Elin & Tiger Woods' Marriage
Getty Images via Al Messerschmidt

The Untold Truth About Tiger Woods' Marriage to Elin Nordegren

Stories

| LAST UPDATE 10/20/2021

By Felicia Brown

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren went from happily married to buried in scandals in a matter of days. One incident led to the next, and for a while, Tiger's life seemed to be falling apart, while Elin was clued in by the press.

Meet Elin

Before moving to America, becoming Mrs. Tiger Woods, and enduring a lifetime worth of craziness, Elin Nordegren lived a relatively simple life in Stockholm, Sweden, alongside her twin sister and older brother.

Elin Tiger Woods' MarriageElin Tiger Woods' Marriage
Getty Images via Andrew Redington

But when Elin had an unexpected run-in with one particular woman, she packed up, moved to America, and left her life in Sweden behind her. Keep reading to learn how Tiger Woods changed Elin's life, for better and for worse.

Swedish Supermodel

The Swedish stunner had a pretty typical childhood, keeping up with her schoolwork while also playing sports. But one day, she was discovered by a photographer, who was blown away by her beauty. So, she eventually started modeling professionally and truly thrived in the industry.

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Getty Images via JEFF HAYNES

But Elin wasn't willing to devote her entire life to modeling, as she was incredibly focused on her studies and was determined to get a college degree. For that reason, she put modeling on hold and picked up some odd jobs here and there to make some extra money during school.

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Focused on Her Education

Elin was studying child psychology at Lund University, as she'd always had a love for children and hoped to pursue a career educating kids someday. She was also working at a clothing store in Stockholm, Sweden, but she had no idea that this job would lead to a new life in a whole new country.

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Getty Images via Mike Egerton/EMPICS

One day, an intriguing customer walked in. She was the wife of Jesper Parnevik, a famous tennis player, and she hit it off with Elin immediately. The woman revealed that she was looking for a nanny. Since Elin was studying child psychology, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

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Took a Life-Changing Job

But the nannying job had a catch; The family lived in the U.S., so Elin would have to move across the world to take the job. She decided to risk it all, leaving behind her friends and family to start an entirely new life in America. She wasn't sure what to expect, but she was up for a new adventure.

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Getty Images via L. Cohen

As soon as Elin arrived in America, "There was a big line of single golfers wanting to meet her," said Jesper Parnevik. "They were gaga over her." But there was one man who wanted to meet Elin more than the others, so he begged Jesper to introduce them. Little did Elin know, this man would have quite an impact on her life.

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Caught Tiger's Eye

Elin was introduced to Tiger Woods by Jesper Parnevik, but she had no interest in dating him at the time. She preferred to keep her personal life private, so getting involved with a celebrity would probably mean giving up her privacy, something that was once out of the question for Elin.

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Getty Images via David Cannon

Plus, "I had my opinion about celebrities," she revealed. But eventually, Elin decided to give Tiger a chance and put her previous thoughts on him aside. The couple soon fell hard for one another; "I loved him, we had so much fun, and I felt safe with him," Elin revealed.

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Introducing Mrs. Woods

Elin and Tiger dated for about two years, and they both appeared extremely happy. So, Woods got down on one knee and asked Elin to marry him. And when it came to the wedding, Tiger made sure to give his bride the experience of her dreams, spending over $2 million on an extravagant ceremony in Barbados.

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Getty Images via Andrew Redington

Woods rented out the entire resort, assuring his wife that this special day would be kept private. Security was top-notch, so the newlyweds and their famous guests wouldn't be bothered by paparazzi. Elin and Tiger said "I do" and vowed to love each other for better or worse. But Elin had no idea what the future would bring.

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Living the Life

Being married to a world-renowned athlete certainly had its perks; Money was never an issue for Elin and Tiger, and they owned multiple luxurious homes. Elin was also able to visit her family back in Sweden quite frequently, as paying for flights was no longer a stress-factor.

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Getty Images via Andrew Redington

But the Swedish beauty would eventually learn that "Money can't buy happiness," as she put it. However, Elin was quite content with her new lavish lifestyle during the beginning of their marriage, attending Red Carpet events and getting VIP treatment at the major golf tournaments.

