Tiger Woods makes a statement from the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour on February 19, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods publicly admitted to cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren but maintained that the issues remain "a matter between a husband and a wife." (Getty Images)more pics »Tiger Woods
gave his first in-person public statement today after the affair scandal that linked more than 10 mistresses to him rocked the headlines in late November and December of last year. The golf great had tears in his eyes as he somberly apologized to his staff, family, friends, and fans. He said, with a sigh: "I have a lot to atone for." Tiger Wods on a run this week. (Getty)
He said he wanted to clarify one thing about his wife Elin Nordegren
: "Some believe believe Elin either hurt or attacked me on that Thanksgiving night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever," he said. "Elin has showed enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame."
He admitted to his affairs, and to being in rehab for weeks, too. He solemnly pleaded for the media to leave his family alone, and that he is the "one that needs to change." He said: "I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was unacceptable, and I am the only one to blame."
He talked about the fans and children he has disappointed, and vowed to make amends. "I have disappointed all of you and made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did," Tiger said. "I am embarrassed to have put you in this position for all that I have done. I am so sorry."
He ended the speech with a pointed request to his fans and those around him: "Today I ask for your help, to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again."
Then, he hugged his mom, Kultida Woods
, who sat in the front row during the speech.
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Tiger Woods' Other Women
Tiger Woods was revealed to have many mistresses when scandal broke over the Thanksgiving holiday. Tiger was soon revealed to have had extramarital affairs with several women while married to Elin Nordegren Woods.