The turbulent past of Tiger Woods: Sex scandal, a DUI arrest and more

The turbulent past of Tiger Woods: A sex scandal ‘with 121 women’, that DUI arrest and a controversial relationship with Donald Trump… new HBO series will lift the lid on star’s problems off the course – but he will NOT set the record straight himself

  • HBO are set to release a new two part docuseries on Tiger Woods later this year
  • The show will cover his remarkable rise to the top of golf and recent comeback
  • Woods’ personal problems will also be featured in the highly-anticipated show
  • He was involved in a very public sex scandal in 2009 and had to go into therapy
  • 15-time major winner was arrested after being found asleep at the wheel in 2017
  • Woods has been criticised for his relationship with US President Donald Trump 

After the success of ESPN and Netflix’s The Last Dance, which covered the incredible rise of Michael Jordan, sport-starved viewers can look forward to the lid being lifted on another legendary athlete later this year.

HBO will air a four-hour docuseries on Tiger Woods’ extraordinary life and career, possibly coinciding with the rescheduled Masters tournament at Augusta National in November.

The series, made by Alex Gibney and Jigsaw Productions, is based on the warts-and-all biography, Tiger Woods, by journalists Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict. 

A new HBO two part docuseries will look at the life and career of legendary golfer Tiger Woods

That book, compiled after interviewing 250 people close to Woods – but not the man himself – contained jaw-dropping insights into Woods’ life and covered his journey from child prodigy to the greatest golfer on the planet, and his dramatic fall from grace following a public sex scandal over a decade ago.

But while The Last Dance included Jordan talking through the highs and lows of his time with the Chicago Bulls, Woods will not set the record straight himself during two, two-hour episodes of the show.

The 44-year-old’s career, although filled with major triumphs, special performances and incredible riches, has also been littered with controversy.

From the car crash which unravelled Woods’ secret life of infidelity with porn stars and prostitutes, to a dependence on prescription drugs, there is plenty of scandal for the makers of the docuseries to delve into in depth.

Here, Sportsmail charts the transgressions which have marred the career of arguably the greatest golfer of all time.

Unlike his friend Michael Jordan (left), Woods will not speak about his life in the new show 


Woods’ reputation as a doting family man was shattered in November, 2009 when his marriage to wife, Elin, crumbled and he was exposed as a serial adulterer.

A week after winning the Australian Masters in Melbourne, Woods was forced to tell her that the National Enquirer were planning to run a story on him having a secret girlfriend called Rachel Uchitel.

He denied the allegations, but Elin had become suspicious over his erratic behaviour and her fears were confirmed when she found texts from Uchitel on his phone.

She came across one to an unfamiliar number which read: ‘You are the only one I’ve loved.’

Woods’ affair with nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel was revealed in November, 2009

Impersonating her husband, Elin replied: ‘I miss you. When are we seeing each other again?’ She received a prompt reply and decided to call the number.

Uchitel, a nightclub hostess, answered. Elin said: ‘I knew it was you.’ Uchitel replied: ‘Oh f***.’

Elin’s fury woke Woods, who had taken an Ambien sleeping tablet after spending Thanksgiving evening playing cards at Isleworth clubhouse near their home in Orlando, Florida.

In his daze, he attempted to flee in his Cadillac Escalade, but instead veered into a neighbour’s yard, drove over a fire hydrant and collided with a tree. 

Elin, angered by what she had found, smashed the windows of the car with one of Woods’ own golf clubs before police were called and an ambulance arrived.

That night set in motion a huge number of revelations and rumours, with the National Enqurier soon breaking the story of Woods’ relationship with Uchitel.

A long succession of other women – porn stars, strippers, prostitutes, hostesses, waitresses and more – soon came forward claiming they had slept with Woods.

Woods crashed his Cadillac Escalade while feeling from his wife Elin when she found out 

In total, it was claimed that Woods had cheated on his wife, the mother of his two children, Sam and Charlie, with no fewer than 121 different women. 

According to the BBC, Woods made the front page of the New York Post for 20 days straight as the scandal rumbled on – surpassing a record set by the Post’s coverage of September 11.

On December 2, one woman came forward with proof of a 31-month affair with Woods, claiming to have met him shortly after his Masters win in 2007, two months before his first child was born. Woods released a statement hours after that story broke, acknowledging ‘transgressions’ and admitting that he ‘is far short of perfect’.

Woods released a further statement on his website on December 11 announcing his indefinite break from golf to ‘focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person’ but he was eventually divorced by Elin in 2010, costing him a reported $100m.

Woods, pictured with Elin in 2009, got divorced from his wife at a cost of around $100million

After Christmas, he checked into Pine Grove Behavioural Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It was claimed that he took part in the ‘Gratitude’ programme, which is used to treat sex addiction. 

