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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Tiger Woods Apologizes
Aired February 19, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Tiger Woods confesses to the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The fallen idol blames himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Says he's getting treatment...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: What I did is not acceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: -- and that he has to change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: My failures have made -- have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Witnesses who were in the room are here with firsthand accounts.
And then, golfing great Nick Faldo, former NBA star John Salley and Dr. Drew answer this question -- is Tiger really sorry?
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Tiger Woods' first public statement since the car accident that led to shocking revelations of infidelity lasted a tightly scripted 13.5 minutes.
Here are some of the key moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I'm deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in. I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you.
I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did.
For all that I have done, I am so sorry.
I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable and I am the only person to blame.
I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now, Sir Nick Faldo, the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports, one of the all time greats, the winner of six Majors, including three Masters.
And Brandel Chamblee, analyst for the Golf Channel and a former player on the PGA Tour.
Sir Nick, what did you make of that today?
NICK FALDO, WON 6 MAJORS: Well, I think you can imagine, Larry, I can't imagine Tiger ever imagined in his life he would be literally standing up in front of the world and having to apologize for, you know, his -- his indiscretions. So, you know, it was a pretty profound apology. I thunk -- I thought that part was -- was -- was very good. But, you know, I'm sure, as we're going to discuss in the show, there's plenty of other to it that are very important.
But the bottom line is for us, we golfers, we're still in the dark, very much like I am, you know, as to when he is going to return to playing golf again.
KING: Brandel, how did it impress you?
BRANDEL CHAMBLEE, ANALYST, THE GOLF CHANNEL: Well. I thought it was a pretty good step toward rebuilding his image. I thought it was comprehensive. I thought it was sincere. I thought, like Nick Faldo just stated, that he did show a different side -- humility. We have not seen humility from Tiger Woods in the last 15 years.
So the overriding sentiment, I thought, was that -- that it was -- and on all fronts -- achieved what I think he set out to achieve.
KING: Nick, if anything, what surprised you this morning? FALDO: Well, the most obvious thing is, you know, he wants -- the one thing I thought was very interesting was, you know, he's obviously trying to rebuild things with Elin. And they said -- and she had said words are better, you know, more action or behavior is more powerful than words. And he then contradicted himself by saying we've got a lot of talking to do.
But, you know, for me, you know, he could kill two birds with one stone here, you know, and get back out on the golf course. It is -- it's extremely important for him to be out on the golf course. That's what he is -- he's a golfer chasing Jack Nicklaus' records. You know, he wants to -- he wants to do that. He wants to leave this legacy.
And I -- and I feel that, you know, as soon as he gets out there, it's important because that is the only area he is not sure of. It's a totally different, you know, unknown environment. He under -- he knows the way the media have treated him. He knows the way the gossip media have treated him. He knows what the business -- the business world have reacted to him.
So he's -- this is his unknown, is to get himself back on the golf course. And, you know, I can understand -- you know, Tiger is a person who only wants to get on the golf course when he's 100 percent comfortable and he's there ready to win. Look at his incredible record.
So, you know, until he gets that right, he obviously feels he still has a major problem to get through that steps, but if he really wants to rebuild the family, as we believe he does and, you know, look after the children, he could quite easily scoop them all up. He's got a private plane. He's got plenty of wealth to have a house at every tournament, to have tutors, to have nannies.
Dad goes off and plays golf...
FALDO: -- and comes back to family life. Now, if you want to rebuild your family, that would be a great start, you would have thought.
KING: But, Brandel, he has to finish rehab first, doesn't he?
CHAMBLEE: Almost certainly. And I would respectfully disagree with Nick Faldo. I think that golf is not only not on the back burner, it's not even in the kitchen.
If I understand the rehabilitation process completely, it's that first you have to go through all of these steps. And he still has rehab to continue with, some -- maybe another week or two weeks. Then he has to make amends at home. I mean the damage that he has caused with his family is immense. And I doubt that the make-believe life and the fantasy life of the tour would be an ideal situation in which for him to -- to achieve that.
I was surprised at his honest revelations, at his accurate assessment of the things that led to this behavior, by him saying that he did not think that normal rules applied to him, that he thought that he was entitled and that his money and fame gave him easy access to temptation and that he strayed from his beliefs in Buddhism.
