Damages could reach $50 million

Updated: November 4, 2004, 6:10 PM ET
Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Tiger Woods is taking a swing at the builder of his luxury yacht "Privacy," accusing the shipyard of using his name and photograph for financial gain without permission.

Tiger Woods

Attorneys for Woods sued in federal court Oct. 29, claiming his contract with Christensen Shipyards, Ltd., barred the boat manufacturer from using the golfer to promote the company, but it did so anyway.

The lawsuit accuses Vancouver, Wash.-based Christensen Shipyards of starting a "widespread national campaign" using Woods' name and photos of the 155-foot yacht 'Privacy.' It also says the company used the golfer's name and the pictures in a display at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show last month.

The lawsuit claims more than $75,000 in damages for Woods because his privacy was violated. Because of Woods' celebrity and how much clout he carries in the advertising world, compensatory damages could reach $50 million.

"As its name implies, 'Privacy' was intended to be a private respite for Woods and his family to relax and escape the rigors of Woods' celebrity," the lawsuit stated.

Woods wants a judge's order to stop Christensen and seeks a jury trial.

The company referred calls to an attorney, who did not immediately return a call Thursday.

Woods and Swedish model Elin Nordegren were married Oct. 5 at a luxury resort in Barbados and later set out on the Privacy, along with a crew.

The couple were briefly detained in Puerto Rico on Oct. 14 when the yacht entered San Juan's port without the required four-day notice. Woods was warned, but not fined, by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press