Tiger Woods’ representatives have been fighting with each other behind the scenes for weeks over how to handle his growing scandal, RadarOnline.com is reporting exclusively.
The fighting has raged as Tiger’s scandal mushroomed, leading to Tiger’s announcement Friday that he’s taking an indefinite break from golf.
RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively it was strongly suggested to Tiger’s people early in the scandal that they bring in a public relations crisis management team but the various factions couldn’t agree and it never happened.
His management team, his lawyers and close friends have disagreed about the correct approach to manage events as the scandal has grown. The result: “There’s been a lot of finger pointing in Tiger’s camp as things have gotten worse for him,” one person very familiar with the situation told RadarOnline.com exclusively.
Tiger’s various statements released on his Web site have done nothing to stem the onslaught of bad publicity.
Just a few weeks ago Team Tiger only had to deal with Rachel Uchitel, the golfer’s mistress of the past five years, whose relationship was exposed by the National Enquirer and Star magazine. Tiger’s people tried but failed to stop publication of the story detailing the affair.
That story was so explosive it set into motion a chain of other events, including Tiger’s late-night one-car crash after arguing with his wife and more women coming forward to reveal affairs. As Tiger’s secret cheating life spilled into public, his reps were divided on how to handle it, leaving no one speaking for Tiger publicly.
“They’ve been completely ineffective in handling this scandal from a pr standpoint,” the source said. “It’s just gotten worse and worse.” Because the reps couldn’t agree on the right course of action, Tiger was given different advice by different people working for him. Sources familiar with the situation said Tiger is ultimately calling the shots but the lack of one clear recommendation on how to handle his public image at this time has led to chaos in Tiger’s camp.
A fortune in Tiger endorsements is at stake as the golfer and his team figure out how to handle his public image. AT&T told RadarOnline.com that it is “evaluating” its relationship with Tiger at this point and Gatorade pulled his Tiger Focus group and has not publicly committed to continue working with him.
Meanwhile Tiger has yet to hire a crisis pr firm and develop an overall strategy for dealing with his image and has only made contact with the public through statements released on his Web site.