These are revelations. These are insights into Tiger's life that he has never ever been willingly or able to give to anybody in the media. And they have tried. They have tried for 13 years to get anything out of him other than what club he hit and how he won a golf tournament.
And today, he gave those. And he did it in a humble manner.
KING: Nick, what are the other golfers saying?
FALDO: Well, it's very difficult, Larry. We've got 150 guys most weeks on tour. And you can -- you can imagine they go from one side of the spectrum to the other. Some are, you know, obviously disgusted with his behavior, others couldn't care less. You know, he'd say well, just -- you know, he's been a very important part of the tour. He can -- you know, he's -- what he's generated through, you know, through television, the interest, what he's brought to the tour for the -- for the players to gain financially has been -- it's been immense.
So, you know, that's an extremely wide spectrum. So, you know...
FALDO: And I was listening to what Brandel is saying. You know, I -- I -- if he really wants to look after the family, he should just quit golf and go and look after the family.
But he has -- he's a golfer chasing Jack's records and he has an empire, he has a business, which right now, I can't imagine there's too many sponsors who want to till out $20 million, you know, to have Tiger Woods right now.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more.
We'll be joined by Howard Bragman, who's a top expert in how people market, and Dr. Drew Pinsky, who you all know is an expert on the psychological aspects of things.
Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back.
Nick Faldo -- Sir Nick Faldo and Brandel Chamblee remain.
Joining us now, Howard Bragman, founder and CEO of Fifteen Minutes media and P.R. agency, expert on strategic and crisis communications.
And Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" and the author of "Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America."
Here's some more excerpts from Tiger's statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply.
It's now up to me to make amends. And that starts by never repeating the mistakes I've made. It's up to me to start living a life of integrity.
Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.
There are many people in this room and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Howard Bragman, how did the strategy work?
HOWARD BRAGMAN, FOUNDER & CEO, FIFTEEN MINUTES: I think the words were right, Larry. I think he said the right thing. He could have used a good editor. I think there was about 13 minutes and it could have gone to about half that.
But I still -- one of his big problems wasn't even so much what he did. The mainstream media is not happy with Tiger because he chose to go around them in the beginning. He wrote on his blog, as opposed to talking to them and doing an interview with a credible journalist. This didn't help that problem.
KING: But ESPN polling over -- almost a hundred thousand people now, 65 percent said he was sincere.
BRAGMAN: You know what -- and that's fine, but what he -- what he wanted to do was make this go away. And the mainstream media isn't letting this go away because it's getting viewers on TV, it's getting viewers to Web sites, it's -- it's selling newspapers. And I think a credible interview with a credible journalist would have done him a lot more good.
KING: Dr. Drew, how did he do?
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTIONOLOGIST: He did OK. I mean, the fact is he had this very highly rehearsed, very PR-ified kind of presentation. And he...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the bad things.
PINSKY: There were some dramatic pauses and there was real affect in those pauses. But from my standpoint, I -- I walked away with a -- with a bad feeling, I have to tell you -- not that...
PINSKY: -- not that he -- there weren't some good things. Remember when he said he's going to dedicate himself to his treatment and put golf aside and he now has a supportive peer group.
I had a couple of bad feelings. One was, he was so repeating over and over again his apology and at no point -- he kept -- he kept emphasizing how he was a bad person, an irresponsible person, outside of his core values.
But he never said, I'm a sick person with a problem and this is where it took me. He said, I'm a bad person. And that made me feel bad (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Maybe rehab is telling him to...
PINSKY: No, they were having him look at his character defects, but they were telling him, now capitulate to the treatment that can help you with that.
And the fact is, he -- he probably is doing that. But I don't think this really helped him.
KING: Nick, before you leave us, do you think he'll play again this year?
FALDO: Well, that's a big question. You know, obviously, we hope he does. I mean the Masters would make sense. But after the way he was talking, maybe that sounds a little soon now. Maybe it's -- you know, because when Tiger was out there, he had this great aura around him. He had -- he had magnetism. You know, when he stood on the first tee, he had this presence. And -- and to do that, you've got to have great self-esteem, when you -- when you've got the world -- the rest of the world looking at you and, you know, critiquing everything, you've got to be feeling pretty good. And, obviously, this has taken a major dent in.
So he's got to be really comfortable to be able to stand back on that first tee and, you know, fluff his feathers out and say here I am again and be -- and just be comfortable with himself.
