Woods has turned his back on family, niece alleges
That’s the shocking charge of Woods’ niece Charmaine Letuli — who exclusively told RadarOnline.com her family hasn’t heard a word from the newly crowned five-time Masters champion since the death of their father, Earl Woods Sr., in 2006.
“I don’t understand it,” said Letuli, whose dad, Kevin Woods — the golfer’s half-brother — has been in a nursing home for more than a year with a crippling case of multiple sclerosis, diagnosed in 2009.
Despite Woods’ net worth of $800 million, Letuli, 46, said the legend hasn’t contributed a dime to his brother’s care.
“We raise our kids to take care of their family,” Letuli told Radar. “It just saddens me to see my dad suffer when the cost of getting him a caretaker and moving him home would be nothing more than a drop in the bucket for Tiger.”
She added: “It would make my dad the happiest person in the world!”
Kevin, 61, is one of Woods’ three half-siblings from his father’s first marriage to the late Barbara Gary.
His 60-year-old sister Royce, and older brother Earl Jr., 63, who have previously spoken about the family’s challenged relationship with Woods, confirmed in 2013 that the golf star has dropped out of their lives.
“I leave messages,” Earl Jr. said in 2013. “I leave updates on Kevin, but I don’t get a response. Kevin loves Tiger — and when Tiger doesn’t call, it just makes him feel worse.”
Kevin is 95 per cent blind, completely immobile and losing his memory, according to Letuli.
“He needs full-time care and assistance for everything from eating to getting out of bed,” she said.
Kevin has never asked his famous younger brother for help, Letuli said, and he continued to root for the 43-year-old golfer even after his life spiraled out of control when he was caught cheating on his wife in 2009.
“My dad has never spoken an ill word about Tiger,” Letuli said.
Ironically, the four siblings were close before Woods climbed the golf ranks to become one of the greatest players of all time.
In fact, sister Royce — who lives in San Jose, Calif. — fixed Woods’ meals and did his laundry when he attended nearby Stanford University, according to ESPN. But after their father died Woods turned tail and ran, according to Letuli.
“I just want to bring my father home,” she said. “He’s living on Social Security and disability and lost his home because of his condition. But he never complains.”
Kevin refuses to ask Woods for money, she added, and she won’t either for fear of upsetting her father. “My dad would think it’s overstepping,” Letuli told The Radar.
Meanwhile, Woods has confirmed that he will compete in the Zozo Championship from Oct. 24 to 27 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo.
“I’m excited to play in the inaugural Zozo Championship in October and return to Japan, one of my favorite countries,” Woods said in a statement. “The fans in Japan really enjoy, appreciate and understand golf, and I’m looking forward to competing there.”
Woods, 43, last played in Japan in 2006, when he finished second to Padraig Harrington in a playoff at the Dunlop Phoenix event. He hasn’t played in any of the fall events since the PGA Tour went to a “wrap-around” schedule in 2013-14.
The Zozo Championship will feature 78 players competing for $9.75 million in prize money. The event will join the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea and the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, to give the PGA Tour three official Asian tournaments in the fall.
According to ESPN, Woods also will play an exhibition match in Asia, part of a content agreement he entered into with GolfTV in 2018.
Already the game’s biggest draw, Woods added to his legend when he won the Masters this month for his 15th career major championship and first since the 2008 U.S. Open.
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