In a complaint filed Monday, Herman said the NDA is unenforceable because of a federal law that says alleged victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment cannot be barred from filing lawsuits.
Herman’s complaint, first reported by TMZ, did not elaborate on whether she has made or would make such allegations against Woods. Her attorney, Benjamin T. Hodas, did not respond Wednesday to a message seeking comment.
Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The lawyer who represented Woods in one of the lawsuits, JB Murray, said he was “not at liberty to comment.”
The legal battle, which began quietly as an apparent landlord-tenant dispute in which Herman sued a trust without naming its famous owner, sheds extraordinary light on the kind of secretive deals that rich and powerful men have made in their personal relationships.
And for Woods, years removed from scandals involving serial cheating and driving under the influence of prescription drugs, the trial has the potential to bring unwanted scrutiny back into his private life.
In October, Herman sued Jupiter Island Irrevocable Homestead Trust, which is controlled by Woods, in civil court in Martin County, Florida. In that lawsuit, Herman referred—apparently to her relationship with Woods—to “duties performed by and expected of (Herman) were extensive and of an extraordinary nature in light of the overall circumstances and environment in which she lived.”
Herman alleged that “agents” from the trust convinced her to “pack a suitcase for a short vacation and when she arrived at the airport, told her she had been locked out of her residence.”
Martin said the trust’s agents “used a lawyer to confront her with proposals to resolve the offense they were in the middle of committing” and refused to allow her back into the home. She claimed the agents removed her belongings from the house and “uncovered more than $40,000 in cash that belonged to her and made twisted and defamatory claims about how she got the money.”
The complaint, which was not reported in the media at the time, did not name Woods. But in a filing in response in December, lawyers representing Woods said the golfer lived in the home with her children and argued her complaint was invalid because of an NDA requiring their disputes to be handled confidentially.
Woods’ attorneys revealed they were already in arbitration with several potential witnesses over Herman’s eviction claim. They argued that because her claims “arise from the breakdown of her relationship with Mr. Woods,” she was in violation of the NDA by filing suit in a public forum.
That lawsuit contained a mostly redacted copy of the NDA, signed by both Woods and Herman.
Herman has been a fixture in Woods’ public life amid his comeback from multiple injuries in recent years, including a 2021 single-car accident near Los Angeles that left him with multiple fractures in his right leg and threatened to end his golf career.