KING: Brandel, do you think he'll be back soon?
CHAMBLEE: I -- I think we'll see him back this year. I doubt if we see him at the Masters. I think, at the earliest, you'll see him at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. I -- think that he has to be sure that his family life is shored up and that he can commit the time, the energy and -- and the mental challenge of -- of getting back to golf. And that is all encompassing and you can't be worried about your home life if you're going to do that and go out and compete...
CHAMBLEE: -- even a man with this much talent. KING: We thank Sir Nick Faldo and Brandel Chamblee for joining us.
Howard Bragman and Dr. Pinsky will remain.
What was it like in the room where Tiger confessed today?
Find out from someone who there, next.
KING: We're talking about Tiger Woods' statement to the world today.
Doug Ferguson is a golf writer with the Associated Press.
He was in the room when Tiger spoke.
What was the atmosphere like, Doug?
DOUG FERGUSON, IN ROOM WHEN WOODS MADE STATEMENT: Strange when we got in, Larry. It was like showing up to church early. All of his close associates and -- and friends and whatnot had already been seated and -- and sat there, and, frankly, didn't move for the next 25, 30 minutes.
A presidential feel to it, with the blue drapes and -- and there was no big announcement. I mean, Tiger just walked in the room and -- and began. And, frankly, the only drama was when the center camera went out about nine minutes into his statement.
KING: The Golf Writers Association was offered an opportunity to be part of the media pool. They declined.
Did you have any kind of queasy feelings about going where you weren't allowed to ask anything?
FERGUSON: Not -- not necessarily, Larry. I -- I mean I respected what -- what they did. But, you know, the A.P. has a history of -- of covering the news and -- and more than 1,500 news outlets depend on us, CNN included.
I respect what they've done. But that's what the news was and -- and we're there to cover it.
In terms of questions, there was -- you know, it was -- it was stated that it was not a press conference. We were sitting all the way to the back of the room and -- and probably 40 or 50 feet away from Tiger. And when he finished, you know, and a hush in the room and the hugs with his mother and -- and some of his close employees then he was out the door.
KING: Was there anything you thought to yourself, boy, I'd like to ask him this?
FERGUSON: Well, I think there's a long list of them. And I -- I think we'll get that time eventually -- you know, who exactly is he. And even he alluded to that in his -- in his -- in his speech about, you know, a lot of people don't really know who he is for -- by his actions.
And -- and -- and secondly, you know, why should anyone believe him, given the last three months or -- or two years of -- of deception?
And -- and, you know, lots of other things, Larry. And we'll -- I think we'll that chance when he does return to golf, which I think is probably going to be sooner rather than later.
There won't be such a -- a controlled setting. I think what we saw today was a chance for him to -- to speak to his associates and -- and kind of a viewing area for the media.
You know, there was 40 people in the room. And I'm guessing about 34 of them or so had not seen Tiger since the accident. It almost seemed like, you know, I'm going to talk to these guys first and eventually when I get back to golf -- he will face the media. That -- that time is coming. And...
FERGUSON: -- you know, there will be no questions he can dodge.
KING: Thanks, Doug Ferguson.
In today's statement, Tiger repeatedly said the blame for what's happened is his and his alone.
But he also took a couple of swipes at the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I understand the press wants me to an -- wants to ask me for the details and the times I was unfaithful. I understand people want to know whether Elin and I will remain together.
Please know that as far as I'm concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me. These are issues between a husband and a wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Vartan Kupelian is the president of Golf Writers Association of America. The Association's board of directors voted overwhelmingly not to participate in the pool of reporters inside the room where Tiger made his statement.
Are you glad you didn't go?
VARTAN KUPELIAN, PRESIDENT, GOLF WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: I think, looking back on our vote, it was exactly the right thing to do. (AUDIO GAP) having experienced what we did today (AUDIO GAP) we did write something. We got every shred of information (AUDIO GAP). People were under the impression that we weren't covering (AUDIO GAP) our people were there to cover the event (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: We've got some sort of bad connection, Vartan. I want to apologize.
I appreciate it.
We'll go back to Barton maybe on Monday night. But, obviously, we had a bad connection and some bad lighting features there.
Quickly, back to Howard.
And would you -- you would advise him to do what, do this show?
What else would you want him to do?
KING: What else?
