Elin Nordegren breaks her silence about split with Tiger Woods
In what she says will be her one and only interview on the topic, Nordegren spoke of what she's been through in the past nine months.
"I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," said Nordegren, 30. "I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself."
She spoke to People reporter Sandra Sobieraj Westfall for 19 hours over four visits at the rental home in Windermere, Fla., where Nordegren has been staying with Sam, 3, and Charlie, 19 months, her two children with Woods.
"My immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new situation. I am going to keep taking classes, but my main focus is to try to give myself time to heal," said Nordegren, who is working toward a college degree in psychology.
Westfall appeared on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday and said it was Nordegren who initiated the interviews.
“She really wanted people to know three things right off the bat: She’s not violent; she’s never hit him; she had no idea any of this was going on — as embarrassing as it is for her to admit that, she never suspected,” Westfall said.
According to Westfall, Nordegren is estimated to be receiving $100 million in the divorce settlement. Still, Nordegren told the magazine, “Money can’t buy happiness, or put my family back together.”
Westfall said Nordegren went through intensive counseling after learning about Woods' infidelities and that the couple attempted to reconcile, but “without trust and love,” it didn't work out.
More quotes from Nordegren:
-- “I felt stupid as more was revealed — how could I have not known anything? The word ‘betrayal’ isn’t strong enough. I felt like my whole life had fallen apart.”
-- “The speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is just truly ridiculous.”
-- While looking through a photo album of wedding pictures and family outings: “We used to have so much fun.”
-- Since the split: “I’ve not watched one minute of golf.”
Woods, who has not commented on the divorce, was playing a pro-am round at the Barclays in Paramus, N.J., when the People magazine story broke shortly before 5 a.m. PDT. According to the Associated Press, Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, stepped outside the ropes on the first fairway and spent the next 10 minutes on the phone. Woods' spokesman, Glenn Greenspan, was also on the phone during that time span.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Elin Nordegren is shown on the cover of People magazine's Sept. 6, 2010, issue. Credit: Associated Press / People magazine