Tiger Woods was in a one-car wreck Friday morning in which he struck a fire hydrant and a tree after pulling out of his driveway. Alcohol and drugs were ruled out as a cause.

That is where Woods would have liked the story to end. However, in our world of round-the-clock celebrity watching, he of all people should know that’s impossible.

With rumors connecting Tiger with a New York night club hostess and possible spousal abuse, he was forced to release statements asking the public for privacy in the matter.

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," Tiger stated Wednesday. "I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."

But does someone of Tiger’s stature forfeit all rights to their privacy the minute they decide to give their first interview or pose for a magazine cover? Only two people know what happened for sure that Friday morning in and outside his house. Neither wants to talk about it.

Because of his stature and money he has access to the best legal minds money can buy. Tiger has already been instructed by his lawyers not to talk to law enforcement and he has gotten away with it up to this point. If most us told the cops we didn’t want to talk to them we would be at the police station now waiting for the public defender to show. But because he is Tiger Woods, he can tell the police to mind their own business.

Many celebrities, politicians, athletes and other public figures have tried to do what Tiger is trying to do, keep his personal life private. Almost all others have failed. No one on his level has ever been able to keep all aspects of his private life out of the media’s scrutiny.

Monday Tiger withdrew from the Chevron World Challenge, a golf tournament he host every year. He said it was due to the injuries he sustained from the crash. I am sure it’s so he doesn’t have to face the onslaught of media from around the world that would show up just to pepper him with questions.

I have always said you can’t pick and choose when you want to be a public figure. If you are willing to talk to the media and receive accolades during the good times, you have to be able to go in front of the press and tell your story in the uncomfortable moments. As of right now, it looks like Tiger, the world’s first billion dollar athlete, is not planning to do that.

Yet, as a somewhat private man I agree he has every right as an American citizen to not want to talk to the media, police or anyone about whatever happened the night of the crash. I'm sure I would take the same stance.

The people cruising the entertainment websites and grocery story magazines looking for every tidbit of gossip and rumors associated with Tiger should ask themselves one question — Would you expect the same treatment he is asking for if you were in his shoes?

"...no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy," Woods said. "I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions."

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