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Scandal Struck Elin

Part of being in the spotlight meant saying goodbye to privacy, and Elin's fear of exposing her life became a reality. In 2006, a magazine in Ireland released some photos that were viewed as scandalous by many. The magazine claimed that the pictures were of Elin, but she insisted that they were of another woman.

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Getty Images via Al Messerschmidt

Despite her denying taking those photos, the magazine proceeded to run the story, stating that the pictures were from her former modeling days. Tiger fought for his wife, and eventually, they proved that the woman in the photos was a Playboy model. So, Elin was compensated over $180,000, and the magazine publicly apologized. 

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Becoming Parents

After the scandal with the Irish magazine, Elin and Tiger returned to their everyday lives. The following year, they welcomed their first child, Sam, into the world. Elin had always had a love for children, so she was thrilled to finally have a daughter of her own.

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Getty Images via Ezra Shaw

Two years after that, Charlie Woods was born, and this family of four appeared happy as can be. Both children showed signs of great athleticism and intelligence, and Elin and Tiger were eager to see what else the future had in store for their family.

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Another Bump in the Road

Unfortunately, though, it wasn't all smooth sailing from there. Around Thanksgiving in 2009, Elin suddenly found herself not feeling so thankful after all. She discovered that Tiger had recently been involved with another woman after the affair was leaked to the press.

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Getty Images via Jean Baptiste Lacroix

The other woman was Rachel Uchitel, a New York City nightclub hostess. The National Enquirer published a photo of Rachel checking into the same hotel as Tiger during the Australian Masters, with a quote of her telling her friend, "It's Tiger Woods! I don't care about his wife! We're in love!"

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Deny, Deny, Deny

Elin demanded answers after reading that her husband had supposedly been having an affair with another woman for months. According to The Daily Beast, Woods put Elin in touch with Rachel, who told her that the story was utterly false. Woods was relieved after the phone call, hoping the scandal was put to rest.

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Getty Images via Tim Bradbury

But Elin was still feeling unsure about everything. No matter what she asked her husband, he denied being involved with Rachel. It became clear that if she wanted answers, she'd have to do some digging herself. So, she snagged Tiger's cellphone when he wasn't looking, nervous about what she might find.

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Digging for Answers

Elin scrolled through Tiger's call history and found the name of another woman, Jaimee Grubbs. She gave her a call and left a message saying, "You know who this is because you are f***ing my husband." Elin didn't tell Tiger that she'd gone through his phone, but on Thanksgiving night, she searched his phone again when he was asleep.

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Getty Images via Donald Miralle

Elin started texting Rachel Uchitel, pretending to be Tiger. Then she called Rachel, which caused Tiger to wake up and text her himself. After screaming at each other, Woods left the house and got into his car, but the problem was, he was still extremely drowsy as he'd just woken up.

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Tiger Got Into an Accident

Tiger started driving away, but he didn't get very far before crashing into a fire hydrant close to their house. The accident appeared severe, so the police rushed to the scene. Since the crash occurred at 2:25 AM, there was speculation that Tiger was guilty of something, as he was rushing out in the middle of the night alone.

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Getty Images via Andrew Redington

And to make things seem even more suspicious, Elin was seen smashing the vehicle with a golf club. But she explained that she was in no way trying to hurt her husband, regardless of her being furious with him. She claimed that she was only trying to help Tiger get out of the car.

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Was It Really an Accident?

Between Elin smashing the car windows open and Tiger rushing out of the house in the middle of the night, authorities weren't sure whether or not this was actually an accident. As far as they knew, some people were convinced that Tiger ran out of the house, while Elin chased him with a golf club, with questionable intentions.

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Getty Images via Clive Brunskill

Woods was found in critical condition after Elin had dragged him out of the vehicle and onto the street. So, there was speculation that she had covered something up. But in the end, no further information was found, and Tiger made a full recovery without any criminal charges.

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A Second Affair

Remember when Elin left an angry voicemail for another woman by the name of Jaimee Grubbs? Well, a little after Tiger's car accident, Jaimee came forward, admitting that she, too, had been romantically involved with Woods. She claimed that it all began at a golf tournament in 2007, shortly before Elin gave birth to Sam.

