Tiger Woods’ attorneys said he never had an oral or written lease with his former girlfriend Erica Herman, who has sued a trust – which she claims Woods controls – for at least $30 million after he pleaded with her to move out of his house their separation in October.
In the most recent court filing in Herman’s lawsuit against the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, Woods asked to intervene as a defendant in the case in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Martin County, Florida.
In a request for intervention, Woods’ attorneys wrote that Herman sued the trust to avoid an agreement she made with the 15-time major champion to settle any disputes. Herman, who worked as the general manager of Woods’ restaurant before beginning a personal relationship with him, is asking a judge to remove her from a non-disclosure agreement she signed with him on Aug. 9, 2017.
Woods’ attorneys allege that the trust owns “only a limited remaining interest” in his home in Jupiter, Fla.
“Although this lawsuit relates to Mr. Woods’ personal residence and follows from Mr. Woods’ decision that plaintiff should no longer reside in his home after the separation, plaintiff has not sued Mr. Woods,” the filing states Intervention. “The disputes raised by Ms. Herman in the lawsuit against the Trust are actually disputes between Ms. Herman and Mr. Woods.”
Herman claims that she had an oral lease that allowed her to live in Wood’s private home rent-free in exchange for providing personal services during their six-year relationship. She claims the agreement was broken when Woods told her he was ending their relationship on October 13. She claims there were about five years left of the verbal agreement at this point.
Wood’s attorneys deny that he had an oral lease with Herman.
“During their relationship, Mr. Woods invited Ms. Herman to live with him as a guest at the residence,” the application reads. “Mr. Woods never negotiated a verbal lease with Ms. Herman. There was also never a written lease between Mr. Woods or the Trust on the one hand and Ms. Herman on the other. Mr. Woods never transferred any interest or title in the residence to Ms. Herman.”
The latest request said that Woods arranged for Herman to stay at a local luxury resort and gave her money to apply for new residency after their split.
In a civil lawsuit filed Monday, Herman’s attorney alleged that Woods forced Herman to sign an NDA. Herman believes the non-disclosure agreement is “void and unenforceable” and that the trust is improperly using it against her. Herman’s attorney relies on a federal law, the Speak Out Act, which prevents enforcement of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual assault and harassment.
Herman made no specific allegations against Woods.
The latest court filing notes that on Dec. 22, Woods began arbitration to determine that Herman has no right to reside in his home and is not entitled to monetary damages from him. However, the case was dropped on January 26 after she claimed she could not be forced into arbitration “because her claims for breach of an oral lease involved a ‘sexual harassment dispute.'”
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