A woman who dated Tiger Woods for six years is asking for “in excess of $30,000,000,” after the golf legend threw her out of his lavish Florida home.
Erica Herman, who once managed a restaurant Woods owns in Jupiter, began a relationship with Woods in 2017 and moved into his Hobe Sound mansion that same year, according to a lawsuit filed in Martin County Circuit Court. Herman, 39, claims in the suit that Woods agreed to a five-year “oral tenancy” agreement, but allegedly broke it when the relationship came to an end last October.
“Specifically, by trickery, agents of the Defendant convinced the Plaintiff to pack a suitcase for a short vacation and, when she arrived at the airport, they told her she had been locked out of her residence, in violation of the oral tenancy agreement and in violation of Florida law,” Herman’s lawsuit states. “They then informed her she was not allowed to return to her Residence and, without legal counsel to aid in [sic] her in this emotional moment, they utilized a lawyer to confront her with proposals to resolve the wrongdoing they were in the midst of committing.”
In the Oct. 26, 2022 filing, which The Daily Beast reviewed along with numerous others culminating in a March 6 motion Herman filed to nullify a 2017 non-disclosure agreement between her and Woods, Herman says Woods’ representatives “attempted to justify their illegal conduct by paying for a hotel room and certain expenses for a short period of time, having successfully locked Plaintiff out of her home and frightened her away from returning.”
Ever since, Herman—who says in her filings that she “performed valuable services” while living with Woods—claims she has been refused entry to the estate, where Woods remains. Her personal belongings have been removed from the property, according to Herman, whose lawsuit further accuses Woods and his “agents” of having “misappropriated in excess of $40,000 in cash that belonged to her, making scurrilous and defamatory allegations about how she obtained the money.”
The lawsuit was first reported by TMZ.
In December 2022, Woods and his Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, which technically owns the mansion, filed a motion to dismiss Herman’s suit, arguing that after Woods “recently terminated the relationship, Ms. Herman was advised that she was no longer welcome in the Residence.”
“In 2017, after Mr. Woods and Ms. Herman commenced a relationship, Ms. Herman began living in the Residence as Mr. Woods’ invited guest,” the motion contends. “Mr. Woods and Ms. Herman never married. Further, neither Mr. Woods nor the Trustee of the Trust ever transferred any ownership interest in the Residence to Ms. Herman.”
It continues by describing Herman’s allegations as “thinly camouflaged claims arising from disputes directly between Ms. Herman and Mr. Woods,” arguing that the NDA Herman signed requires any disagreements to be settled in arbitration. By suing Woods in court, Herman “improperly seeks to leverage a payment from Mr. Woods in an amount that no arbitral forum would ever award,” Woods’ motion states.
“Such gamesmanship should not be tolerated,” it says.
On Monday, Herman filed a new complaint in Martin County, calling the NDA, which Woods’ team insists is still in place, “invalid and unenforceable,” citing, in part, the federal Speak Out Act, which prevents the enforcement of NDAs in instances of sexual assault or harassment. At the same time, the filing, which does not include any sort of sexual allegations, concedes that the issues at stake “are not legally certain,” and asks the court to rule on certain crucial details. Herman says she needs to know what she is allowed to say about her relationship with Woods, and to whom.
Specifically, the filing requests the judge to define the limits of Herman’s “freedom to disclose,” among other things, her own experiences with Woods, those of her family members, “photographs and recordings of herself and her family members,” and “information responding to statements that [Woods] has made or published about her or others to prove the falsity or misleading nature of those statements.”
Angela Reddock-Wright, a Los Angeles employment lawyer and mediator who is not involved in the case, said the NDA means we won’t know precisely why Herman filed under the Speak Out Act until, and unless, a judge invalidates the agreement.
“We don’t know for sure what she may be alleging here,” Reddock-Wright told The Daily Beast. “Presumably, she may be trying to make some sort of connection.”
Over the past few years, the courts have begun to reconsider the validity of NDAs, even longstanding ones, especially in cases involving any type of sexual misconduct, according to Reddock-Wright. She said Herman, by trying to undo the NDA, appears to be seeking the proper conditions to file a “larger set of claims” against Woods. And although Woods’ attorneys were obliged to file a response to Herman’s motion to invalidate the NDA, Reddock-Wright said it is highly likely there is an effort behind the scenes “to quietly resolve this.”
Woods turned pro in 1996 at the age of 20, and maintained a squeaky-clean image for years before an ugly public divorce amid accusations of rampant infidelities, treatment for sex addiction, and a DUI arrest. In 2010, porn star Joslyn James posted text messages she said Woods sent her while they were dating, including one that read: “You are my fucking whore. Hold you down while I choke you and fuck that ass that I own.”
Attorneys for Herman and Woods did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Thursday.