BRAGMAN: But -- but, you know, there's something that -- there's a catharsis that's going to come from putting yourself up to the questioning, because he puts himself in this seat doesn't mean he has to talk about things that he doesn't want to talk about. But it makes you vulnerable. It builds sympathy. And other journalists will start to leave you alone a little bit.
You know, I'm sure Oprah and Matt will be unhappy that you go it and they didn't, but...
KING: Did he have to do this, Doctor?
KING: Did he have to come forward at all?
PINSKY: No, he doesn't have to do anything. I think that one of the reasons he's in this position is because he didn't step up a little sooner and push people back.
But, you know, we certainly wouldn't be recommending that he make apologies to specific people. We wouldn't be necessarily recommending that he even necessarily get up and say I'm a sex addict.
But for him to get up and say, hey, please, I've gone to places I never thought I would go, I'm getting help now.
What I didn't see him say, though, is I'm completely giving into this process. I saw him sort of struggling against the process. I saw a man who appeared rather depressed. And sometimes in that position, those patients that struggle desperately not to completely capitulate who are already depressed become severely depressed.
KING: Let's... So I'm just very concerned about him.
KING: Let's check quickly back with Vartan.
We apologize for the -- for the bad transcription, if we can call it that, in reaching you.
Vartan do you -- oh, I'm sorry, he's gone.
Mother said there would be days like this.
KING: We're going to talk to a wife who knows all about the temptations professional athletes face. And what she says may shock you, next.
KING: We've got another excerpt from Tiger's statement.
Here he's talking about the mindset that led to what he calls irresponsible and selfish behavior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled.
Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have far -- I didn't have to go far to find them.
I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome Jackie Christie, wife of the former NBA player, Doug Christie -- one of my favorite players, by the way.
The Christies are widely known for their commitment to marriage and monogamy.
And in New York, the one and only Stephen A. Smith is back with us. The radio host, Fox Sports on the radio and a columnist for "The Philadelphia Inquirer," who always call them as he sees them.
We'll start with Jackie.
From the perspective of an athlete's wife, what did you make of the statement?
JACKIE CHRISTIE, WIFE OF FORMER NBA PLAYER, DOUG CHRISTIE: I personally took it as -- I thought it wasn't enough. I personally wouldn't have accepted that, only because I felt like it was contrived and it was -- he -- he wrote it and he was saying all the right things. I would have wanted more emotion.
I just felt like it was really shallow.
KING: Did you expect him to tell his wife he loved her?
CHRISTIE: I expected him to tell her he loved her. I expected him to get on bended knee. If you want the world to know how sorry you are for what you've done to your wife, you need to prove it. And proving it is not, I don't think, reading a statement.
KING: But so you're saying if that were you, that's what you would have expected?
CHRISTIE: I would have...
KING: But you would have been long gone?
CHRISTIE: Oh, a long time ago. But I would have still wanted the apology.
KING: Stephen Smith, who calls them as he sees them, as we said, what did you make of it today?
STEPHEN A. SMITH, COLUMNIST, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER": Well, I think Jackie is being entirely too kind. He came across as fake and phony and entirely weak. That's really what this comes down to, Larry.
KING: Stephen, try to have a point of view.
SMITH: No, I mean I'm -- I'm just -- I mean this...
SMITH: It's ridiculous, Larry, when you consider the fact that he's been lying from opening tap, when he came up with that cockamamie story about his wife was a hero after she tried to rescue him out of a black Escalade and all of this other nonsense. He's been lying from day one. And then he just said today that, you know what, he thought that he's above the rules, he now realizes that he -- he's not above the rules or what have you.
But he's circumventing the rules, because protocol calls for when you make a mistake like this -- and, obviously, when you're a public figure like this, you've got to stand in the public eye and take questions from journalists. You've got the Golf Writers Association of America having to boycott this event because this man actually tried to hand-pick the few journalists that he wanted in attendance. He wanted to be surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. And he didn't want to answer any questions.
Who does he think he is? It's just that simple.
KING: Should he have answered -- should he have answered questions, Howard?
BRAGMAN: Absolutely. There's -- you know, he's a smart guy. Give me -- you know, give me a day with him. There is nothing he couldn't have handled. And any good media trainer could get this guy through it.
KING: Doctor, (INAUDIBLE)?
