by Doug Ferguso
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tiger Woods said he let his family down with "transgressions" he regrets "with all of my heart," and that he will deal with his personal life behind closed doors.
His statement Wednesday follows a cover story in Us Weekly magazine that reports a Los Angeles cocktail waitress claims she had a 31-month affair with the world’s No. 1 golfer.
|QUESTIONS REMAIN— Tiger Woods with his daughter, Sam, and wife, Elin, are seen before the start of a NCAA college football game between Stanford and California in Stanford, Calif., Nov. 21.|
"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves," Woods said on his Web site. "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 offer details of any alleged relationship.
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," he said.
"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves," Woods said. "For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."
The cocktail waitress, Jaimee Grubbs, told the magazine she met Woods at a Las Vegas nightclub the week after the 2007 Masters — two months before Woods’ wife, Elin, gave birth to their first child. Grubbs claims to have proof in 300 text messages.
About three hours before Woods’ statement, the magazine published what it said was a voicemail — provided by Grubbs — that Woods left on her phone on Nov. 24, three days before his middle-of-the-night car crash outside his home in Florida.
Woods has been subjected to more media headlines during the last week than when he first won the Masters in 1997 and set off the first wave of Tigermania. He has spoken only three times through his Web site, although this was his longest posting.
"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. "For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives."
And he continued to say accounts that physical violence played a role in his Friday morning car crash were "utterly false and malicious."
"Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect," he wrote.
His statement came one day after the Florida Highway Patrol closed its investigation into the accident — without Woods ever speaking to state troopers. He was charged with careless driving, which carries a $164 fine and four points on his driving record.
The story soon shifted from a patrol investigation to sordid allegations into his personal life.
In the voicemail released by the magazine, a man says to Grubbs:
"Hey, it’s, uh, it’s Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um, can you please, uh, take your name off your 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 voicemail, just have it as your telephone number. That’s it, OK. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye."
The Associated Press could not confirm Woods was the caller.