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Woods sues yacht builder, claiming unauthorized use of his name

Fri., Nov. 5, 2004

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Tiger Woods is taking a swing at the builder of his luxury yacht “Privacy,” accusing the shipyard in a lawsuit of using his name and photograph for financial gain without permission.

Woods’ attorneys sued in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, claiming his contract with Christensen Shipyards, Ltd., barred the boat manufacturer from using the golfer to promote the company, but it did so anyway.

The lawsuit filed last Friday accuses Vancouver, Wash.-based Christensen Shipyards of starting a “widespread national campaign” using Woods’ name and photos of the 155-foot yacht, and in a display at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show last month. The yacht also is featured in the January 2005 issue of ShowBoats International magazine.

The yacht company referred calls to an attorney, who did not immediately return a call Thursday.

Woods has suffered more than $75,000 in damages, but because of his celebrity and endorsement muscle, compensatory damages could reach $50 million, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Woods’ privacy was also being violated by the boat maker.

“As its name implies, ‘Privacy’ was intended to be a private respite for Woods and his family to relax and escape the rigors of Woods’ celebrity,” the suit says.

Woods wants a judge’s order to stop Christensen and seeks a jury trial.

Woods, 28, and Swedish model Elin Nordegren, 24, were married Oct. 5 at a luxury resort in Barbados and later set out on the Privacy, along with a crew.

The couple were briefly detained in Puerto Rico on Oct. 14 when the yacht entered San Juan’s port without the required four-day notice. Woods was not fined by the U.S. Coast Guard, but it warned him not to do it again.



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