PINSKY: We really don't know what's going on with him from a mental health standpoint. I worry. I felt very unsettled after this. He looked really depressed to me.
KING: You think he's depressed?
PINSKY: And it really could have made things a lot worse from the standpoint of his treatment and his mental health. It's possible. We just don't know what's going on.
KING: Jackie, shouldn't his personal life be his own?
CHRISTIE: I -- I definitely think it should be his own. But I think, also, Elin should have been there. I think she should have (INAUDIBLE) there...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
CHRISTIE: He -- he made a comment of, you know, me and my wife, you know, are going to...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
CHRISTIE: -- start building our relationship again to where (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Unless you don't want to be there.
CHRISTIE: You know what I mean?
So that's a...
KING: Stephen, why did you say oh, no?
SMITH: Oh, you can't -- you can't have her there. First of all, if she were there -- she's already gone through enough humiliation. This man did not have an affair, he had multiple affairs. They're speculating, allegedly, it wasn't just with other women, it was with prostitutes, for crying out loud. He didn't just have -- meet them in a hotel room, they were in her house while she was pregnant, allegedly. All of this kind of stuff is coming out and you're talking about she's supposed to sit there holding his hand and talk.
Oh, no. You can -- if you... (CROSSTALK)
SMITH: If I were him, I'd stay as far away from her as possible.
CHRISTIE: I think she should have been there...
KING: All right. Hold it. Hold it.
KING: Was that everybody?
CHRISTIE: No, no, no. I think she should have been there so that when he apologized, he apologized to her, first and foremost. I've stated before when I was asked, I would have left a long time ago. But if Elin does elect to stay with Tiger, I definitely feel that apologizing to her publicly because he humiliated her publicly, he definitely needed to have her there first and foremost, because first and foremost, you're going to apologize to me before our...
SMITH: Yes, but...
CHRISTIE: -- children, before anybody else, you're going to apologize to me.
KING: All right, let him talk (INAUDIBLE)...
CHRISTIE: I'm still not going to be with you, but apologize.
KING: We've got to...
SMITH: But she doesn't want to be...
KING: We've got a lot of...
SMITH: -- seen by anybody.
KING: All right, Jackie...
KING: -- thanks for coming.
CHRISTIE: Thank you.
KING: We'll have you back.
Try to be a little more forceful the next time.
CHRISTIE: I'm sorry. KING: We'll take a break.
And when we come back, John -- Jim Gray and John Salley will join us.
Stephen Smith will remain.
And Bragman and Pinsky will also be aboard.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Jim Gray, correspondent for the Golf Channel, and former NBA star John Salley, four time NBA champion. Saying that he is a TV personality is understating it by a long shot. He's a major -- all right, James Gray, who breaks news every night, what did you make of it today?
JAMES GRAY, THE GOLF CHANNEL: Well, I've known Tiger Woods since he was eight years old, and I saw a very different Tiger Woods today. I saw a guy -- five things I saw I have never seen in him before. He was shaken and uncomfortable. He didn't display any of the confidence he always has. He didn't smile one time, where you're so used to seeing those teeth in his commercials. We're all so used to seeing the determination in his eyes. That stare - he didn't have any of those.
But I saw one thing I hadn't seen, either, and that was -- Brandel talked about it, and Nick Faldo -- a touch of humility. I don't know if at this point you can teach somebody to be humble, or that can happen to somebody over the course of time, but I saw a touch of that today, Larry.
KING: John Salley, what did you get?
JOHN SALLEY, FMR. NBC STAR: One, I'm glad he took responsibility for what he did. Taking responsibility -- I wrote a book. It's on my website. It's "Refrigerator Magnet Theory," and it's just you got to take responsibility. People don't do that.
Everyone's going to say -- I love Jimmy, but saying he wasn't humble and all that stuff, and Doug Christie's wife saying she would have left a long time ago -- all these people say that, and then they also tell people they love them and they love them for everything they are. When they get married, they said, I love you through thick and thin, I love you through rich and poor, I love you with my conscious and subconscious, and then they talk about abandoning them.
KING: What's your point?
SALLEY: My point is, Tiger Woods got up there and said, I made a mistake. I'm human. I'm working it out with my wife. The fact that everybody is out there saying, I don't think he was real -- he did what he needed to do. This guy stopped the world for 20 minutes. The last time that happened was in a movie. He stopped the world for 20 minutes. I woke up this morning just to see Tiger Woods. Guess what, he did what he needed to, for the public and for the media.