It wasn’t until February 19, 2010, that Woods spoke publicly at a press conference in Florida, where his mother was sat in the front row.

‘I was unfaithful,’ he admitted. ‘I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable,’ Woods said. ‘For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for. I have let you down and I have let down my fans.’

He eventually returned to golf at the 2010 Masters, where he was berated by the chairman of Augusta National, Billy Payne, for his behaviour.

‘He disappointed all of us,’ Payne said at a now infamous news conference. ‘And more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children.’

Woods later gave an emotional press conference in which he owned up to his behaviour 


Woods’ injury problems first began back in 2008, when he remarkably managed to win the US Open despite suffering from a broken leg and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

However, it was not until 2014 that what would prove to be a chronic problem with his back emerged and he was forced to withdraw from the final round of the Honda Classic.

He required months of rest and, eventually, his first surgery for a pinched nerve. It would not be the last.

Woods appears to grimace after hitting a drive two months before spinal fusion surgery

Three more operations, the last of which was spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, followed as Woods desperately tried to fix the issue and return to the top of golf.

Woods had considered retirement prior to the fusion surgery, but later credited the operation with saving his career. ‘It is hard to express how much better I feel,’ Woods wrote a month after the procedure.

However, his dependence on painkillers and sedatives to deal with the pain and help him through his rehabilitation led to another embarrassing incident in May, 2017.

Police found him asleep at the wheel of a Mercedes with punctured tyres at around 2am in Jupiter, Florida. He was arrested and his mugshot went across the world.

A police report said he ‘had extremely slow and slurred speech’ and was ‘co-operative’ and ‘confused’. 

Woods’ mugshout was seen around the world after he was arrested in Florida in May, 2017

Although no alcohol was involved, Woods was found to have taken a cocktail of prescription drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Vicodin for pain relief, Dilaudid – a substance used to combat severe pain – Xanax to ease anxiety, THC – the active ingredient in marijuana and Ambien to help sleep, were all discovered in his system.

Woods spent a night in the cells and his arrest for driving under the influence led to a a prosecution for reckless driving.


Woods’ close relationship with Donald Trump has been under the microscope since the billionaire businessman became President of the United States in 2017.

The pair have played golf together for years and in 2019, just weeks after the former world No 1 had sealed an emotional victory at The Masters, Trump presented Woods with the Medal of Freedom at the White House.

Some of Trump’s controversial policies have caused outrage in the States, but Woods has made an effort to distance himself from becoming embroiled in a political row.

US President Donald Trump congratulates Woods after handing him the Medal of Freedom

Asked about Trump shortly after his most recent win at Augusta, Woods said: ‘Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years.

‘We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.’ 

Pushed on what he would say to immigrants who felt threatened by Trump, Woods replied: ‘He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. 

‘No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.’

Woods has also been criticised for having a business relationship with Trump – the pair opened the Tiger Woods Villa at the President’s golf club in Doral, Florida back in 2014.

Woods has played golf with Trump for years and the pair have also done business together

Speaking about Woods during the Medal of Freedom ceremony last year, Trump called him ‘one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports’. 

The President added: ‘He’s also a great person. He’s a great guy.

‘He inspired millions of young Americans with his thrilling wire-to-wire victories. Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive.’ 


Although not on the level of the sex scandal or his DUI arrest, Woods’ ruthless sacking of his long-time caddie, Steve Williams, is likely to get a mention in the new HBO docuseries.

After a hugely successful 12 years with the Kiwi on his bag, Woods told Williams that he wanted to part ways in the clubhouse during the AT&T National tournament in Washington in July, 2011.

Williams was left furious by the decision and stirred more controversy when he said that the reason for a particularly passionate celebration with Adam Scott, who he was then caddying for, was ‘to shove it right up that black a***hole’.

The New Zealander later apologised, saying: ‘I now realise how my comments could be construed as racist. That was not my intent. I apologise to Tiger and anyone else I have offended.’

Woods celebrates with caddie Steve Williams on his way to winning The Masters in 2005

Woods accepted Williams’ apology and insisted his former caddie ‘is certainly not a racist’ after speaking to him on the phone.

However, Williams brought their bitter split up again in 2015 when he wrote in his autobiography that he felt ‘like I was his slave’ while working for Woods. 

He also hit out at Woods’ behaviour on the course, claiming the American showed him a lack of respect despite their trophy-laden spell together.

‘He was well known for his bad temper and, while that wasn’t pleasant to witness, you could live with it because it ended as quickly as it started,’ he wrote in his book. 

‘But he had other bad habits that upset me. One thing that really pissed me off was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. 

‘I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club, it was like I was his slave.’ 

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