Tiger Woods Press Conference: Golfer "Deeply Sorry"; Headed Back to Therapy; Return Unknown

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Tiger Woods held a press conference moments ago, speaking in public for the first time since his secret life of tawdry sexual liaisons was exposed in late November.

The golfer addressed friends, family, fans and business associates today at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, expressing regret for "irresponsible and selfish behavior."

He delved into few salacious details that have been reported about his affairs, except to issue a blanket denial of many celebrity gossip reports about his actions.

One topic Woods did address was the rumor of wife Elin Nordegren attacking him the night of his car accident. He says it did not happen. We do not believe him.

Woods confirmed that, as media outlets speculated earlier, he is headed back to rehab shortly. Tiger says that even he does not know when he will return to golf.

Did Tiger Woods' remarks today change your opinion of him?

Following his 13-minute speech, which was utterly devoid of emotion and consisted of little beyond Tiger repeating himself ad nauseam and looking like Sarah Palin reading crib notes, he went down the line hugging a select group of people.

His mom and longtime friend Bryon Bell, who served as the middle man setting up Tiger's dalliances with Rachel Uchitel, were among those on hand in the front row.

Follow the jump for the full transcript of Tiger's apology speech at his press conference today and tell us what you think (click here for video of the apology speech).

Is he saying and doing right things, or did he fall short?

"Good morning, and thank you for joining me. Many of you in this room are my friends. Many of you in this room know me. Many of you have cheered for me or you’ve worked with me or you’ve supported me.

Now every one of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife Elin and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.

Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you in this room. I have let you down, and I have let down my fans. For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work for me, I have let you down personally and professionally. My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners.

To everyone involved in my foundation, including my staff, board of directors, sponsors, and most importantly, the young students we reach, our work is more important than ever. Thirteen years ago, my dad and I envisioned helping young people achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow. From the Learning Center students in Southern California to the Earl Woods scholars in Washington, D.C., millions of kids have changed their lives, and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.

But still, I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.

For all that I have done, I am so sorry.

I have a lot to atone for, but there is one issue I really want to discuss. Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever. Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame.

The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.

I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.

I was wrong. I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ve done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It’s now up to me to make amends, and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I’ve made. It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity.

I once heard, and I believe it’s true, it’s not what you achieve in life that matters; it’s what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are only part of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count.

Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.

It’s hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go. But I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand the press wants to ask me for the details and the times I was unfaithful. I understand people want to know whether Elin and I will remain together. Please know that as far as I’m concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me. These are issues between a husband and a wife.

Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false. Some have written things about my family. Despite the damage I have done, I still believe it is right to shield my family from the public spotlight. They did not do these things; I did.

I have always tried to maintain a private space for my wife and children. They have been kept separate from my sponsors, my commercial endorsements. When my children were born, we only released photographs so that the paparazzi could not chase them. However, my behavior doesn’t make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school’s location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.

I recognize I have brought this on myself, and I know above all I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to my family to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That’s where my focus will be.

I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.

As I move forward, I will continue to receive help because I’ve learned that’s how people really do change. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy. I would like to thank my friends at Accenture and the players in the field this week for understanding why I’m making these remarks today.

In therapy I’ve learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save the things that are most important to me, my marriage and my children.

That also means relying on others for help. I’ve learned to seek support from my peers in therapy, and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help. I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be.

I don’t rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game. In recent weeks I have received many thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls from people expressing good wishes. To everyone who has reached out to me and my family, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to Elin and me.

I want to thank the PGA TOUR, Commissioner Finchem, and the players for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room, and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.

Thank you."

What did you think of Tiger Woods' apology and remarks?

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Jesus, a bit of perspective please. Of course it was scripted and wooden, he had to give a freakin public apology,(over a private matter that aint anybody's business except him and his wife). Put yourself in his position, when you've done something really fucked up and had too apologise it probably wasn't in a room full of people and cameras taking your apology out there to millions of people. He ain't no actor and besides, however he delivered his apology he would have been critizsed. He has manned up and apologised and now his priority, as he made clear, is Elin and his family. Heroes do fall from grace and I for one believe in the powers of redemption.....its time to give this a rest.

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What Tiger does is his own business, but he did it 'cause some people in this world don't have a life of their own. Tiger didn't need to make a public apology, the only one he had to asnwer to was his family and the Man upstairs. There are many people in this world in the same situation as Tiger, you don't see it publicized 'cause making apologese don't apply to just anyone when your broke and no one knows you. And of course, no matter what Tiger say or do some people won't be satidfied.

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Tiger needs to kick back and tango with some ass again! 'nuff said with all this bs. Play ball!

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Who are we to say what someone should say or do when they apologize? What matters is the desire to make amends. Tiger is working his steps and his program. Leave him alone and clean your own glass house. Circus Maximus: bring on the lions. Evolve please.

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I don't see why Tiger had to apologise to anyone. This apology should be only to his wife and family. The remarks I have read here are far worse than Tigers womanising. I think you people need to take a look at your failed lives and clean out your mouths. I am more disgusted with you lot than Tiger.

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How many other celebrities have affairs including politicians while married? It happens often enough but because it is Tiger Woods the world has condemned him. It was a good speech and now he will learn that he has to face the consequences of his actions and the road ahead will be very difficult.
Elin will likely never forgive him or even sleep with him but there are children involved and sometimes one has to make the best of a bad situation. If it does not work out, then she will leave him. Let time take its course and see what will happen.

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Lets give him time to recoverf and to amend his mistakes..Time will tell if it works or not...Hopefully...he is sincere into his statements and be aware of the things that surrounds him...I cannot say anythig until the time that he fully recovered and to change his not good way of life into a changed person...Only him can make it and can move for a change...

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Not a fan of tiger nor golf, but I'm aware that he was number one, man, sincere or not, cheater or not, I just pity him so much. One day he was glorified now mortified...
I dunno, and no one is giving him a chance, I mean no one forgave chris brown...
Ppl make mistakes, but this is like slapping a child's'ass for a mistake. I know what he did was a HUGE mistake but, can't help but feel sorry.
I think she should get out of publicity now. Really wanna see him back on the fields. Such a waste of talent..

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Well what did you idiots expect him to do? Grovel on the ground crying like a Baby? Get over it already, time to move on... The only ones he need to apologize to is his family, no need to apologize to me, didn't hurt my life in anyway...How lame some of you people are...

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So Tiger Woods has finally addressed his mistakes, and said sorry. But do you think this will do? At the end of the day Tiger Woods is a human just like everyone else, even though I feel its going to take some time for this media freenzy to calm down I think he should have some privacy to work things out with his family and friends.

Tiger Woods Biography

Tiger and Charlie Woods Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the history of the world. The talented athlete has also married a blonde bombshell and inspired... More »
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Tiger Woods