KING: Steven, I imagine you disagree?
SMITH: Of course I do, and it's no surprise, because I usually disagree with John. John knows that. The fact is did anybody -- has anybody grasped the idea, just the idea, that maybe, just maybe, he was uncomfortable because he had to speak somewhat truthfully about something for the first time in his life? This is not a guy that's accustomed to making himself available to folk, to revealing some portion of himself. This is a guy that was uncomfortable, had to read a statement. Why? It's your life. What are you reading a statement for?
SALLEY: This is why you read a statement. This is why you read a statement. Because when you get up in front of the world, you want to make sure -- it's the same statement that was on his web site -- you want to make sure that the words you felt come out, and nobody can sit around and say, he left something out, he should have said this. He was speaking from the heart. I believe he wrote the things he said.
SMITH: You believe? You believe? You can't tell.
SALLEY: You believe he doesn't.
SMITH: Exactly. You can't tell.
SALLEY: I can tell. I know the guy, too. I'm telling you --
SMITH: You know him? You're sure? You're sure about that?
SALLEY: I'll tell you this -- well, do you know anybody, Steve?
KING: Hold it a second. Jim Gray knows him the longest. I want him to get in.
KING: We're going to have Bragman and Pinsky analyze Salley and Smith. Jim, you've known him a long time. Who is right here?
GRAY: Well, you know, I don't think either of them are right. I think it's somewhere in between. I mean, let's just say this: from the news aspect today, I was happy to hear Tiger Woods say that he has not used performance-enhancing drugs. I was happy to hear Tiger Woods say today that there has never been any domestic violence in his marriage.
I thought those two proclamations were something that everybody wanted to have answered and he gave those answers.
I was also hoping while I was hearing this that this wasn't a John Edwards moment, that this wasn't perhaps a Bill Clinton. I hope this is truthful. I hope we don't come to find out something else along the line. I was very happy to hear those two things today. And I think that's the right step in the right direction. And he's going to have to face these questions at some point because the reporters are not going to go away.
I want to say one thing to Howard Bragman. It's not about coaching somebody into do something and then having it come out the way it should. It's about telling the truth. Just tell the truth. America buried Richard Nixon a hero. There was a 21-gun salute. The man tore and devastated this country. He lost all of our credibility and our belief in our government and there was a 21-gun salute. We buried him a hero. We can certainly get over Tiger Woods having sex outside his marriage. Just tell the truth.
SALLEY: I just want to say, it's a situation, when you showed all these different people at the beginning of the show, they were being human. All of them had responsible and irresponsible -- and Howard told me he should have came out early because the media is upset. And he made a point. This is between he and his wife. And the media should only talk about his golf.
SMITH: This is between him and his wife. I want to make that clear it's between him and his wife. It's not of anybody's business. But Tiger made it everyone's business because he tried to manipulate the masses into believing what he wanted them to believe at the very beginning. That's the point you're all missing, John.
He came up with the cockamamie story about the wife busting out the windows, trying to drag him out of the Escalade. He's the one that came out with all that stuff, making everybody think he was driving down the highway at 100 miles per hour, when he crashed into a fire hydron and a tree, pulling out of his driveway.
SMITH: I'm serious. The point is, this guy is making up stories because he's making a concerted effort to manipulate people into believing what he wants them to believe, as opposed to answering questions. Come on, John.
SALLEY: Call me, we'll talk about it.
KING: Steven, we're going to have you back very soon. But please promise the next time, be forthcoming.
SMITH: I promise.
KING: Have some opinions. Stop with the -- OK? Greg will come back. Salley will come back. What Tiger didn't say. We'll take a look at that. What it could mean, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're taking a look at Tiger Woods' public confession. With us Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry, New York Presbyterian, and best selling author. Among her books, "Anatomy of a Secret Life." Robi Ludwig is here, psychotherapist, contributor to Care.com.
Tiger Woods mentioned his wife at least nine times during today's 13.5 minute statement. We'll talk about it. Watch this first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time.
Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever. Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Saltz, what's your read on all this?
