After his post-Thanksgiving car accident and the revelation of numerous extramarital affairs, Tiger Woods disappeared from public view late last year. But earlier this week, the world's most famous golfer re-emerged, and on Friday (February 19), he gave a televised press conference in which he addressed the controversy but declined to take questions from reporters.
In his almost 14-minute prepared statement, Woods apologized repeatedly for his infidelities, spoke of his work to reconcile with his wife Elin, rebutted salacious media reports about the night of the accident and admitted that he'd spent 45 days in an in-patient facility for therapy.
"I was unfaithful," Woods said. "I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame."
Wearing a blue dress shirt and black sport coat, Woods spoke very slowly, at times stumbling over his words as he apologizing to his friends, fans, business partners and employees.
"I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you," he said. "I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry."
While he struck a conciliatory tone during much of the statement, Woods also hit back against media reports about the events surrounding the accident. "Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night," he said. "It angers me that people would fabricate an episode like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage ever."
Blaming only himself for the media storm that has surrounded his entire family in the past months, Woods asked that his mother, wife and children be left alone. He said that he will not enumerate or address the specific affairs he had.
"It's hard to admit that I need help, but I do," he continued. "For 45 days, from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy, receiving guidance for the issues I'm facing. I have a long way to go, but I've taken my first steps in the right direction."
Woods announced that on Saturday, he'll return for more treatment. Speaking from the PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, he talked of plans to return to professional golf at some point in the future, possibly in 2010. "I just don't know when that day will be.
"Today, I want to ask for your help," he said. "I ask you to one day find room in your heart to one day believe in me again."
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