Jaimee Grubbs Tiger Woods' MarriageJaimee Grubbs Tiger Woods' Marriage
Getty Images via Jean Baptiste Lacroix

And Jaimee was willing to show proof that she'd been with Tiger, no matter how it impacted his family. She claimed that she had hundreds of text messages from Tiger that validated their relationship, and she was eager to release this evidence to the public. Plus, she had one particular voicemail that said it all.

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The Infamous Voicemail

Jaimee released a voicemail that was supposedly from Tiger, which convinced many that he had indeed cheated on his wife yet again. "Hey, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor," he said in the message. "Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you."

The Voicemail Tiger Woods' MarriageThe Voicemail Tiger Woods' Marriage
Getty Images via Peter Byrne-PA Images

"So if you can, please take your name off that. Just have it as a number on the voicemail. You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye," Woods continued. It sounded like Tiger had a feeling that Elin would continue searching his phone, and he wanted to cover his tracks.

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No Paparazzi, Please

A few hours after an article was released about the voicemail on Jaimee's phone, Tiger issued a statement, but he didn't say much. The public was looking for answers, while Tiger had no intention of giving them out. He claimed that he regretted his decisions but didn't specify what he'd done exactly.

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Getty Images via ANNA ZIEMINSKI

"I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family," Woods said. "Those feelings should be shared by us alone." He'd hoped that after his statement, he could put this scandal to rest. However, this was still only the beginning, and things would soon worsen for Elin and Tiger.

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Jamie Number 2

It turned out that Jaimee Grubbs wasn't the last woman to come forward about a relationship with Tiger. Another woman, Jamie Jungers, went on Today to admit to being involved with Woods. Jungers claimed that she'd met Tiger at a party in Las Vegas, and they'd hit it off right away.

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Getty Images via Shahar Azran

Jamie also shared that they had an 18-month long affair, but she eventually realized that he didn't honestly care about her and didn't prioritize her needs. When she was going through a tough time, she'd hoped that Tiger would give her some money, but he refused, so she broke things off.

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They Kept Coming

This became a living nightmare for Elin, as she had now learned that her husband had been involved with three other women. Or so she thought; Over the next month, numerous other women came forward about their relationships with Woods. Many of them were adult entertainers and waitresses.

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Getty Images via Bill Murray-SNS Group

And many of these women were happy to share every detail of their relationship with the golfer. One of the alleged women, Theresa Rogers, claimed that she and Tiger had been together for five years and that he was even the father of her child. Could all of these women have been telling the truth?

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Tiger's Career Took a Hit

After the media had a field day with all of Tiger's affairs and his car accident, his reputation as a professional athlete took a hit. More and more women came out to reveal their relationships with Woods, and suddenly, he wasn't perceived as such a respectable and loyal man.

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Getty Images via Andrew Redington

He lost endorsements with Gatorade, AT&T, and a few other significant companies; According to Business Insider, he lost around $22 million in 2010. Aside from losing numerous sponsors, Tiger's performance on the course also regressed, and it was clear that he was no longer focused solely on the game.

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Put Golf on Hold

Tiger decided to check himself into a clinic for his addiction to having physical relations. He also put his career on hold to try and improve other aspects of his life. "I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person," he shared.

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Getty Images via Darren Carroll

While her husband was suffering in the public eye, Elin tried to lay low, as this negative press was something she'd feared before she and Tiger even got serious. Countless rumors surfaced about whether or not she would stay by Tiger's side during all of this or if she'd take her children and leave him.

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Owning Up to His Actions

From the moment Tiger became involved with so many women, he did everything possible to keep the relationships a secret, and for a while, he succeeded. But once he was exposed, it became clear that he'd have to own up to his actions if he ever wanted to get past this rather tough time.

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Getty Images via Pool

"I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable," said Woods. "For all that I have done, I am so sorry." While Tiger tried to fix his image in the public eye, was he genuinely trying to mend his relationship at home? And would Elin be able to move past all of the scandals?

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Tiger Defended Elin

After owning up to his mistakes and publicly apologizing, Tiger addressed some of the negative rumors about his wife, as he claimed that she was not at fault. Specifically, after the car accident, when police found Elin holding a golf club in the middle of the night.

