An attorney for Tiger Woods has responded to recent allegations from his ex-girlfriend by denying she had an oral tenancy agreement to stay at his home for five more years after breaking up with her in October.
Attorney J.B. Murray also said Woods arranged to pay for Erica Herman to stay at a local luxury resort after the breakup and provided funds she could apply toward a new residence.
This is part of a dispute between Woods and Herman after she sued the homestead trust that Woods established for his seaside mansion on the Treasure Coast in Florida. She claims more than $30 million in damages and said she was tricked into leaving the house for a short vacation, only to be locked out in violation of her alleged oral tenancy agreement.
“Ms. Herman’s claim that her disputes are with the Trustee of the Trust, and not with Mr. Woods, is disingenuous,” said a filing this week signed by Murray. “Ms. Herman’s decision to sue the Trust rather than Mr. Woods is nothing more than a transparent attempt by Ms. Herman to avoid her contractual obligation to arbitrate and to gain leverage by litigating her disputes with Mr. Woods in a public forum.”
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The response by Woods’ attorney is part of a motion by Woods to intervene in the lawsuit between Herman and the trust – the first formal response by Woods in a case filed by Herman in October. Murray is still listed as the attorney for both Woods and the trust.
Murray has argued this dispute should be handled in confidential arbitration, not in public court, pursuant to Herman’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Woods from 2017, when they began their relationship. But this week she filed a lawsuit against Woods that seeks to release her from that NDA and not be forced into private arbitration, citing federal laws that allow this in cases of sexual assault and harassment. His attorney has not yet responded to that lawsuit.
Murray stated that if Woods is allowed to intervene in the case against the trust, Woods and the trust will seek to have the court determine that Herman’s landlord-tenant claims do not constitute a “sexual harassment dispute” and that Herman must be compelled to arbitrate.
After she sued the trust in October, Woods initiated an arbitration proceeding in December where he sought an award establishing that her lawsuit against the trust is really just a dispute between Herman and Woods and that she has no right to damages or to occupy the residence.
“In other words, in the arbitration proceeding, Mr. Woods seeks to arbitrate the very same claims that Ms. Herman raises in her action in this Court against the Trust,” said the filing by Woods’ attorney.
Woods and his two minor children are the only potential beneficiaries of the trust, according to the filing. The only asset in the trust is a remainder interest in the residence.
Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: email@example.com