Mon, Jan 18, 2010
my paper
Woods checks in for sex-addiction rehab

SEVEN weeks after the car crash that destroyed his carefully controlled and lucrative image, Tiger Woods has reportedly resurfaced at an addiction clinic in Mississippi, reported The Guardian.

Multiple media sources in the United States were confirming last night that Woods, who has not been seen in public since Nov 27 when he crashed his sports-utility vehicle just metres from his Florida home, has checked into the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services clinic in Hattiesburg.

According to its website, the clinic specialises in treating people suffering from sexual addiction.

In the aftermath of the crash, a number of women came forward claiming to have had a relationship with Woods, who is married and has two children.

The golfer subsequently issued a statement admitting to "infidelities" and stated his intention to become a better husband, father and person. He also said he would be taking an indefinite break from golf.

Treatment at Pine Grove lasts for an average of six weeks.

A spokesman for the clinic declined to comment on Woods last night, and the sheriff's office in Hattiesburg refused to confirm or deny reports that local police had stepped up security at the clinic following the arrival of a new celebrity patient.

However, WJTV television news in Jackson, Mississippi, reported that employees and visitors at the clinic have confirmed to its reporters that Woods is there.

Meanwhile, one eyewitness said she saw Woods arriving at the Hattiesburg-Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport last Monday night.

"He didn't look happy or sad, just straight," student Adrian Smith said. "He looked around and got in the driver's seat. He didn't seem to be in a hurry. He just walked around the car and got in. He sat there for a few seconds, then just drove off. His luggage was already in the car."

Since the scandal about his private life broke, Woods has been dropped by several of his corporate sponsors, including the management consultancy Accenture and the US telecommunications company AT&T.

Reportedly the first billionaire athlete in sport, the golfer is estimated to be on course to lose as much as 40 per cent of his US$100 million (S$139 million) annual income as a result of the bad publicity.

But there are signs that the American is trying to mend his battered public image.

The Daily Mail reported that he is planning to give a 1.8-million pound (S$4-million) donation to earthquake-struck Haiti.

According to US reports, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said that he has been speaking to Woods and that the golfer is planning a huge gesture following the devastating quake.

"Tiger is working on sending a mobile hospital with 50 emergency medical technicians to set up a triage," he told the New York Daily News.

According to the newspaper, Simmons and representatives from rapper Wyclef Jean's Haitian relief organisation, Yele, have asked Woods to support the effort. The golfer's management team is reportedly "excited" about the idea.

Simmons told the paper he is now looking to speak to the golfer directly for an answer.

"I am hopeful that it is a 'yes'," he said. "I am just asking for his heart and his hand. Just to meet the needs of the people."

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