After nine months of turmoil over his extramarital affairs, Tiger Woods and his Swedish-born wife have officially divorced. The hearing lasted no more than 10 minutes in a Florida judge's chambers. Woods now begins life as a single dad. "We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future," Woods and Elin Nordegren said in a joint statement released by their lawyers.
The divorce was granted shortly in Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Florida where Woods drove his SUV over a fire hydrant and into a tree on Thanksgiving night. That set off shocking revelations that sports' biggest star had been cheating on his wife through multiple affairs. Woods' life and golf game have been in disarray ever since. He and Nordegren were married October 5, 2004, in Barbados and have a three-year-old daughter, Sam, and an 18-month-old son, Charlie.
Terms of the divorce - such as how much it will cost Woods - were not disclosed. They said only that they will "share parenting" of their two children. Nordegren, who for years tried to stay in the background, was captured on video by celebrity websites eating lunch or picking up her daughter from school. "We love Elin, and we are so proud of the grace and strength she has shown during this difficult time," her father, Thomas Nordegren, a talk show host at national broadcaster Swedish Radio, said. "We know that she will come out of this even stronger and has a bright future in front of her."
The divorce was finalised by Bay County Circuit Judge Judy Pittman Biebel during a 10-minute hearing in a conference room in her chambers, according to Biebel's judicial assistant, Kim Gibson. Woods and Nordegren were present, along with their lawyers, Gibson said. "I don't comment on active cases," Thomas J. Sasser, Woods' divorce attorney, said. Asked why they chose to file in Panama City, Sasser said it was a joint decision by the lawyers.
Nordegren's attorneys - including her twin sister, London-based Josefin Lonnborg - referred all questions to the statement. Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, declined to comment when asked if the couple had a prenuptial agreement or terms of the settlement. "We're not commenting beyond what was in the release," he said. Nordegren's mother, Barbro Holmberg, also declined to comment. Nordegren, who once worked as a nanny for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, asked to have her maiden name restored as Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren.