Vanity Fair Cover Another Tiger P.R. Miscue? Or a Clevery Designed Stunt

What was Tiger Woods possibly thinking with this cover? I know. And it’s just a thought- a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? I’m figuring that Tiger took this shot, which had to be some time ago, with the idea he was going to come out as a bad boy and has orchestrated this whole p.r. stunt of his own accord.

NEW YORK from – Tiger Woods paid as much as $60,000 for sex with escorts and made monthly payments of between $5,000 and $10,000 “to keep his harem quiet,” according to the new issue of Vanity Fair, which features a topless Tiger Woods on its cover.

In most states, paying for time with escorts is technically legal. Paying for sex is not.

In the article, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger explores Woods’s downfall and details the mixture of sex and money that the magazine claims Woods fed on.

“Tiger’s story has been driven by sex, tons of it, in allegedly all different varieties,” Bissinger wrote. “Threesomes in which he greatly enjoyed girl-on-girl, and mild S&M (featuring hair-pulling and spanking); $60,000 pay-for-sex escort dates; a quickie against the side of a car in a church parking lot; a preference for porn stars and nightclub waitresses, virtually all of them with lips almost as thick as their very full breasts; drug-bolstered encounters designed to make him even more of a conquistador (Ambien, of all things);

immature sex-text messages (‘Send me something naughty … Go to the bathroom and take [a picture],’ ‘I will wear you out … When was the last time you got [laid]?’); soulful confessions that he got married only for image and was bored with his wife; regular payments of between $5,000 and $10,000 each month to keep his harem quiet.”

The article also suggests, but is careful to hedge, that Woods might have taken performance enhancing drugs from Dr. Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor suspected of providing athletes with human growth hormone.

“There is no proof that Woods took performance enhancers, and sources say Woods is not part of the federal investigation (against Galea), though as far back as 2007, sportswriters covering him could not help but notice that from the back he was beginning to look like Barry Bonds. But since he was Tiger Woods, they gave him a free pass,” Bissinger wrote.

Vanity Fair labels Wood’s downfall as the greatest single decrease in popularity of a nonpolitician in the history of public-opinion surveys, and cites the USA Today/Gallup, showing a drop in approval from 87 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2009, with an unfavorable rating of 57 percent.

Indeed, AT&T Inc. said last Thursday it would no longer sponsor Woods, joining Accenture, Gatorade and Tag-Heuer in dropping support for the world’s top golfer, who’s taking a break from the sport to focus on his marriage after his admitted infidelity.

Woods’ image has taken a beating since a Thanksgiving holiday car accident at the golfer’s Florida home was followed by an admission of extramarital “transgressions.” Most of Woods’ $100 million in annual earnings has come not from tournament winnings, but from companies that wanted to be associated with his persona.

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), who originally investigated the accident, confirmed last week that troopers met with Woods on Dec. 1, four days after the SUV crash outside his home, to deliver a $164 citation for careless driving.

“The only injury that troopers observed was a bump and cut on his lip, which was consistent with the crash investigation,” FHP captain Mark Welch said.

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