Origins: In December 2003, world-famous golf pro Tiger Woods and Swedish model Elin Nordegren announced their engagement. After months of planning, the 27-year-old Woods had nervously proposed to his 23-year-old girlfriend in South Africa a month earlier:
"I was super nervous the moment I was going to put the question to (her)," Woods said. "I had made up my mind many months before, but I wanted to wait for a perfect and romantic setting.
"It was a thriller. To putt for victory in a major (golf tournament) is nothing in comparison," he said. "Even if you say 'Will you marry me?' with the right feeling, the answer could be 'No.'"
Woods, 27, proposed to Swedish girlfriend, Elin Nordegren, when the couple traveled to the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa for a four-day vacation.
Woods had planned the proposal for months, he said, planning for the right moment in between his hectic golf schedule.
Woods need not have worried. Nordegren, 23, said "yes."
The pair, who met when Nordegren was working as a nanny for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, "haven't set a wedding date or decided where (they'll) get married," Woods said.
(Tiger and Elin were engaged for about nine months before getting married in October
Superstar athletes and models both being subjects of much public interest, a pair of them dating was bound to attract a good deal of attention. Perhaps operating on the (mistaken) assumption that all models pose for nude photographs at some point in their careers, someone began circulating an e-mail message with a series of pictures featuring a young woman posing for a nude photo shoot; the accompanying text identified the woman featured in the photographs as Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods' girlfriend.
The photographs are real, but they're not pictures of Elin Nordegren — they're actually photographs of Kim Hiott, a model who has posed for some of Playboy's Special Editions features. (The distinctive tattoo on Kim's backside is one clue that the pictures included in the e-mail message are photographs of her, not Elin Nordegren.)
As Playboy noted in a cyber club feature on Ms. Hiott:
No, gorgeous blonde Kim Hiott is not Tiger Woods' girlfriend. But she's way above par, isn't she!
It's a case of mistaken identity. An email circulating the web claims to have nude photos of Tiger Woods' girlfriend, model Elin Nordegren. But the sexy blonde in those photos is Special Editions model Kim Hiott. We think you'll enjoy a peek at what Tiger's missing!
The two young women bear a bit of a facial resemblance to each other, but that's about all they have in common:
Tiger Woods has acknowledged that his wife did do some bikini photo shoots during her days as a model, but not any nude shots akin to the Kim Hiott photos mistakenly claimed to be pictures of her.
The issue arose again in 2006 when the September issue of Dubliner magazine ran a (satricial) feature entitled "Ryder Cup Filth for Ireland," accompanied by nude photographs identified as pictures of Elin Nordegren. These photos were fakes. In December 2007, Elin Nordegren settled her libel action against that magazine for 125,000 Euros, which she will donate to cancer support charities.