Tiger Woods admitted he hurt a lot of people and was “living a lie” in his first interview since shortly after Thanksgiving when his secret life of serial cheating became public.
“I was doing a lot of things that hurt a lot of people,” Woods said, in the interview with ESPN on Sunday.
I was living a life of a lie, I really was.”
ESPN said that Woods put a five-minute time limit on the interview but did not restrict questions. The 14-time major champion admitted to multiple extra-marital affairs but insisted that he married wife Elin Nordegren, because “I loved her”.
Elin was not alongside her embattled husband for the mea culpa, as RadarOnline.com was first to report.
Eyewitnesses have confirmed exclusively to RadarOnline.com that the mom of Wood’s two children stayed on his boat, called “Privacy,” from Friday to Sunday this weekend.
Sources told RadarOnline.com that she stormed out of the couple’s Windermere, Florida home, after yet another rocky patch in their mended marriage.
Woods refused to discuss specific details about his extra-marital affairs.
But he admitted that “just one is enough and obviously that wasn’t the case.
“I hurt a lot of people, not just my wife. My friends, my colleagues, the public, kids who looked up to me,” he said.
“There were a lot of people that thought I was a different person and my actions were not according to that.
“That’s why I had to apologize. I was so sorry for what I had done.”
Woods had been receiving treatment at a rehabilitation clinic and said he found that a difficult experience, although refused to detail what it was for. He did admit he received in-patient treatment for 45 days.
“It was really tough to look at yourself in a light you never want to look at yourself, that’s pretty brutal.”
RadarOnline.com previously reported he was at Gentle Path in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Tiger said he was nervous about the reception he will receive when he returns to golf at the U.S Masters next month, when he breaks his self-imposed exile from the game.
“I don’t know, I don’t know, I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you,” Woods said.
“It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there. But I also hope they clap for birdies too.”
Here are more highlights from the interview:
ON ELIN’S REACTION WHEN HE ADMITTED THE TRUTH:
Woods: She was hurt, she was hurt. Very hurt. Shocked. Angry. And, you know, she had every right to be and I’m as disappointed as everyone else in my own behavior because I can’t believe I actually did that to the people I loved.
ON WHY HE GOT MARRIED:
Woods: Why? Because I loved her. I loved Elin with everything I have. And that’s something that makes me feel even worse, that I did this to someone I loved that much.
Woods: We work at it.
ON WHAT HAPPENED ON NOVEMBER 27, LAST YEAR:
Woods: Well, it’s all in the police report. Beyond that, everything’s between Elin and myself and that’s private.
ON WHY HE LOST CONTROL OF THE CAR:
Woods: As I said … that’s between Elin and myself.
ON WHY HE IS IN TREATMENT:
Woods: That’s a private matter as well. But I can tell you what, it was tough, it was really tough to look at yourself in a light that you never want to look at yourself, that’s pretty brutal.
ESPN: What’d you see?
Woods: I saw a person that I never thought I would ever become.
ESPN: Who was that?
Woods: Well, I had gotten away from my core values as I said earlier. I’d gotten away from my Buddhism. And I quit meditating. I quit doing all the things that my mom and dad had taught me. And as I said earlier in my statement, I felt entitled, and that is not how I was raised.
ON THE LOWEST POINT OF THE LAST FOUR MONTHS:
Woods: I’ve had a lot of low points. Just when I didn’t think it could get any lower, it got lower.
ESPN: An example?
Woods: When I was in treatment, out of treatment, before I went in, there were so many different low points. People I had to talk and face like my wife, like my mom.
ESPN: What was that moment like, either one?
Woods: They both have been brutal. They’ve both been very tough. Because I hurt them the most. Those are the two people in my life who I’m closest to and to say the things that I’ve done, truthfully to them, is … honestly … was … very painful.
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