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Video of the Week: National Enquirer responds to denials by Woods, Uchitel – Statement by Woods

The National Enquirer Executive Editor, Barry Levine, spoke on Geraldo at Large regarding the denials of Rachel Uchitel regarding her alleged involvement with Tiger Woods. Here is the video:

Levine said, “We are not worried in the least if there is litigation in this matter…if there was an action we would defend it vigorously….this story took us several weeks and took us half way around the world. We followed this woman from New York to Australia for her last meeting with Tiger Woods. There are multiple sources…polygraphs were administered to several of the sources. All of these sources passed with flying colors….The sources we have, have been told directly by Rachel that she engaged in an extra-marital affair with Tiger Woods. She had also allowed one or two of the sources to listen in to cell phone conversations of a romantic nature with Tiger Woods. Sources passed polygraph tests on those facts.”

He called it a “scandal of global proportions.”

Rachel Uchitel denied any affair to A Walk in the Park, as well as other media outlets.

Tiger Woods hired a high-octane attorney who deflected police inquiry, as for a third day Woods refused to meet with Windemere Police regarding his Thanksgiving night car accident.

Woods did release a statement on his website. Here’s the pertinent part:

This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. 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.

This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be. ”

One of the most prominent sports writers in America strongly disagrees. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said, “It’s not a private matter, it’s a public matter. What happens in Tiger’s house – that’s private. But the moment he crashed his car on a public road into a tree and fire hydrant on another person’s property, it became public, and he needs to address it. If I were the cops, if I didn’t get answers the easy way, I’d get a warrant and treat him like everyone else who would have gotten themselves in the same situation. It sends a bad message that these people over here have to obey the police and the law and answer questions, but not celebrities.”

Both pundits and lawyers believe police would need to see if the scratches on Tiger’s face are consistent with those one would sustain in a car accident, and to confirm both Tiger and Elin’s version of the events. Others including Tiger’s agent agree talking to the police is voluntary and optional.

Some media response has been skeptical of Woods’s story, particularly regarding Elin’s rescue attempts. Steve Czaban of Fox Sports Net, who has had a one-on-one interview with Woods in the past has this analysis:

The truth doesn’t need a publicist. And Tiger Woods doesn’t fear the Windemere PD….His lovely wife Elin, hears the crash…Grabs a nearby 8-iron…
Heroically smashes out the rear window…And pulls her hubby to safety…
Now. Go home people. Nothing to see here.

Suuuuuuuurrrrrrrre.

Tiger’s stance is predictable. It’s how he rolls.”

Stephen Foley of the Irish Independent agrees:

“The celebrity news website TMZ.com – which broke the death of Michael Jackson – reported that investigators believe Woods may have sustained at least some of his injuries before getting in the car. A friend of the star told TMZ how Woods told him his wife had “gone ghetto”. Even the august financial organ that is The Wall Street Journal weighed in, reporting details of a 911 call made by a neighbour who told the operator that he “wanted help” and said “there’s a man on the ground”. The recording shows that Woods appeared to be unconscious but breathing as he lay beside his black Cadillac Escalade. Police arrived at 2.33am.

The golfer last night dismissed the speculation with a terse response. “The many false, unfounded and malicious rumours that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible,” he said on his website.”

Foley echoed the sentiments of Mike Lupica of the Daily News, Steve Elling of CBS sports, as well as other journalists, that more of an explanation from Woods might help deflect growing criticism, even among Woods’s fans. Lupica wrote:

By Saturday morning, nothing much had changed in the Tiger Woods story, which means that we were still supposed to believe that his wife, Elin Nordegren, somehow turned one of Tiger’s Nike SQ drivers into the Jaws of Life.

Woods was driving a Cadillac Escalade out of his own driveway, which is the same as driving a tank. He wasn’t going fast enough to deploy his air bags. But we’re supposed to believe that in a rescue worthy of the new series, “Trauma,” his wife had to bust a back window to pull her husband to safety after he ran over a fire hydrant and into a tree.

Not even the people who reported that can possibly believe a version like that. Neither can the Windermere, Fla. police. And neither can all the people Woods employs to insulate him and protect him and cover his assets, the people who made him unavailable to the police for the second straight day Saturday.

There are those who might suggest it gives Woods and the missus more time to get their stories straight….If this was a “minor” accident, Mr. and Mrs. Woods could have explained it by now, no problem.”

It is still unclear whether Woods will play in this week’s Chevron World Challenge, an event he hosts, or whether he will appear at his press conference scheduled for tomorrow.

Posted: November 30th, 2009 under News, PGA Tour, Sports and the Law, Sports and the Media, Tiger Woods, Videos.
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