The LONDON DAILY MAIL sources a report Sunday morning alleging Tiger Woods had a 14-month extramarital affair with an Orlando woman named Mindy Lawton, whom he met while she was working at a Perkins restaurant.
The Daily Mail also charges that the American Media company, parent of the National Enquirer, spiked the story of Woods’ alleged affair with Lawton in exchange for Woods posing for the cover of American Media-owned Men’s Fitness magazine.
The Daily Mail’s piece opens with a description of Woods allegedly having sex with Lawton in his Escalade while parked in a church parking lot - while American Media-hired investigators recorded the event from a nearby SUV with “blacked-out windows“.
The primary source of Lawton’s relationship with Woods was her sister, Lynn Lawton.
Lynn Lawton on Mindy:
‘She is extremely, extremely naive, my sister. She is single, never married, never had children and still looking for a relationship. I have to hand it to him. It was brilliant to choose my sister to play his kind of game.’
The unworldly Mindy was easily dazzled and undemanding. She and Tiger met in summer 2006, when Mindy was working as an $8-an-hour manager and waitress at Perkins, a diner only a short drive from Tiger’s home in the upmarket Orlando suburb of Windermere. Tiger and his wife Elin would regularly take breakfast there.
Lynn recalled: ‘My sister told me they came in regularly. Elin would read the paper while Tiger ogled my sister. She is very bubbly, very outgoing. You couldn’t help but notice her, even when she was in her waitress uniform.
‘Mindy said he and Elin seemed disconnected. There would not be much conversation. Tiger would just sit there, looking at Mindy. She said, “Oh my God, he is so cute!”
‘She doesn’t know much about golf, but she did know he was married because Elin was sitting there.’
Eventually Woods called the Perkins and invited her to meet him at a local watering hole.
‘He was with a group of Orlando and Los Angeles basketball players. Bobbi bought him a drink and had one of the bartenders take it over. She said Mindy started dancing with another girl. My sister is a real good dancer and Bobbi said Tiger couldn’t keep his eyes off her.’
Tiger and Mindy left the club separately. Mindy drove her sister home then met Tiger on his way to his house. She followed the golfer, driving at a discreet distance, and at the gated development was waved in by the guard.
Lynn said: ‘Mindy told me the next day, “We went to his house and had sex. He was extremely good.”‘
Lynn thinks Elin was out of the country that night. She said: ‘That was always the pattern. Mindy would drive her old Saturn car and follow Tiger in his luxurious Escalade.
That was the start of what the Daily Mail claims was a sexual relationship that lasted over a year.
Once the affair between Tiger and Mindy started, it gathered momentum, with the couple meeting at his house for sex every two or three weeks. Incredibly, he continued to have breakfast at Perkins to the point where, Lynn said: ‘Everyone was talking about it because he would wait for Mindy in his Escalade and then she would follow him in her car. He was so brazen it was incredible.
‘It got to the point where our neighbours and friends knew about it too. In a way it was quite clever, him being so open about it because we thought, “Maybe this is just how celebrities behave.”
Lynn said: ‘I saw the texts he sent her. One of them said he was dreaming of being inside of her. Another said, “Do you want to get laid?” It was crude. There was no mention of love. She said he didn’t talk about his wife.’
Instead, Lynn said: ‘He talked very little about anything. She said he never wore condoms. That really broke me up. I was so worried she might catch a disease, especially as we suspected he was promiscuous. But Mindy was in love with him. I think she thought he was faithful to her.’
When Woods and his representatives were confronted with the evidence of his affair with Lawton by the tabloid company (”blurry pictures of him and Mindy in the car park but evidence of the consummation“), the golfer quickly cut ties with her and agreed pose for the cover of the men’s health magazine in exchange for American Media “burying” the story.
The tabloid’s parent company insisted that the exclusive was not a quid pro quo. But it was enough for editor of the magazine to resign in protest at the editorial interference which he perceived as an underhand ‘trade-off’.
The editor was Neal Boulton, who has confirmed that part of the story on the record to the NEW YORK POST.
This piece, like the LONDON DAILY MIRROR’s report on alleged mistress #4 Jamie Jungers, is short of a smoking gun. But there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence to believe that it could be true.
Neither article will likely be prominently cited by the main television or print media on Sunday. But if these alleged encounters continue to pile up, presumably some of Woods’ sponsors may abandon him. That’s when the story will take a leg up in the main media and these reports will garner more attention from the public.
UPDATE: NEWS OF THE WORLD has a first person account from Mindy Lawton about her alleged relationship with Woods. The piece also includes updated photos and a video interview with her.
Mindy is quite, ahem, descriptive in the nature of her alleged sexual activities with Woods. I don’t think it’d be a stretch to say that NOTW wasn’t above a little embellishment in its reportage of her remarks.
The timeline and basic details of the alleged relationship are similar to what was reported in the Daily Mail piece.