Tiger Woods' ex-girlfriend has lawsuits against golfer and trust
By Matt Foster, CNN
(CNN) -- Erica Herman, who was a longtime girlfriend of golfer Tiger Woods, has filed two separate complaints after the six-year relationship between the pair came to an end. Both filings were made to the circuit court in Martin County, Florida.
The first suit, filed in October 2022, alleges a trust owned by Woods violated the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act by breaking the oral tenancy agreement. The filing states the actual damages "are likely to be measured in excess of $30,000,000." Woods is not named as a defendant in the October lawsuit.
In December, the trust filed a motion for the court to dismiss with prejudice in response to Herman's complaint, alleging that the dispute between the two began when Woods broke off his relationship with Herman in October and informed her "that she was no longer welcome in" Woods' home.
It further states that the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between the two required "confidential arbitration in all disputes between" Herman and Woods, and that Herman's suit violates that agreement. A copy of the NDA is attached to Woods' trust's motion, but the publicly available version of that document is redacted entirely.
A more recent complaint aimed at nullifying the NDA was served to Woods on Monday. Both cases are being brought by Fisher Potter Hodas, a Florida-based family law specialist. CNN reached out to Fisher Potter Hodas for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.
CNN also reached out to Woods' representatives for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
The October filing alleges that Woods' Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust unlawfully brought Herman's tenancy at the couple's property on the Hobe Sound, Florida, to an end.
The legal filing states, "the Defendant (Woods and his trust) elected to engage in 'prohibited practices,' i.e., self-help, causing... severe emotional damages to the Plaintiff. The prohibited practices were done intentionally, with premeditation, and with malice aforethought."
Specifically, the lawsuit claims "agents of the Defendant" told Herman "to pack a suitcase for a short vacation" before revealing to her that she had been locked out of the house on arrival at the airport. It claims lawyers for the trust were on hand to "confront" Herman with "proposals to resolve the wrongdoing they were in the midst of committing."
The filing also alleges that agents of Woods and the trust have since removed Herman's belongings from the property and "misappropriated" over $40,000 of her cash.
The NDA was signed in August 2017 according to the court filing, but Herman believes it is "invalid and unenforceable."
It notes that during litigation, a trust controlled by Woods commenced an arbitration against Herman based on the NDA, thus expressing its belief that the agreement remains valid.
The filing asks for the "purported arbitration clause" in the NDA be deemed unenforceable under the federal Ending Forced Arbitration Of Sexual Assault And Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 and the federal Speak Out Act.
The former bill, coming into public law in March 2022, "invalidates arbitration agreements that preclude a party from filing a lawsuit in court involving sexual assault or sexual harassment, at the election of the party alleging such conduct," according to Congress' website.
The Speak Out Act became public law in December 2022 and "prohibits the judicial enforceability of a nondisclosure clause or nondisparagement clause agreed to before a dispute arises involving sexual assault or sexual harassment."
The filing does not accuse Woods of sexual assault or sexual harassment. In a civil cover sheet appended to the October suit, Herman's attorney indicated "no" when asked whether the case "involves allegations of sexual abuse."
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