Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend, whose relationship with Woods ended in October, has filed legal complaints against Woods for a non-disclosure agreement and also her stay at Woods’ house in Hobe Sound, Florida.
According to recent court documents in Martin County, Florida, Wood’s ex-girlfriend – Erica Herman – is seeking a court ruling on the scope of the NDA, which she believes is unenforceable. In a separate filing, Herman alleged a hasty divorce and the plaintiff’s right to seek damages for the remaining five years of an alleged oral lease.
At the heart of the disputes is the NDA, which was submitted to the court via a related case in largely redacted form. The NDA, which according to court documents was signed on August 9, 2017, states that “any and all disputes, claims or controversies arising between us of any kind or nature…shall be resolved by mandatory BINDING confidential arbitration to the fullest extent permitted by law.”
But Herman is pursuing a court order to better understand whether the NDA is enforceable, as well as the obligations to her and potentially the people around her in relation to her relationship with Woods. Herman’s complaint states that she is “unsure whether she can disclose, among other things, facts that give rise to various legal claims she believes she has. She is also currently unsure what other information about her own life she can discuss or with whom.”
In the complaint filed this week, Herman cites the Speak Out Act, signed into law in December 2022, which prohibits NDAs agreed to before “a dispute arises involving sexual assault or sexual harassment in violation of federal, tribal – or state law”. Herman has not specifically accused Woods of sexual assault, but the civil cover sheet filed by her attorney, Benjamin Hodas, indicates that the case involves allegations of sexual assault.
Woods’ agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Legal disputes between Woods and Herman have been in the spotlight in recent months following their breakup, mostly related to Herman’s right to live in Woods’ home.
According to court documents, Woods ended the relationship on October 13, 2022. Thirteen days later, Herman filed a separate complaint against the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, which Woods established in February 2017 and owns his primary property in Hobe Sound. In short, the October complaint alleges that Herman lived at Woods’ home for six years as part of an oral lease agreement between the two, with about five years remaining on it.
In Herman’s complaint, it is stated that the oral tenancy agreement “gave the plaintiff the right to live in the home for a certain period of time”, and that “the duties performed by, and expected of, [her] was extensive and of an extraordinary nature in light of the general circumstances and environment in which she lived.”
According to the filings, Woods himself responded by initiating arbitration against Herman. According to documents filed by the trust in December, Woods’ arbitration request argues “there is no oral lease agreement entitling Ms. Herman to occupy the residence.”
According to Herman’s claims, “agents from [trust] convinced [Herman] 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, in violation of the verbal lease agreement and in violation of Florida law.” Herman also claims that “[The trust’s] agents tried to justify their illegal behavior by paying for a hotel room and certain expenses for a short period, after locking [Herman] out of her home and scared her away from coming back.”
The complaint alleges that Herman’s belongings were removed from the residence and over $40,000 in cash was misappropriated. Herman is seeking monetary damages for having been removed from the right to occupy the property as a tenant, pursuant to the alleged agreement. “The fair rental value of the residence … would likely be measured in excess of $30 million,” the complaint states.
Lawyers representing the trust have contested Herman’s complaint and have asked that it be dismissed, saying: “the trust is not a ‘legal entity’ capable of suing or being sued” and that the complaint is “merely thinly camouflaged claims that arising out of disputes directly between Ms. Herman and Mr. Woods.” In effect, the trust’s legal team guides any action against the arbitration outlined in the NDA.
On January 19, Herman’s representation filed an objection, again citing the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 as grounds for a court to decide whether the NDA is enforceable.