EXCLUSIVE: How Tiger Woods Tried To Stop Affair Stories With Payoff

Jan. 3 2010, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

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Tiger Woods tried to save his public image and his marriage by paying off the person who was about to go public with the first report of his cheating.

Team Tiger offered Ashley Samson $200,000 not to reveal the golfer’s affair with Rachel Uchitel.

Samson declined the money and it was the National Enquirer’s revelation of that affair that led to more than 10 other women coming forward and revealing Tiger’s serial cheating.

Article continues below advertisement previously reported that Team Tiger attempted to silence people with knowledge of the affair and Samson confirmed the dollar amount to the New York Daily News.

Even after the Uchitel affair story became public, Tiger thought he could eradicate the damage.

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Samson told about Tiger: "He wanted me to say that I was not telling the truth about them and that I was withdrawing my statements he was cheating on his wife with Rachel."

Gloria Allred

Sources told that before the cheating scandal became public Tiger believed he could stop publication of the Uchitel story and keep all of his extra-marital activities hidden. The key, Team Tiger believed, was paying off Samson, who was going on-the-record with the Enquirer.

So while one part of Tiger’s camp tried to delay the Enquirer’s publication of the first story, behind the scenes they were making the financial offer to Samson.

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But, sources told that Tiger made two fatal miscalculations:

1. Samson, much to their surprise, turned down Tiger’s money.

2. The Enquirer had at least one other off-record source who knew just as much as Samson. The Enquirer followed Uchitel to Australia where she was meeting up with Woods.

The failure to stop the story led to much finger pointing among various Tiger reps and they sought to avoid the blame for one of the biggest image-busting scandals in recent memory.



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