By now you've probably heard that Tiger Woods set sail on his boat Privacy from its dock in North Palm Beach, likely hoping to put all those headlines about his affairs in his wake. But two journalists who have been staking out the boat say it never happened. And People magazine, which initially broke the story, has declined to retract the story.
Ralph Notaro, a photographer from Coral Springs, says he has spent the past 12 days on a stakeout near the port where Privacy is docked. Notaro rented a boat
December 12 that he anchored right behind Privacy, hoping to get a glimpse of Woods.
People magazine reported on its website that Woods and a group of buddies took off on Privacy on December 19. The story quoted a source that claimed they had even stocked up on provisions at Costco on Northlake Boulevard.
But Notaro was in his boat behind Privacy on that day and said it never moved. The day Woods allegedly set sail was a stormy one, and Notaro recalls riding out the waves on his rented boat.
Notaro says he called People's office December 21 to let them know that they got it wrong.
"They told me, 'Oh, OK, we'll forward that information to our editors," he said. He hasn't heard back from the magazine.
Lisa Lucas also says she's been staking out the boat almost daily. Lucas is a freelance writer working for the New York Daily News and said she was there the day that Woods supposedly took Privacy out. Lucas called People and said she talked with the author of the article, Linda Marx, who said she witnessed the boat leaving herself.
"There is no way that boat left that morning," Lucas says. She did see it go out for a two-hour trip on another day, but not with Woods aboard.
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Lucas has worked as a journalist for four years, writing for the New York Post, Boca Magazine, and Closer magazine. She now contributes regularly to the Daily News.
Notaro, a Florida Atlantic University grad, says he's been working in the business for 11 years, shooting mostly celebrity and sports photos that have earned him as much as $60,000 a pop. His most recognizable photos, he says, are photos of Jessica Simpson after she had gained weight and the last photos of Anna Nicole Smith alive. He says he spoke up about the inaccurate story because he thought People ought to have corrected it.
"The whole thing kind of pissed me off," he says. "That People magazine wouldn't correct this thing, it's just wrong."
"If you have challenged a fact that was presented in PEOPLE, your letter will be routed to our Chief of Research, investigated, and you will receive a written response at a later date."