By TERRY SPENCER (Associated Press)
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend has dropped her lawsuits against the golf superstar and the trust that owns his Florida mansion, saying she never accused him of sexual harassment even though her attorney made that statement.
Erica Herman’s attorney filed a one-paragraph notice in state court last week saying she was voluntarily dismissing her $30 million lawsuit against the trust “with prejudice,” meaning the claim cannot be asserted later. She had claimed that Woods promised her she could live in the 30,000-square-foot (2,800-square-meter) beachfront mansion until 2026, but he unexpectedly kicked her out last year.
“In dismissing this action, Erica Herman asserts that she was never a victim of sexual harassment or sexual abuse at the hands of Tiger Woods or any of his agents and it is her position that she has never asserted such a claim,” attorney Benjamin wrote. Hodas, who claimed on multiple occasions that Woods had sexually harassed his client.
In May, a judge rejected a separate lawsuit against Woods, and court records show that an appeal of that decision was dismissed this week. Nothing in court documents indicates that any of the lawsuits were settled, although that could have been done privately.
Hodas did not return a call or email seeking comment Thursday. Woods’ attorney, JB Murray, declined to comment.
Herman was Woods’ girlfriend from 2015 until October 2022, and moved into his $54 million mansion north of Palm Beach in 2016. She managed his restaurant in Palm Beach County before and during the early years of their relationship. romantic, and signed a confidentiality agreement in 2017. That prevented her from speaking publicly about their relationship. She also required him to take any legal disagreements with Woods to private arbitration and not to a court.
Hodas claimed in a court hearing in May that Herman did not remember signing the document, but that she did so under duress, as she was told she would be fired from the restaurant if she did not do so.
Hodas argued that the confidentiality agreement was unenforceable under a new federal law that says such contracts can be voided when sexual abuse or harassment occurs. He maintained that Woods’ alleged threat to fire her was harassment.
“A boss imposing different working conditions on his employee because of their sexual relationship is sexual harassment,” Hodas wrote in a May document.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger rejected Herman’s attempt to void the confidentiality agreement later in May, calling his accusations “vague and threadbare.”
“Herman has had the opportunity to provide specific data for any claims related to sexual assault or sexual harassment, however, he has not done so,” Metzger wrote.
Forbes magazine estimates Woods’ net worth at $1.1 billion. In 2017, Woods had put the mansion into the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, an entity he created that only has him and his two children as beneficiaries.