Woods: 'I have let my family down'

Updated: December 3, 2009, 1:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tiger Woods, charged with careless driving and fined $164 by Florida authorities on Tuesday and squarely in the crosshairs of the celebrity and tabloid media, issued a statement Wednesday apologizing for actions he did not specify.

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," Woods said on his Web site. "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. 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 I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. 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.

-- Statement by Tiger Woods

"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. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. 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.

"But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.

"Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.

"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."

The Web site posting came hours after US Weekly magazine put Woods on its cover, released Wednesday, alleging he had a two-plus-year affair with a Los Angeles cocktail waitress. It also comes a week after the National Enquirer reported that Woods had an affair with a New York VIP host -- a charge the woman strongly denies -- and less than a week after he was involved in a car accident.

The US Weekly report claims that Jaimee Grubbs has more than 300 text messages from Woods, and the US Weekly Web site posted a voice mail Grubbs says is Woods calling her last week and asking to change the ID on her phone so that his wife wouldn't recognize it.

Grubbs says she met Woods at a Las Vegas nightclub the week after the 2007 Masters -- two months before Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, gave birth to their first child.

Wednesday morning, the magazine published what it said was a voice mail provided by Grubbs that she said was left by Woods on Nov. 24, three days before his early morning car crash. In the voice mail, a man, who calls himself "Tiger," asks Grubbs to take her name off her phone.

"My wife went through my phone," the man's voice said. "And, uh, may be calling you."

The call ends with the man saying: "You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly."

ESPN could not confirm Woods was the caller.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately return an e-mail requesting comment.

When asked whether US Weekly paid Grubbs for her story, spokeswoman Cheryl Crowley said, "As a policy, we do not comment on obtaining stories or photo transactions." MSNBC reported that "rumors" are Grubbs could have been paid $100,000 for her story.

Grubbs was recently part of the VH1 cable channel reality series "Tool Academy."

Several of Woods' sponsors said Wednesday that they still are in business with Woods. Nike, Gatorade, EA Sports, TLC Vision, NetJets and Gillette all said that their relationship with Woods remains as it was before the announcement. AT&T Inc. declined to comment and officials with Accenture, Tag Heuer and Upper Deck could not be reached by Reuters.

Woods was involved in a one-car traffic accident on Friday. He hit a fire hydrant and a tree in his Cadillac SUV. The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the case, but closed the investigation on Tuesday, saying Woods would be cited and fined.

But that hasn't stopped tabloid rumors. Woods hasn't met with the media since the incident, and has only issued statements on his Web site.

Sunday, Woods released a statement saying, in part: "Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false."

Woods has remained at home in the exclusive gated community of Isleworth, while some of the world's top golfers were in Southern California preparing for the start of a tournament he hosts. Woods, citing injuries from the crash, issued a statement Monday saying he would not attend or play in the Chevron World Challenge.

Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said it "is not pursuing criminal charges in this matter nor is there any testimony or other evidence to support any additional charges of any kind other than the charge of careless driving," according to department spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes. "Despite the celebrity status of Mr. Woods, the Florida Highway Patrol has completed its investigation in the same professional manner it strives to complete each traffic investigation."

After consulting with the local prosecutor's office, investigators also decided there was insufficient evidence to issue a subpoena that would have given them access to records from his hospital visit after the crash, Montes said.

Reached in Sweden by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Woods' father-in-law, Thomas Nordegren, said: "I don't want to comment on this whatsoever."

Woods is also on the cover of the January issue of Golf Digest, a magazine he's had a long-standing relationship with. In a photo illustration, he's pictured with President Barack Obama. The issue offers "10 things Obama could learn from Tiger -- and vice versa" according to a Golf Digest news release.

A magazine spokeswoman said Tuesday that the issue was printed before the car crash involving Woods.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters is included in this report.