How far the famous fall.
Tiger Woods is the latest sports star to mar his golden reputation with a scandal of supreme proportions. After ignoring rumors of infidelity that began running rampant following his Thanksgiving weekend car crash, Wednesday, the champion golfer finally fessed up -- sort of -- to doing wrong by Elin, his wife of five years and the mother of their two young children.
He's far from the first hero in the realm of sports to tumble from grace. Below, read up on Woods' "transgressions" and those of three other revered athletes who, thanks to recently revealed controversies, ended up not quite living up to fans' expectations. Then, check out the ones who fell, got back up, and soared again: a lesson to Woods and anyone hoping to overcome a PR disaster and get back to the game.
It was a twist in the tale of the golf prodigy pretty much no one saw coming: a chain of events that dragged the previously pristine Woods into a downward spiral, starting with his Nov. 27 car crash at the foot of his Florida home and ending -- for the moment, anyway -- with him releasing a statement apologizing for his "transgressions" and vowing to be a better husband and father.
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," Woods said in a statement posted on his Web site Wednesday. "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves."
"I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect," he added. "I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."
Woods' statements came after Jamiee Grubbs, a cocktail waitress and reality TV star, told Us Weekly magazine that she had a nearly three-year affair with the golfer. Prior to Grubbs, Woods was romantically linked to club promoter Rachel Uchitel, who admitted to the New York Post that she and Woods met but denied that they had an affair. Late Wednesday, a possible third mistress stuck her head out of the sand: Las Vegas nightclub marketing manager Kalika Moquin told Life and Style magazine that she hooked up with Woods more than once.
The golf star has yet to make a public appearance or offer details beyond his stoic online statement. That may be due in part to the fact that, according to the Chicago Sun Times, his wife has dragged him into intense marriage counseling "with a counselor who has been conducting sessions several times daily" and is demanding a rewrite of their prenuptial agreement.
But perhaps he should take a tip from ex-NBA star Charles Barkley, who had his fair share of scandal and contended that athletes aren't role model material.
"I just hope he tells his side of the story about what happened," Barkley told the New York Post. "You've got to face the music, because it is what it is. Not talking about it can make it worse."
On the court in the 1990s, he was virtually unstoppable. But it turns out Andre Agassi's formula for winning was far darker than blood, sweat, tears and the occasional Gatorade.
In "Open," his new autobiography, the eight-time Grand Slam champion reveals that he used crystal meth in 1997, around the same time he married actress Brooke Shields, and lied to tennis authorities when he failed a drug test, claiming he "unwittingly" took the substance.