One week after top-ranked woods announced an indefinite break from golf and admitted adultery, new reports kept a media firestorm swirling around the first billionaire athlete for a fourth week with no end in sight

One week after top-ranked Woods announced an indefinite break from golf and admitted adultery, new reports kept a media firestorm swirling around the first billionaire athlete for a fourth week with no end in sight.

Elin Woods has hired 82-year-old Sorrell Trope, a noted divorce attorney who has represented such stars as Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Nicolas Cage, Britany Spears and Cary Grant in a 60-year career, the New York Post said.

Trope’s reputation as a tough dealmaker could help the former Swedish model, who reportedly signed a pre-nuptual aggrement with Woods but might be in line for even greater riches given her humiliations of the past weeks.

At least 14 women have claimed — or been said to have had — affairs with Woods ( Jamie Jungers: I have Sex with Tiger ), who has commented only in statements on his websites and said nothing about the extent of his admitted infidelity.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the National Enquirer kept quiet about a Woods affair in 2007 in exchange for the 14-time major champion speaking with sister publication Men’s Fitness for a cover story.

Under terms of the deal, the Enquirer would not publish photographs and a story on Woods having an extra-marital affair and Woods agreed to a cover and photo spread in Men’s Fitness, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

American Media Inc., which owns both publications, denied such a deal took place in a letter to the Journal while Woods agent Mark Steinberg had no comment to the newspaper.

It was two days after an Enquirer report on Woods’s affair with showclub hostess Rachel Uchitel that he struck a tree and hydrant in an early morning drive, purportedly one caused by a row between him and Elin.

It was Mindy Lawton, a Florida restaurant employee who has claimed a liaison with Woods, who was in the pictures not published by the Enquirer, the Journal reported.

Woods was photographed meeting Lawton in a church parking lot near the home he shared with Elin, according to the report, which added that the source told the newspaper the pictures were poorly lit and details were tough to make out.

But the mere threat of publication made by the Enquirer to representatives of Woods was enough for them to suggest the Men’s Fitness deal, the report said.

Woods at the time had a deal with Golf Digest for up to one million dollars in annual donations to his foundation in exchange for Woods limiting appearances in other magazines and writing a techniques column, it said.

The scrambling by Woods to buy silence from those who could expose details of his misdeeds is not yet over, according to celebrity website TMZ.

Woods is doing all that he can to save his marriage, including making calls behind-the-scenes to women with whom he had affairs about possible deals, it said. Prior reports had Woods paying Uchitel to remain silent.

Also Friday, Woods lost backing from his third major sponsor in a week when Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer revealed it is dropping the golf star from U.S. advertising campaigns in the wake of his sex scandal.

In a move that follows consulting firm Accenture ending a six-year deal with Woods (Nike Golf Beleve in Tiger still), Tag Heuer chief executive Jean-Christophe Babin told Swiss newspaper Le Matin his firm will not use Woods images in U.S. ads for the foreseeable future.

Tag Heuer’s move mirrors that of razormaker Gillette, which last weekend announced it was dropping Woods from commercials during his hiatus, calling it a supportive move.

Woods found support in at least one controversy.

Concerns had been raised about Woods being aided in his recovery from knee surgery by Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who faces Canadian charges involving a banned drug and is linked to performance-enhancing substances.

Galea did nothing in helping Woods to violate doping rules, the doctor’s lawyer said Friday in Toronto.

“He had no links to Tiger Woods (or) any other athletes,” attorney Brian Greenspan said.

And finally Friday, Woods was named the PGA Tour player of the year for the tenth time in 13 years.

The award is voted on by the players but the PGA declined to release the details of the vote which took place over the past four weeks.

Three Players Won GWAA Awards of 2009

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