Tiger Woods gives first interview since sex scandal, says he was living a lie (link to video)
On Sunday, golfer Tiger Woods sat down for an interview with the media and spoke about the mistakes he’s made, uncertainty about his reception once he returns to golf, and his plans to continue treatment for his addiction.
“I’ve done some pretty bad things in my life,” said Woods while speaking to Tom Rinaldi of ESPN. “I was living a life of a lie, I really was. And I was doing a lot of things … that hurt a lot of people. And stripping away denial and rationalization you start coming to the truth of who you really are and that can be very ugly. But then again, when you face it and you start conquering it and you start living up to it, the strength that I feel now … I’ve never felt that type of strength.”
Two interviews were conducted on Sunday at Isleworth—the golf club located near Woods’ Windemere, Fla. home—one with Rinaldi and one with the Golf Channel.
To see video of Rinaldi’s interview with Woods, click here.
According to ESPN, Rinaldi had no restrictions on the questions he could ask Woods, however, he was given a 5-minute time limitation. In addition, ESPN had to agree to air the interview on television at 7:30 p.m. ET. The sports station notes the complete interview will air on its SportsCenter show.
Woods has remained a virtual recluse after his single-vehicle crash at the end of November, and the resulting sex scandal that revealed the athlete had engaged in multiple extramarital affairs with several women.
He publicly apologized for his indiscretions last month, but did not allow questions from the media during the 13-minute event.
“I hurt a lot of people, not just my wife,” Woods told Rinaldi. “My friends, my colleagues, the public, kids who looked up to me. There were a lot of people that thought I was a different person and my actions were not according to that. That’s why I had to apologize. I was so sorry for what I had done.”
According to ESPN, Woods was in rehab in Mississippi from Dec. 31 to Feb. 11, followed by a week of family counseling in Arizona.
The golfer would not disclose exactly what his treatment entailed, but told Rinaldi, “It was really tough to look at yourself in a light you never want to look at yourself, that’s pretty brutal.”
Woods also claimed to be naïve regarding his previous behavior and said he did not seek treatment because “I didn’t know I was that bad.”
Woods also told Rinaldi that he’s “excited to get back and play… to see the guys again… I really miss a lot of my friends out there. I miss competing… I still have a lot more treatment to do, and just because I’m playing, doesn’t mean I’m [going to] stop going to treatment.”
After 144 days of absence from professional golf, Woods will make his return in the Masters Tournament at the Augusta Golf Club on April 8.
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