Woods opens door on private life wider than expected, says author of forthcoming biography
By Steven Levingston
Tiger Woods gets high marks for cracking the door open ever so slightly on his highly guarded private life during his TV mea culpa Friday, said the author of a forthcoming book on the golf legend.
Steve Helling, a People magazine staffer who has covered Woods for years, is writing "Tiger," which will be published in May by Da Capo Press. Helling will chart the golfer's spectacular rise to icon status and attempt to explain the personal flaws that caused his downfall. The publisher promises a "never-before-seen portrait" of Woods that reveals him as a "singularly complex and conflicted man."
A second publisher announced Friday that it, too, will keep Woods' woes in the public eye. Atria Books said it will publish "Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger's Most Tumultuous Season" by Robert Lusetich in June. The book will attempt to dig into Woods' character and show the dissonance between the public persona and the private man. Lusetich, a senior columnist for FoxSports.com, covered every tournament Woods played last year as the star made his comeback from knee surgery.
Helling was in the media room for the icon's performance Friday and found it to be "textbook Tiger Woods: controlled, focused, with nothing left up to chance," he said in an email.
Some observers described Woods as robotic and unconvincing, Helling said, with the women in attendance less impressed than the men. When Woods went and hugged his mother after delivering his statement, Helling said, "there was an audible groan [in the press room]. Many people felt it was contrived."
Although Woods still has a lot of damage control ahead of him, Helling said he was surprised at how far the star had come in talking about his private life. Helling has spoken to Woods in better days and even then the golfer was reluctant to open up, often offering little more than cliches about his marriage.
"So to get specific like he did today must have been incredibly difficult for him," Helling said. "He used the word 'affairs' -- plural. He copped to rehab. He said he 'cheated.' Tiger is not usually so candid. Although he didn't give us everything, he gave us a lot more than most of us expected."
By Steven E. Levingston |
February 19, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
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