An attorney representing Tiger Woods' ex-girlfriend Erica Herman asked a judge to set a hearing to determine whether or not the signature on a nondisclosure agreement penned with the professional golfer was 'forged'.
The topic was discussed during a 45-minute hearing in a Florida court on 9 May.
Neither Woods, 47, nor his former lover Herman, 38, were present during the session on Tuesday.
But what transpired was the judge overseeing the case - Elizabeth Metzger - appearing somewhat unconvinced with the arguments made by Herman's attorney Benjamin Hodas.
During the hearing the judge:
- Questioned why the mandatory arbitration clause in the couple's disputed agreement wouldn't invalidate Herman's lawsuit
- Appeared to agree with J. B. Murray, representing Woods, that the question of whether the signature on the 2017 document is forged should be left to an arbitrator
Herman is suing Woods to get out of an NDA she signed with the golfer, claiming sexual harassment.
She is also suing the trust that owns his $54m luxury mansion in Jupiter, Florida, claiming she was unlawfully evicted.
Herman has stated that she had an oral agreement with Woods that she could remain at the property for up to six years. She is seeking $30m in damages.
The unspecified claims against Woods were barely mentioned, if at all, during the short hearing.
Metzger said she needed to hear more information about what allegedly happened before considering it.
Hodas said that he wouldn't be able to provide that information over fears that he would be in breach of the NDA.
Woods' team have called the allegations 'utterly meritless' and argued that Herman is no more than a jilted ex-lover.
Hodas did acknowledge that Herman did sign a nondisclosure agreement but the one that was presented by Woods' legal team may not be the true contract.
He told the court:
It was previously alleged in court documents that Woods threatened to fire her from his restaurant - The Woods Jupiter - if she did not sign the NDA.
It was argued this was a form of harassment.
Herman has argued that the NDA she signed is unenforceable under a new federal law that can be voided when sexual abuse or harassment occurred.
She claims she was unlawfully evicted from Woods' pad in Florida 'through trickery'.
Herman has said she was told to pack her bags for a short vacation only to be told that the couple had split up once she arrived at the airport.
Court documents gave a timeline for the couple's romance.
She said she began a romantic relationship with the golfer in 2015 and moved into his home in 2016.
Herman claims it was in 2017 that Woods promised her she could live there for at least 11 more years.
Woods' legal team suggest their romantic relationship began in 2017.
An email exchange was also discussed that was said to have taken place between Herman and the chief financial officer of Tiger Woods Ventures.
| Attorneys for Tiger Woods' ex-girlfriend have accused the professional golfer of using the 'oldest trick in the book' against Erica Herman. pic.twitter.com/CmQbLcexif— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) May 9, 2023
In that email, she reportedly wrote that:
The judge has no specified when she will make her decision over Woods' motion to throw the case out.