Tags: tiger | woods

Ailing Mother-in-Law Adds Twist to Woods Saga

Wednesday, 09 Dec 2009 07:47 AM

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Tiger Woods' troubles were back in the spotlight Wednesday after his mother-in-law collapsed at his Florida mansion and was rushed to hospital.

Barbro Holmberg, a 57-year-old former government minister in Sweden, was shown on US television being moved from an ambulance into a hospital. She was released 11 hours later in "good condition," a hospital spokesman said.

Woods' clean cut role model image has been battered in recent weeks by allegations from at least 10 women that they had affairs with him.

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News reports said his wife, Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model, has moved out of the residence and is living at a friend's home nearby. Woods has given little information apart from releasing a statement apologising to his family for his "transgressions".

Police said emergency paramedics were called to the 2.6-million-dollar Woods residence in the exclusive golfing community of Isleworth, Windermere, in the early hours of Tuesday.

In the released emergency recording, either Woods' wife or her twin sister can be heard saying in a panicked voice: "Hurry up, my mom just collapsed."

The woman explains that Holmberg fainted and fell, then tries to reassure the operator that she is now "fine" and that there is no need to send paramedics.

"We'd rather come check her and check her vitals to make sure everything is okay," the emergency operator replies. The caller relents and an ambulance is dispatched.

The Health Central Hospital in the nearby town of Ocoee said Holmberg was admitted complaining of stomach discomfort. "She's at her home, Tiger's home, resting and is recovering nicely," a spokesman said.

The Woods' mansion near Orlando has been besieged by reporters since the 14-time major winner crashed his car just outside on November 27.

Woods at first refused to speak to police about the crash, fueling media speculation that it was caused by an argument with his wife over a reported affair with New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel.

Woods apologized on December 2 for "personal sins" and "transgressions" as a magazine posted what it said was evidence of a 31-month affair with a second woman, a cocktail waitress named Jaimee Grubbs.

More women came forward alleging affairs in the following days.

Woods has gone underground and pulled out of his own charity golf tournament in California.

Uchitel was linked to Woods in a report in the National Enquirer tabloid two days before he drove his car into a fire hydrant and then a tree, sustaining facial injuries.

Uchitel denied the affair, but media reports say she is seeking a massive payout to halt the publication of damaging emails and messages.

After the crash, celebrity gossip websites speculated that Elin Nordegren chased Woods with a golf club and smashed the rear windows of his vehicle, causing him to lose control. Woods denied the reports.

Woods, a billionaire who gets an estimated 90 percent of his income from endorsements was hit Tuesday by Gatorade's announcement that it had ended its contract with him.

The sports drink maker however told AFP the decision to end the two-year-old contract had been taken several months ago.

Tiger's biggest sponsor Nike last week issued a statement saying it was standing by the golf star.

Woods also faces new questions about the crash after the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported that a police report cited a witness claiming the golfer had been drinking and was taking Ambien, a sedative, and the pain-killer Vicodin.

Police slapped Woods with a careless driving citation and a 164-dollar fine and ended their investigation.

Online fascination with Woods' alleged infidelities meanwhile has been a boon for Yahoo!, the Internet search firm's chief executive Carol Bartz said.

"God bless Tiger," Bartz said while discussing Yahoo! user traffic and display advertising at a New York conference in New York.

"This week we got a huge uplift: front page, news, sports, gossip. He just filtered through the whole place," she said, referring to the company's various web pages.

"It is better than Michael Jackson dying; it is kind of hard to put an ad next to a funeral."

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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