BY MICAELA HOOD
While celebrity cheating scandals have sadly become par for the course, in 2009 the world was shocked to learn that golf champ Tiger Woods was a serial cheater who admitted to having numerous affairs while married to Elin Nordegren.
This came shortly after a single-car accident involving Woods’ Escalade and a fire hydrant, along with Nordegren smashing in the rear window of the car with a golf-club post-accident. In the months that followed the incident, all eyes were on Woods and Nordegren to see how the couple, and Woods’ sponsors, would respond to the revelations that followed.
Just months after the November 2009 car accident that set off a series of revelations about Woods’ infidelity, the couple divorced in the summer of 2010. But the Swedish-born former nanny and model, who reportedly received over $100 million in the divorce settlement, has since made peace with the situation. Let’s take a look at what the former Mrs. Woods has been up to.
She went silent for four years
Reports that Woods had cheated with upward of 120 women left Nordegren “totally devastated,” sources revealed to People in 2010. In fact, she was so hurt by the scandal that she stayed silent on the topic for years. At the time, there were questions about whether Nordegren’s divorce settlement required her to stay mum about the couple’s history, but apparently that wasn’t the case.
Nordegren finally broke her silence in a 2014 interview with People, during which she admitted to undergoing “intensive therapy” and still checks in with her therapist every week. “In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids’ sake,” Nordegren told the magazine. “I’m not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don’t think I doubted we’d end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that’s what they have.”
She’s both beauty and brains
After attending night classes since 2005, Nordegren graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida in 2014, where she received the Outstanding Senior Award in psychology. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a group of the school’s faculty gave her for the award because she earned a 3.96 GPA.
“I want to continue to study and learn, but I am not exactly sure how yet. My passion has always been psychology, but my interests continue to broaden,” she told the newspaper in 2014, adding that she wasn’t involved in campus life. “I was always a little too old for the frat parties.”
Nordegren was selected to speak at her graduation, during which she made a few lighthearted jabs about her divorce from Woods and the media’s obsession with the scandal. “When I entered my student advisor office in the fall of 2005, I was 25 years old, I had just recently moved to America, I was married without children,” she said (via Us Weekly). “Today, nine years later, I’m a proud American, and I have two beautiful children — but I’m no longer married.”
Her quips continued. “It was right after I had taken [a class in] communications and the media that I was unexpectedly thrust into the media limelight,” she said. “I probably should have taken more notes in that class!”
She hated Woods’ ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn
Even though Woods cheated on her with multiple women, Nordegren allegedly had a tough time when Woods moved on from their divorce. Case in point: the Swedish beauty was allegedly furious when Woods started dating Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn in 2013.
“(Elin) hates Lindsey Vonn and everything about this romance,” a source told Us Weekly. According to the magazine, things were so strained between Vonn and Nordegren that she didn’t want Woods to have visitation rights with his kids.
Things didn’t change much between the two ladies even after Woods (a self-proclaimed sex addict) and Vonn ended their relationship in 2015 after he allegedly cheated on her as well.
In 2016, Page Six reported that event organizers were asked to seat Vonn and Nordegren apart at a party during the Kentucky Derby. “The staff was being told over a walkie-talkie that Lindsey was on her way over and must be put in a different area from Elin,” a source told the tabloid. As they say: old feuds die hard.
She moved on as well
Nordegren used part of her reported $100 million divorce settlement to construct a mansion in North Palm Beach, Florida, according to People. The beach-side home, which has nine bedrooms, a home theater, mini-golf course, and lavish pool, has plenty of space for her two children: daughter Sam born in 2007, and son Charlie born in 2009, just months before the infidelity scandal rocked the sports and celebrity worlds.
Daily Mail reported that Nordegren bought the original property for $12 million, but had the house demolished and rebuilt because it was “riddled with rot.” Daily Mail also reported that the charitable mom-of-two asked Habitat for Humanity if they wanted to salvage anything from the property before it was torn down.
It seems Nordegren has quite the fondness for the finer things in life. Indeed, in recent years, the 37-year-old has been linked to billionaire and coal tycoon Chris Cline. The on-again, off-again couple, who split in 2014 after a year of dating, were spotted smacking lips on the ski slopes in St. Moritz, Switzerland in March 2016. Fun fact: Cline is worth $1.86 billion, owns multiple coal mines and a luxury yacht named Mine Games.
