Tiger Woods ex-wife Elin Nordegren has finally broken her silence, nearly a year after the scandal broke. She tells PEOPLE she was “blindsided” and “embarrassed”.
“I’ve been through hell” she says. While her divorce was finalized on Monday, she said they tried for months to make it work. In the end, she decided she couldn’t trust him, and she was no longer in love with him. “Initially, I thought we had a chance, and we tried really hard. I felt stupid as more things were revealed — how could I not have known anything? The word ‘betrayal’ isn’t strong enough.”
Even after all she’s been through, Elin still won’t trash Woods. She says “I wish him all the best in the future, as a person and as an athlete,” she says. “I know he is going to go down as the best golfer that ever lived, and rightfully so. I feel privileged to have witnessed a part of his golfing career.”
The interview took place over 19 hours at a home she’s rented in Windermere, Florida. Nordegren shared never-before-seen personal photographs with the magazine, and opened up about the emotional roller coaster she’s been on.
Of the affairs, Elin says she was completely blindsided. “I never suspected, not a one,” Elin says of Tiger’s many affairs, which included porn stars and Rachel Uchitel. “For the last three-and-a-half years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school.”
At first it was rumored that Elin would receive $750 million in her divorce from Tiger, 34 (he’s worth an estimated $1 billion). Sources now say that Elin will actually walk away with closer to $100 million. “Money can’t buy happiness,” Elin says, “or put my family back together.”
So what’s next for Elin, 30, and her two children Sam, 3, and Charlie, 19 months. “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 says.
She tells PEOPLE that this is her first – and last – interview, she intends to remain a private person.