The courtroom battle between Tiger Woods and former girlfriend Erica Herman has another chapter, as Woods' team has filed a response to Herman's lawsuits seeking both financial compensation and a release from a nondisclosure agreement.
Woods and Herman dated for approximately six years. In October 2017, shortly after they began their relationship, Herman signed an NDA which stipulated that any disputes between the two must be settled by arbitration, not a public trial. Woods and Herman broke up in October 2022; shortly thereafter, Herman filed suit against the trust governing Woods' Florida residence.
Last week, she filed a second suit against Woods himself. The goal of both suits was to release her from the NDA and its requirement to settle disputes through behind-closed-doors arbitration. In that second suit, Herman argued that she should be released from the NDA because of a new federal law which holds that NDAs cannot be used to conceal sexual assault or harassment. She did not cite any incidences of assault or harassment, but indicated that the NDA should be at least partially rescinded as a result.
In documents filed Monday morning in Martin County (Florida) Circuit Court and reviewed by Yahoo Sports, Woods' attorneys filed a response to Herman's allegations, condemning her strategy.
"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 indicates. "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' lawyers further termed Herman's action a "transparent abuse of the judicial process" and labeled Herman herself "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."
Attorneys for Woods 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.