Oh, dear: the Associated Press is reporting that Tiger Woods and his wife have declined to speak to police today regarding Woods' recent car accident, asking that they return tomorrow instead to question the couple about the incident.
Of course, this could mean several things; perhaps Woods is physically unable to answer many questions due to injuries suffered in the car accident such as the reported lacerations on his lips, for example. But the original tale of Elin Nordegren heroically pulling her husband out of his crashed SUV through the back windshield has been systematically taken apart all day by the likes of TMZ, who claim that the accident was, in fact, a result of a domestic dispute between Woods and his wife over allegations of infidelity.
Naturally, this means the tabloid world has gone into overdrive, with USWeekly contacting everyone from Woods' alleged mistress, Rachel Uchitel, who claims that she did not have an affair with Woods and that the incident has "nothing to do with" her, to Woods' mother-in-law, Barbro Holmberg, who gives them "an exclusive" interview that basically boils down to "shut up and leave my family alone."
It's not entirely surprising that the internet is Encyclopedia Brown-ing this case: there are many questions that haven't been answered, and with so many conflicting reports going around regarding the accident and what may have caused it, it makes sense that people are trying to put the pieces together, especially considering Woods' fame level and his tendency to keep his private life private. As Liz Robbins of the New York Times writes, "Woods guards his privacy fiercely, but a leading public relations specialist said that the longer he or his representatives wait to speak to the news media about the accident, the possibility increases that his reputation could be a lot more damaged than his tank-like S.U.V."
Though Woods' silence may be hurting him, career or reputation-wise, there's something a bit icky about the fact that we expect a possible victim of domestic violence to stand front and center immediately after the incident to answer any and all questions on the matter. Not speaking to the police is one thing (and is most likely not helping Woods, as far as the rumor mill goes) but holding off from spilling the details to the likes of USWeekly is quite another. Yes, being a very public figure, Woods will eventually have to answer to his sponsors and his fans, but for now, the public will just have try to solve the mystery on their own, which means we all prepare for a few days of rampant rumors, bad jokes, conspiracy theories, and "exclusive" interviews with people who don't have anything to say just yet.
Police: Woods, Wife Unavailable For Interview [AP]
TIger Woods Stays Silent On Car Crash [NYTimes]
Tiger Woods: Injuries Caused By Wife, Not SUV [TMZ]
Tiger Woods Alleged Mistress: "I Have Not Had An Affair With Him [USWeekly]
Exclusive: Tiger Woods' Mother-In-Law Addresses Rumors To Us [USWeekly]