Well, that’s one way to bounce back from a nasty divorce.
She’s made up with her famous ex
Woods, a serial cheater who admitted he had affairs with numerous women while married to Nordegren, told Time magazine that his ex-wife is one of his “best friends.” He elaborated on that when he appeared as a guest on The Late Show (via Huffington Post), and host Stephen Colbert questioned how that was possible considering, well, you know, how it ended. “It becomes two simple things, okay? We have Sam and we have Charlie. And we love them so much that we are going to whatever it takes to make that work. That’s how it happened,” Woods, 41, told Stephen Colbert in 2016.
And it seems Nordegren feels the same.
“I have moved on and I am in a good place, ” she told People in 2014. “My relationship with Tiger is centered around our children and we are doing really good — we really are — and I am so happy that this is the case, he is a great father.”
They’re working hard on communication
Despite the fallout from Woods’ cheating scandal, the former couple has managed to find new ways of improving their relationship, which all came down to communication.
“In hindsight, it’s not how I would change 2009 and how it all came about. It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife,” Woods told Time in 2015. “Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic…. We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.”
“When it comes down to it, right down to it, it’s just having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife when we were married,” Woods added. “Our frustrations would have come out if we had talked about it and been open and honest with each other. Which we are now, and it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Did she date Gavin Rossdale?
In August 2016, Us Weekly reported that Nordegren had gone out on a first date with Bush rocker Gavin Rossdale, who at the time was still reeling from his divorce from Gwen Stefani. Details on the date, which happened in Los Angeles, were scarce; however, Us Weekly alleged it went so well that the pair wanted to make things work.
Rossdale eventually cleared up the rumors in March 2017, telling The Sun that he had been texting with Nordegren but had not actually met her. “A friend was, like, ‘You have to meet Elin. She’s amazing.’ He was trying to connect us,” Rossdale said. “So I texted her a couple of times to say hello. She lives in Florida. She’s a really great girl. But I’ve never met her.”
Or, to quote Mariah Carey: “I don’t know her.”
A brush with the law
The notoriously private Nordegren popped up in the news for the first time in a while in March 2017, and it wasn’t good. The Miami Herald reported that she was pulled over for speeding in the Palm Beach County city of Riviera Beach. She was reportedly going 57 mph in a 35 mph zone, and got a $281 fine.
This isn’t Nordegren’s first speeding ticket — the Herald reported that “She was caught driving 9 mph over the speed limit in North Palm Beach in 2012 and elected to attend driving school.”
This recent ticket happened just months before her ex-husband made international headlines again after falling asleep at the wheel and getting arrested for a DUI. Nordegren has yet to comment on either incident.
She decided to downsize
In March 2018, Nordegren made the decision put her North Palm Beach, Florida mansion on the market. A spokesman for Nordegren told The Wall Street Journal that she’s simply decided to downsize. Can you blame her?
The custom-built estate, while undeniably gorgeous, is over 10 times the size of the average new-construction house in the United States. It features 11 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms, and three half bathrooms — all on over an acre of beachfront. And that’s just the main house. Nordegren’s sprawling estate also houses a separate cabana house, complete with a bar and summer kitchen, and a separate guesthouse split into two apartments.
As a single mother of two, you can imagine how few rooms were actually used. Despite being phenomenally decorated by Angela Reynolds, a celebrity interior designer, you have to wonder if the home felt more cavernous than cozy most of the time. Still, someone with $49.5 million to spend will no doubt appreciate the property.
She and Woods continue to “get along really well”
Nordegren has not commented publicly on her relationship with Woods since her interview with People back in 2014. But, no news is good news, right? According to Nordegren’s comments back then, everything was on the up and up and, although she may be remaining mum now, a friend of Woods says things between the couple are still just fine.
“They’re friends now,” People reported Woods’ friend as saying in April 2018. “Everything that happened in the past is in the past. They both decided to be adults and to do what was best for the kids.” The insider also claimed that Woods only has nice things to say about his ex-wife, noting that he “never complains about her, ever” and, instead, uses “glowing terms” to describe Nordegren.
The source also said the two are actually closer these days than they were back when they were married. He told the publication, “They get along really well.” Some nine years after news of the cheating scandal broke, who would’ve thought Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren could end up on such peaceful terms.