Tiger Woods’ attorneys say no tenancy agreement with ex-girlfriend; Tony Freeman, Rose Law Group senior counsel who handles asset protection and estate planning, highlights the importance of ‘putting it in writing.’

By Mark Schlabach | ESPN

Attorneys for Tiger Woods said he never had an oral or written tenancy agreement with former girlfriend Erica Herman, who has sued a trust — that she claims Woods controls — for at least $30 million after he asked her to move out of his home following their breakup in October.

In the latest court filing in Herman’s lawsuit against the Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, Woods asked to intervene as a defendant in the case in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court in Martin County, Florida.

In a motion to intervene, Woods’ attorneys wrote that Herman sued the trust to avoid an agreement she had made with the 15-time major champion to arbitrate all disputes. Herman, who worked as a general manager of Woods’ restaurant before starting a personal relationship with him, is also asking a judge to remove her from a nondisclosure agreement she had signed with him on Aug. 9, 2017.

Woods’ attorneys claim the trust owns “only a limited remainder interest” in his home in Jupiter, Florida.

“Though this action involves Mr. Woods’ personal residence and arises out of Mr. Woods’ decision that Plaintiff should no longer live in his home following the breakup, Plaintiff did not sue Mr. Woods,” the motion to intervene said. “The disputes raised by Ms. Herman in the lawsuit against the trust are, in fact, disputes between Ms. Herman and Mr. Woods.”


“While all is fair in love and war, you will win more battles when you put it in writing. Claiming a six year oral tenancy agreement is fraught with problems. Typically, any agreement relating to an interest in real estate and any agreement requiring more than one year to perform both require a writing under the Statute of Frauds.  In some states, that alone could render the claim unenforceable.  If your mate promises you the world to persuade you to do something, have them put it on paper with their signature.  If they later decide they need a change, they will have to live up to their bargain. If they won’t document the deal, then at least it’s a good bet that it wasn’t real.”

Tony Freeman, Rose Law Group senior counsel who handles asset protection and estate planning

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March 2023