DR. GAIL SALTZ, ASSOCIATE PROF. OF PSYCHIATRY: I think he's trying to be generous to his wife, appropriately so. I think you could hear that he's been in therapy, as he talks about the fact that, yes, it's not about saying you're sorry; it's about showing over the long haul, over a long period of time, that he's going to do the hard work that it would take to build back some sort of a relationship.
Now, whether or not he can do that I think remains to be seen. But I think that is something he probably learned in his therapy, and so something he's trying to relay.
KING: Robi, what do you think?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I agree with Gail. It sounds like he's had some time to start the reflection process, the self- reflection process. And he's gaining more insight into perhaps why he did some of the things that he did.
But it is a long road, and my gut feeling is that he really has no idea yet as to why he was behaving the way he did. And he needs to make those connections. And yes, certainly marriages can get through infidelity. The question is, is he willing to be in his marriage in a very different way than he has been in the past? And we don't know that.
KING: Gail, should he have said today that he loved his wife?
SALTZ: I think that the things that he's going to say about his wife -- I actually think that it was appropriate that he said that's going to be between he and her. I know that people are voyeuristically dying to know what's going on in there, but once he starts to open that up, he is just going to invite more curiosity and more wanting to see inside. He should probably try to keep that separate, because that's not what the public is upset about.
The public is upset about the hypocrisy, about the -- saying I am this wonderful upstanding role model for children, et cetera, et cetera, and not behaving that way. And I think that should be separate from what's going on in his marriage.
KING: Robi, is there an act two in America? Can he get it back?
LUDWIG: Yes, and we see it all the time. Larry, you and I were talking about Kobe Bryant -- I don't know how many years ago -- when he was having his difficulty in the news. We are somewhat forgiving. In some ways, we like to see people who are put up on a pedestal and they fall -- we like to see them rise again. Do they rise in the same way? No, because we understand that they're flawed people. But certainly people have made it back.
KING: Thank you, girls -- ladies; I'm sorry. Forgive me.
The PGA tour's top man joins us next with what this means for the world of pro golf.
KING: We're back. We're talking about Tiger Woods' public remarks today. PGA tour commissioner Tim Finchem joins us from Florida. He applauds Tiger's statement, calling it good news for the tour. How so, Tim?
TIM FINCHEM, PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER: Well, I think it was a positive first step. I think what fans want to see is not just that Tiger comes back and plays golf, but that when he does so, he brings the right comportment with him and he has his personal life in order. And certainly I felt the statement today committed him to a course to do just that. And I thought it was very encouraging.
KING: From a personal perspective, what was it like to be there?
FINCHEM: Well, it was kind of a strange atmosphere, really. I mean, it was very quiet. It was serious. I thought he was direct, forceful. He spoke to the people that he wanted to reach, in terms of the people who have been impacted by his situation. And these were people that have interfaced with his foundation, with his tournaments, with his business aspects, and with him personally, and some family members.
So it was a unique thing, but, again, a serious situation.
KING: He greeted you after. Did you exchange any words?
FINCHEM: No, we shook hands. I had spoken to him yesterday briefly. And I'll be talking to him when he finishes his therapy. He's gone back into therapy. But, you know, my take on this was positive and the thing that I -- that struck me most was that he seemed very committed to the course that he's laid out. He laid out a course, and he set the standards that he wants to be measured by now.
And, you know, he has a history of when he sets his mind to something, to get there. And we've watched him over the last 14 years. He set those standards today. And I wouldn't bet against him.
KING: Tim, we have another clip from Tiger's statement. This is about his future in golf. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOODS: I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: From a tour standpoint, Tim, it's very important to have him back. Purely for ratings and interest, isn't it?
FINCHEM: Well, yeah. We perform reasonably well, you know, any time. No one man is the PGA tour. He was out for most of 2008 and we actually had a record year that year. From a television standpoint, he brings so much attention to the sport. It would be great to have him back. It's important for any sport to have their number-one player or athlete back and playing.
I was encouraged when he said that he was very open to returning this year. We're hopeful that he can get this issues to a point that allows him to do that during 2010.
KING: He didn't really owe this, did he? I mean, he didn't owe a statement about his personal life or anything. He didn't have to do this today. Do you think it was wise?
FINCHEM: Well, I did. You know, I -- you know, my sense is that it had something to do with his therapy. But also, you know, I think he recognizes that to wait until he walks out on the golf course -- you know, the fans want to know that he's focused on where he needs to be, and that they can count on him, you know, moving forward, to get these issues resolved, get them behind him, and be able to come out and play the game, as I said earlier, but to do it with a certain amount of comportment and with some understanding of his focus on his personal issues.
