The courtroom battle between Tiger Woods and Erica Herman saw a new development after the former’s legal team filed a response Monday.
Herman, who is Woods’ ex-girlfriend, filed a civil suit last Wednesday against the 15-time major champion to release her from a nondisclosure agreement she signed when the pair began their relationship in October 2017. The NDA stipulated any disputes between the two must be settled by arbitration. This was filed after a suit was filed against the trust governing the 47-year-old’s Florida residence after the couple broke up in October 2022.
Her legal team cited a federal law, the Speak Out Act, which prevents the enforcement of nondisclosure agreements in instances of sexual assault and harassment. Herman’s lawyer, Benjamin Hodas, indicated the case involved allegations of sexual abuse, but those allegations might not involve Woods directly.
Herman has not made specific allegations against Woods.
Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee obtained and reviewed documents filed in Martin County, Fla. Circuit Court, which featured a response from Woods’ legal team.
“Ms. Herman does nothing more than cite 9 U.S.C. §§ 401-402 and its salacious title, ‘The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act,'” the filing indicated. “She has never asserted any claims for sexual assault or sexual harassment, does not do so in this landlord-tenant action, and, if she is truthful, can never do so.”
Woods’ attorneys termed Herman’s action a “transparent abuse of the judicial process” and labeled her “a jilted ex-girlfriend who wants to publicly litigate specious claims in court, rather than honor her commitment to arbitrate disputes in a confidential arbitration proceeding.”
They have asked the court to deny Herman’s appeal for release from the NDA and compel her to settle the dispute via arbitration. There is no timetable for the resolution of either side’s claims, according to Yahoo Sports.
The response was a strong one, to say the least, and might garner favor from the court of public opinion. There certainly are those on the opposite end who might question and psychoanalyze why Herman was requested to sign an NDA at the start of her relationship with Woods.
There likely won’t be a public war of words due to instructions from attorneys and the NDA signed by the former couple, but this might not be the last of statements made through legal filings.