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Gillette limits Tiger Woods' role in marketing programs

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Woods admits infidelity
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Grooming company cuts back on Tiger Woods' time after admission of "infidelity"
  • Woods admits to cheating on wife, plans "indefinite break" from golf
  • Woods: "I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness"
  • Nike, EA Sports, PGA Tour pledge support to Woods

(CNN) -- Gillette said Saturday it was "limiting" golfer Tiger Woods' role in its marketing programs to give him the privacy he needs to work on family relationships after disclosures of his "infidelity."

In a statement, the Boston, Massachusetts-based body grooming company said it supports Woods' decision to take "an indefinite break" from professional golf. On his Web site Friday, Woods admitted to infidelity and said he was taking a break from the sport to focus on his family.

"In the midst of a difficult and unfortunate situation, we respect the action Tiger is taking to restore the trust of his family, friends and fans," Gillette spokesman Mike Norton said in the statement. "We fully support him stepping back from his professional career and taking the time he needs to do what matters most. We wish him and his family the best.

"As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," Norton said.

Woods' Friday posting said: "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."

"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods' statement said. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."

Woods, 33, who tops the sport's world rankings, crashed his car outside his Florida mansion late last month. Authorities issued a citation for careless driving, and he was given a $164 fine.

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Woods was not required to talk to police about the wreck and declined to talk with investigators on several occasions.

In the week following the crash, Woods apologized for "transgressions" that let his family down. The same day, US Weekly published a report alleging that Woods had an affair with Jaimee Grubbs, a 24-year-old cocktail waitress.

US Weekly's report followed a National Enquirer article before the crash that the athlete was having an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, an assertion she vigorously denied, according to The New York Post.

It was not immediately clear how Woods' hiatus would affect his other sponsorships, which include Nike, Gatorade and Electronic Arts.

"He is the best golfer in the world and one of the greatest athletes of his era," Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said in a statement. "We look forward to his return to golf. He and his family have Nike's full support."

The statement did not elaborate on whether Woods' announcement would impact his business relationship with the sports company, which has worked with him for more than a decade.

Woods has won three U.S. Open titles and the Masters tournament and the PGA tournament each four times. The PGA Tour said it supports Woods and looks forward to his return to the game.

"We fully support Tiger's decision to step away from competitive golf to focus on his family. His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to respect and honor his family's request for privacy," the PGA Tour said in a statement Friday. "We look forward to Tiger's return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right for him."

EA Sports, the company that makes Woods' video game, also said it is standing behind the golfer.

"We respect that this is a very difficult and private situation for Tiger and his family. At this time, the strategy for our Tiger Woods PGA TOUR business remains unchanged," said David Tinson, a company spokesman.

 
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