So this is a major step, I thought, for him to talk about very personal issues in a very open and candid way. When he says things like, you know, I was -- the fame and money gave me a sense of entitlement that I felt I was operating in the parameters of rules that apply to other people, don't apply to me, and things like that. I thought it was very revealing of how focused he is on these issues.
KING: Thanks, Tim. We'll see you on the fairways. FINCHEM: Thanks, Larry. I Appreciate it.
KING: Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner. Back with more after this.
KING: We wind up things with our panel. Jim Gray, what do you think happens from here? When does Tiger come back?
GRAY: Well, I hope that he comes back this season. He left the door open. You know, I've been thinking about the great icons, and Tiger's often compared to Mohamed Ali and Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. I just remember how inclusive Mohamed Ali was, how he put his arm around everybody, and he brought everybody along and made them feel good.
I remember that great day ten years ago, Larry, that you took me with you to see President Mandela. He said to us something that I never forgot. He said, people will forget what you say and people will forget what you do. But no one will ever forget the way you make them feel.
Tiger Woods has made a lot of people feel really good about the way he plays golf. Through this scandal, he's made an awful lot of people feel bad. I think today was the beginning of repairing the damage. I hope that he will fulfill what he said he would do, and live a life of integrity and bring people along now.
KING: Very well said. John, what do you think is next?
SALLEY: I just finished sitting here talking to my friend, Howard. It's more -- what you do speaks so loudly. What you say doesn't matter. And --
KING: Words are cheap.
SALLEY: Right. Words are cheap. What he does is he does make everybody feel good. But that's not as job. The deal is they want him to be something he's not because that's what they want. I will tell Tiger, man, what somebody thinks about you is none of your business. So don't worry about what they think about you. He is back already. The fact that he came back and spoke today, he's back. The real deal, everybody just wants him to play golf. Let him play golf.
BRAGMAN: He's my client, I'm going to tell him three things. Get a thick skin, as John just said. Learn, practice your Buddhism, and really practice patience, because you fall in a hole really quickly, you get out really slowly. And play amazing golf. That's what got you there in the first place. That's what's going to get you out of this eventually.
KING: What would you say if he were your patient? PINSKY: I have a different priority than these guys do. It takes about three to five years to thoroughly treat the condition Tiger has. It's a very serious condition.
KING: Sex addiction?
KING: Some people say it isn't.
PINSKY: He's admitted to a program. You have to meet criteria for this condition to be admitted to a program that is state licensed, such as the one in Mississippi that he's in. It cannot be discussed anymore. He has it.
The other issue that people need to remember is Elin has as much work to do as he does. Oftentimes the spouse, who, of course, is the one who feels betrayed and feel like that's the person that needs the treatment, is reluctant. But they need to participate as much and sometimes more than the identified patient. A lot of work ahead, but if they want to salvage this marriage and help this family, they have about three to five years of really intensive treatment ahead.
KING: Quickly, Jim, will it affect his play?
GRAY: That's an interesting question, because it's always been stated much back by the English and over in Scotland that it's a game of inches. The most important one is in between your ears. Tiger Woods is going to have to have everything going on right in his mind to have his game.
He hasn't lost his golf game. Right now, he looked shaken to me today. I don't think he's in any condition to play golf. I think it's exactly right. He needs to get his life straight and in order. I think he'll play great golf again, but I think it's going to take some time, and it remains to be seen if he'll ever be at that pinnacle that he was before all of this happened.
KING: You're the athlete here, John. Do you think he will play well?
SALLEY: Kobe Bryant played better. Kobe Bryant, when it was all around him, this was his sanctuary. That's Tiger's sanctuary. Guess what, he's a great person. He's going to -- I agree with Dr. Drew that his wife has to have this conversation, because they have to get back together. And you have to get back together and figure out exactly what you want out of this relationship.
KING: Thank you all very much. We have obviously not heard the last of this.
The Dalai Lama met with President Obama the other day and he will do an exclusive interview with us on Monday night. The Dalai Lama Monday night on LARRY KING LIVE.
Right now, John King sits in for Anderson Cooper with "AC 360." John?