Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriend came up short in a ruling from a Florida judge late Wednesday as she not only sought to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement but also aimed to sue Woods for $30 million in public court. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger ruled that Erica Herman’s attempt to claim sexual harassment against Woods in an attempt to nullify the NDA was vague, lacking “factual specificity for any claim relating to sexual assault or sexual harassment.”
Woods’ legal team asked Metzger to throw out the case as the NDA signed by both parties requires disputes to be settled in private. Metzger agreed that Herman may only continue to pursue claims against Woods through private arbitration, upholding the terms of the NDA.
In court documents filed last week, Herman said the 15-time major champion began a sexual relationship with her while she was his employee, accusing him of providing her with an ultimatum: sign an NDA or face termination. Herman managed Woods’ restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, before and during the early stages of their relationship. The parties disagree about when their relationship actually began.
Herman, 39, also claimed unlawful eviction in a separate $30 million lawsuit filed against Woods’ trust, which took ownership of his $57 million mansion in 2017. She said Woods, 47, promised her residence in the home for 11 years but kicked her out after just five. The $30 million figure she sought represented a five-year cost for Herman to rent a property similar to the one in which she lived with Woods.
Herman accused Woods of utilizing his attorney to break up with her at an airport stating that the lawyer evicted her from Woods’ home by intentionally misleading her with the promise of a vacation.
Herman’s lawyers attempted to invalidate the NDA by claiming it unenforceable under a new federal law signed by President Joe Biden in December 2022. The goal of the law is to curb the use of NDAs that block victims of sexual harassment in the workplace from pursuing charges.
First seen in the public spotlight with Woods at the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in September 2017, Herman remained by Woods’ side during monumental moments in his career. She was there both for his 2019 Masters victory as well as when Woods received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump the year prior.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on May 18, 2023.