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Tiger Woods has responded to claims by his ex-girlfriend that the pair had a “tenancy agreement” that he broke when they split last year.
Erica Herman is seeking more than $30million in damages from the 15-time major champion whom she alleges tricked her into leaving his Florida mansion following the end of their relationship.
Court papers filed by the 38-year-old lawyers claim that Woods’ agents told her “to pack a suitcase for a short vacation and, when she arrived at the airport, they told her she had been locked out of her residence.”
This, Herman says, is in violation of the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
She claims Woods entered into “oral tenancy agreement” with her when she moved into his home. In exchange for the right to live there for a “certain period of time”, Herman provided “valuable services” for the former world No.1 and his family.
Herman brought the action against the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust – thought to have been set up by Woods when he purchased his Florida home in 2006 – in October last year.
She further alleges Woods has “frightened her away” from attempting to return to the home. She says that the golfer’s agents removed her personal belongings from the premises and “misappropriated” more than $40,000 in cash that belonged to her, making “scurrilous and defamatory allegations about how she obtained the money.”
Now, though, Woods has hit back.
It has emerged that, earlier this week, the 47-year-old filed papers seeking to join the lawsuit, arguing that Herman only sued the Trust in order to evade an arbitration clause in a non-disclosure agreement between the pair. Herman, incidentally, is attempting to have that NDA dismissed.
Woods’ lawyers claim that he should be a defendant in the case, and submitted a motion to that effect on Wednesday.
“Mr Woods never negotiated an oral tenancy agreement with Ms Herman, nor was there ever a written tenancy agreement between Mr Woods or the Trust,” say Woods’ lawyers.
“[Mr Woods] informed Ms Herman that she was no longer welcome in the residence.
“Mr Woods arranged for Ms Herman to stay at a local luxury resort and provided funds she could apply toward a new residence.”
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