In a new interview with E! News to promote her book Strong Is the New Beautiful, Vonn admitted that the intense media coverage made it “really hard” to be in a relationship with the golf superstar, who she still considers a friend.
“The breakup, being together, it was all really hard,” she said of the three-year relationship, “It was essentially being in a fish bowl. Everyone’s looking at you and judging you and commenting on what they think is right or wrong.”
The 31-year-old Olympic skier added that the high profile relationship ultimately taught her to shrug off the negativity of others.
“That’s one thing that made me stronger,” she told E!. “Being able to block out the noise and block out other people’s opinions, and honestly it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks as long as you’re happy.”
Of course, both athletes had received media attention before for their personal lives, and specifically for divorces. Vonn finalized her divorce from former coach Thomas Vonn in January 2013 and Woods and ex-wife Elin Nordegren split in 2010, after the golfer’s numerous infidelities came to light.
In an interview with The New York Times shortly her split from Woods, Vonn admitted that the timing of their relationship was off from the get-go.
“Jumping into a relationship right away after getting a divorce was probably not the smartest move on my part,” Vonn said, adding that she had no regrets about dating Woods.
“I don’t regret anything,” she told the paper. “I loved Tiger, and I had an amazing three years with him. But it was a learning experience as well. With every relationship, you learn what you need and what you want in a partner.”
Woods, too, has said that the circumstances surrounding the relationship were far from ideal. In a surprisingly revealing interview with Time magazine in December 2015, the golfer and father of two said the couple “never had time together.”
“Most of her summer is spent in South America, at training camps in Chile and Argentina, and then you’ve got her season, which is mostly in Europe,” he said. “And I can’t travel because I have the kids ― my off weeks I’m devoted to my kids― and I have to be here. It’s a relationship that was fantastic, but it just can’t work on that level.”
“It was doing an injustice to both of us,” he added.