Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods gave her first and final interview to People magazine in which she spoke about the humiliation she felt after learning that her then husband was jumping off with anything and everything on two legs.
"I've been through hell," Elin says. "It's hard to think you have this life, and then all of a sudden -- was it a lie? You're struggling because it wasn't real. But I survived, it was hard, but it didn't kill me."
The 30-year-old newest and wealthiest member of the First Wives Club says she never suspected Tiger was cheating.
"I'm so embarrassed that I never suspected -- not a one. For the last three and a half years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school," she said. "The word betrayal isn't strong enough. I felt like my whole world had fallen apart....I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children."
She's believed to have walked away with at least $100 million in cash and prizes, but she says it wasn't worth splitting up her family.
"Money can't buy me happiness," she said. "Or put my family back together." Or, buy her silence like that skettel Rachel Uchitel.
Praised for maintaining her privacy through the ordeal, Elin, who disclosed she suffered weight and hair loss from stress before the divorce, said she wanted to protect her children.
"For my kids, I felt that (maintaining privacy) was the only normalcy I could give them, since they have a very famous dad," she said.
Elin met with reporters from People for 19 hours spread over four days at the rented Windermere, Fla., home where she now lives with their two children. The magazine says no money exchanged hands, all Elin wanted to do was tell her side of the story.
"I felt like setting some things straight," she said.
Elin also admitted that she and Tiger tried for "months and months" to reconcile, but "without trust and love" it wasn't possible.
"Forgiveness takes time," she said. "I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself."
Elin still refuses to talk about what exactly happened last Thanksgiving night, but says "the speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is just truly ridiculous." So, perhaps she dropped kicked his ass.
As for her immediate future? Elin plans to obtain a Masters degree in pscyhcology and doesn't plan to date anytime soon.
"It's going to be just me and the kids for a little while, but I believe in love, because I've seen it. I've been there," she said.
Update: Tiger Woods reponds. Addressing reporters at tournament in New Jersey (how y'all doin!), the golfer says, "I wish [Elin] the best in everything. You know, it's a sad time in our lives. And we're looking forward to [rebuilding] our lives and how we can help our kids the best way we possibly can. And that's the most important thing." He wouldn't answer questions on where he still loved her.
Source: People magazine, Sept. 6 print edition | source 2