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Getty Images via Andrew Redington

"Some people speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It hurts me that people would fabricate a story like that," Woods explained. He continuously emphasized that Elin was not a violent person and would never get physical, no matter how angry she was.

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Elin Went Away to Clear Her Head

Elin had always been incredibly close with her twin sister, Josefin, and during such a tough time in her life, all she wanted was love and support from her sister. So, the twins went away to celebrate their birthday, which happened to fall right in the middle of Tiger's cheating scandals.

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Getty Images via Scott Halleran

Josefin had been living in England, so she and Elin met in the French Alps to give Elin a chance to relax and think about what she really wanted in life. During their girls' trip, Elin got a better idea of what her next chapter would include, although that certainly wasn't the path she'd expected to go down.

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Marriage Headed South

Even after Tiger defended his wife during every press conference, there were suspicions that she would no longer put up with his behavior. When she didn't attend his live apology speech, many people were under the impression that she was filing for divorce.

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Getty Images via Al Messerschmidt

"Initially, I thought we had a chance, and we really tried hard," Elin revealed. But the scandals never seemed to end, so Elin decided it was time for her and Tiger to go their separate ways. Her sister worked in a law office in England, so she helped Elin hire a lawyer and proceed with the divorce.

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Elin Never Suspected Tiger Was Cheating

While going through the divorce proceedings, Elin admitted that she was shocked to hear about her husband's affairs. "I never suspected, not a one," she revealed. "For the last three-and-a-half years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school."

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Getty Images via GVK/HM/Bauer-Griffin

Elin said the months leading up to the divorce were an "emotional roller coaster." She also told People, "I've been through hell." Ultimately, though, she said that she had no regrets about marrying Tiger, and she still had two beautiful children, who brought her enough joy to overcome the tragic times.

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She Received $100 Million

When the divorce was finalized, Elin had to adjust to life as a single mother, but the money she got in the settlement made things a little bit easier. After five years of marriage, Elin was reportedly entitled to around $100 million. She built a beachfront mansion for her and her children and even started dating again.

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Getty Images via Frazer Harrison

Elin appeared to be living the life as a millionaire and single mother; She started dating billionaire Chris Cline, and around the same time, was photographed cozying up with another man. Gavin Rossdale, the second man, had also been caught up in a cheating scandal after getting involved with his nanny while married to Gwen Stefani.

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Finding a New Man

Elin spent the next few years eagerly searching for "the one" in hopes of finding a new man to treat her right. Eventually, Elin started dating her dream guy, who also happened to be a professional athlete. She and Jordan Cameron appeared to be happy as can be, and Elin fell pregnant with her third child.

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Getty Images via Diamond Images

"Elin maintains a low profile and has a normal, boring life," Jordan revealed. "Florida allows her to live that quiet life… She's surprised that people care that she's pregnant." Unlike her days as Mrs. Tiger Woods, Elin could fianlly keep the details of her personal life private, which was something she'd always hoped for.

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Tiger Told His Kids About the Scandals

Tiger later shared that he was honest with his children about why he and Elin divorced. "I've taken the initiative with my kids and told them up front, 'Guys, the reason why we're not in the same house, why we don't live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes,'" Woods admitted.

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Getty Images via ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

And ever since Tiger and Elin parted ways, they've claimed to be on much better terms, learning to co-parent and do what's best for their kids. "I know I will have to come to forgiveness and acceptance of what has happened for me to go on and be happy in the future," Elin explained, as she and Tiger both moved on.

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Putting the Scandals Behind Them

Elin wasn't shy about going through intensive therapy to recover from her unexpected marriage with Tiger, "I'm not going to deny that I went through the wringer," she admitted. "But I don't think I doubted we'd end up here. That was always my dream that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other."

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Getty Images via ADRIAN DENNIS

And slowly but surely, Tiger and Elin pulled it off, putting the past behind them for the sake of their kids. While Tiger certainly can't go back in time and undo his countless affairs, he moved on from those days, and even got back on the golf course, and reclaimed his reputation as one of the greatest golfers of all time.

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