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Tiger Woods Sues Christensen Shipyards for Breaking Privacy Agreement

Power & Motoryacht Magazine Prints "Shhhhh..." an "Exclusive" Story About Tiger Woods' Yacht

What was to have been a sanctuary where pro golfer Tiger Woods and his family could go to escape his celebrity, has become a fixture in a Florida Court, and is making headlines the world over. Woods is suing Christensen Shipyards for breaching a contract they signed with the golfer in February 2004, which forbids the Vancouver-based shipyard from disclosing his identity as the owner of a 155-foot yacht, which cost an estimated $20 million.

Woods is seeking compensatory damages totaling $50 million, which includes an amount the 28 year-old recently wed athlete estimates he is worth, as a product endorser. Christensen is accused of not only boasting about whom the yacht's owner is, but also allegedly distributing photos of the vessel, christened 'Privacy,' to magazines and other sources, and displayed them during a recent Miami boat show.

The November issue of Power & Motoryacht carried a story entitled "Shhhhh..." In it, detailed specifications are discussed about Tiger Woods' new Trideck Motor Yacht, right down to the kinds of patterns and materials selected for various furniture arrangements. The article clearly shows Tiger Woods to be the owner; although none of the sources quoted explicitly names him as the owner.

The case was filed in federal court in Miami. Woods' new bride, model Elin Nordegren, brought added heat to the legal fire, by presenting a sworn declaration. In it she explains why Woods is seeking damages, and the basis for the $50 million price tag.

"Christensen's unauthorized disclosures invade the privacy of my family and my husband and has caused us harm that cannot be fully compensated by monetary damages," Nordegren's statement reads. She says the yacht was intended as a haven to escape the unwanted spotlight Woods' celebrity status brings. "As its name implies, 'Privacy' was intended to be a private respite for our family to relax and escape the rigors of my husband's celebrity."

Woods' wife, it is revealed, was the one who discovered Christensen's blatant breach of the privacy agreement her husband signed. She plainly saw photos in Christensen's booth showing her husband and the yacht. Woods' camp construes this as unfair use and theft of service by Christensen, for using Woods' recognizable status to endorse their own product. Woods says that $50 million is what his comparable value would be, if he were endorsing something.

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YV&C News Desk focuses on the finest yachts available for charter worldwide and on international yacht vacations, experiences, and destinations, bringing you first-hand, independent news that is broker-, charter-, and yacht builder- neutral.

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