*A new Vanity Fair profile of Tiger Woods, featuring interviews from several of his close friends and former transgressions, exposes the golfer as a cheapskate whose friendship with NBA friends didn’t make things any better on the home front.
Woods’ girlfriend Mindy Lawton tells Vanity Fair the only thing he ever bought her was a chicken wrap from Subway, while Jamie Jungers blamed her breakup from the golfer on his refusal to help her financially. Jungers also reveals that all of her hookups with Tiger were organized through his childhood friend Bryon Bell, contradicting Woods’s recent statements that no one in his inner circle knew about his affairs.
In addition to Bell – also the president of Tiger Woods Design – his agent Mark Steinberg appeared to be in on the athlete’s extramarital shenanigans. Lawton says when she alerted Woods that the National Enquirer was onto their affair, Woods put her in contact with Steinberg, who reportedly said, “We’ll take care of it.”
Speaking on Wednesday’s “Today” show, writer Mark Seal said his Vanity Fair article is about a man who presented himself as a paragon of family values who was, in fact, leading a secret double life. The piece also claims his hard-partying basketball friends helped to lead him astray. [Story continues below 'Today" clip.]
“When Tiger showed up in Vegas, he was always with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley,” Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke tells the magazine.
Woods had been warned about the two men by his lawyer, John Merchant, who, according to the article, said of Jordan: “Stay away from that son of a b*tch, because he doesn’t have anything to offer to the f—— world in which he lives except playing basketball.”
Asks Merchant: “Are they his black role models? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
As for another role model, Seal’s investigation reports Woods’s late father, Earl, was a womanizer, with a possible drinking problem, as well.
At an awards dinner, one observer recalls for Seal, “Everybody was in coat and tie, and Earl’s sitting there in these little hot pants – short-shorts – and a golf shirt, and he’s got a big old vodka gimlet going and a cigarette burning, and he’s sound asleep, just hammered, s***faced. And the announcer says, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Earl Woods!’ And he jumped up, spilled his drink all over the front of his shirt … And he gets up there at the podium and starts talking psychobabble.”
Vanity Fair’s May issue, which contains the full text of “The Temptation of Tiger Woods,” with photographs of the four women by Mark Seliger, hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on March 31 and nationwide on April 7. Watch promo video of article and photo shoot below.