” to remain in the home for up to five years after their breakup. Herman also said that the trust misappropriated $40,000 in cash that belonged to her, and that it also made “scurrilous and defamatory allegations” about how she obtained that money in the first place.
Herman filed a second lawsuit in March against Woods asking to be released from the NDA. In that suit, Herman suggested allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, but didn't publicly offer details on those charges. Those allegations could void an NDA under federal rules.
A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, where Woods’ attorneys will officially ask a judge to end the lawsuit against him.
Woods is currently sidelined indefinitely from competing after undergoing surgery on his ankle last month. He withdrew from the Masters on the final day of competition just before the surgery.