Nordegren told People magazine in a cover story that stress from the lurid tabloid scandal caused her insomnia and weight loss and that in the days before her divorce was finalised, she began to lose her hair.
“I’ve been through hell,” Nordegren, a 30-year-old Swedish former model, told the magazine in an article posted on Wednesday on its website. The issue hits newsstands on Friday.
Woods wed Nordegren in October 2004 in Barbados. They have a three-year-old daughter, Sam, and a 19-month-old son, Charlie. The divorce was finalised in a 10-minute court hearing on Monday in Florida.
Nordegren told People she initially felt “shock and disbelief” at learning Woods had cheated on her. Later, as a string of women, including a porn star, a cocktail waitress and a Las Vegas club manager claimed affairs with her
husband, she began to question herself.
“I felt stupid as more things were revealed. How could I not have known anything?” she said. “The word betrayal isn’t strong enough. I felt like my whole world had fallen apart.”
A reporter for the magazine interviewed Nordegren for 19 hours over four days, scoring her first published reaction to the sordid sex scandal that broke last November and made headlines around the world.
Nordegren said she and Woods had tried to reconcile, but she ultimately decided it was hopeless because she had lost her trust in him. She said she had been truly devoted to Woods and had hoped for a happily-ever-after life together with him.
“I loved him,” she said. “We had so much fun and I felt safe with him.”
Woods’s spectacular fall from grace began on November 27th, when he crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree near his Orlando home.
The incident touched off shocking revelations about a string of extramarital affairs, which led to his admission of adultery and subsequent decision to put his golf career on hold while he tried to rescue his marriage.
The sex scandal became fodder for tabloid newspapers and late-night television comedians amid speculation that Woods crashed his car after being
walloped by a golf club-wielding Nordegren after she learned about his affairs.
Nordegren told People some of the jokes were “pretty hysterical,” but insisted there was never any violence in their relationship and she had simply
been trying to get Woods out of the locked car.
“The speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is truly ridiculous,” she said.
Woods was treated for sex addiction at a clinic in Mississippi in a bid to save his marriage before making his highly anticipated comeback at the US Masters in March.
He was due to tee off again on Thursday for his first tournament as a single man at the Barclays, hoping to reverse a downward spiral since the
start of his marital woes that has left his golf game in ruins.
On a personal level, Nordegren said she is close to completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology and that despite her husband’s betrayal, “I also feel stronger than I ever have. I have confidence in my beliefs, my decisions and myself.”
Woods, 34, and Nordegren issued a joint statement Monday acknowledging that they had ended their marriage, wishing each other the best and promising to work together for their children’s happiness.
Asked about future prospects for romance, Nordegren said: “It’s going to be just me and the kids for a little while, but I believe in love because I’ve seen it. I’ve been there.”
She told People that her interview with the magazine would be her first and last and that she now intends to remain a private person.
“My immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new
situation. I am going to keep taking classes, but my main focus is to try to give myself time to heal,” she said.
Nordegren divulged another major life change, confessing that since her breakup with Woods, she had not watched a single minute of golf.