Tiger Woods wife fake porn pic prompts libel payout

The wife of the world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods has won £90,000 – in damages from an Irish magazine which published fake porn photos of her during the Ryder Cup.

The magazine must pay the damages within an agreed period – believed to be two years – failing which it will have to pay a further £95,000 as well as the costs of the case.

The Dubliner magazine had to make a grovelling apology to Elin Nordegren Woods after it superimposed the Swedish model’s face on to a picture of a semi-naked woman.

Ms Nordegren Woods is donating all the money to cancer support charities in memory of Irish golfer Darren Clarke’s late wife, Heather.

The explicit photographs and article, which was titled “Ryder Filth for Dublin”, overshadowed the launch of the prestigious tournament in September 2006.

Trevor White, publisher of The Dubliner, admitted today at Dublin’s Circuit Civil Court that the story was cheap, tasteless, deliberately offensive and completely untrue.

Ms Nordegren Woods said after the hearing: “The false and deeply offensive article in The Dubliner magazine, with the accompanying photograph of another woman wrongly claimed to be me, caused great personal distress to me and my family.

“We are delighted at today’s outcome and relieved that we may now put the experience behind us.

“This regrettable episode in our lives in no way detracts from the great love of Ireland that Tiger and I share. We look forward to experiencing the extraordinary warmth of its people and of our many friends in Ireland again in the future.”

The golfer’s wife said it was always her intention to donate any money recovered to charity.

“I am therefore pleased to confirm that all payments received from the Defendants will be donated to cancer support charities, in memory of the late Heather Clarke,” she added.

Mrs Clarke, a 39-year-old mother of two, died from breast cancer just weeks before the Ryder Cup.

The United States eventually lost by a wide margin to the European team, with Clarke winning all three of his matches.

A legal team for publisher Trevor White and The Dubliner magazine apologised unreservedly, completely, and unequivocally in court to Ms Nordegren Woods.

Settling the case before a full hearing commenced, the magazine agreed to pay 125,000 euros – GBP90,000 – over the next two years.

If the entire sum is not paid, it must pay an extra 125,00 euros.

The Dubliner magazine hit the shelves just days before the opening of the US Ryder Cup match against Europe in the Irish Republic.

As a result of the controversy, Ireland’s largest chain of newsagents, Eason, withdrew copies of the lifestyle magazine. But the image was reproduced in Irish editions of some British tabloids.

At the time, a raging Woods let rip.

“My wife is an extension of me,” he said at the K Club in Co Kildare, which staged the event.

“We are in it together. We are a team and I care about her with all my heart.”

He said his wife had once been a model and did some bikini photos, but to link her to porn websites and such was unacceptable.

“I do not accept that at all,” he continued. “Neither does our team, and all I just want to say that it doesn’t deter or detract from the beauty of this event.”

The magazine’s publishers, Dubliner Media Limited, immediately issued a full apology, insisting the article was intended to be satirical.

The couple rejected a donation to a charity of her choice, opting to sue the publication instead.

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