December 4, 2009

Was Tiger Woods sleep-driving when he crashed?

An emailer writes:
I had a eureka! moment last night. Tiger was not awake when he crashed his car. This is why he was said to be snoring in the street by the neighbor in the police report. He probably is using ambien and "sleepwalked" the whole thing. His wife probably broke the window to attempt to wake him up, following him out of the house, but obviously being behind enough in time that he already had gotten in and started the car. This type of thing is a very common side effect of ambien. He can't sleep because his wife had already found out about the girlfriends.... I'm surprised I haven't seen this explanation offered by anyone.
Here's a news article saying he was sleeping and snoring in the street after the crash:
They found Woods apparently unconscious in the street, while his wife, Elin Nordegren, standing nearby. Woods was shoeless, in a T-shirt and shorts.

"He was actually snoring," [a witness] said.
Sleeping and snoring in the street after all that? You don't snore when you're knocked unconscious, do you? That sounds like a sleeping drug, which also explains how the highly skilled Woods could drive so badly.

Looking for that news article, I found this:
From Radar: "[Rachel] Uchitel told friends that she and Tiger liked to have sex while taking the drug Ambien. Uchitel told one pal, 'You know you have crazier sex on Ambien — you get into that Ambien haze. We have crazy Ambien sex.'" Readers: Is that a thing? We've witnessed people in an Ambien haze, certainly. But Ambien sex? This makes us feel old not knowing this.
Is it all fitting together now?

ADDED: The emailer was Elliott Althouse (no relation). And, in the comments, several people say that a person unconscious with a head injury might snore.

72 comments:

Chase said...

Sleep-driving:

The "Twinkie Defense" of the 21st Century.

Michael said...

Crazy Ambien sex? Sounds more like a question for Andrew Sullivan to cover at The Atlantic.

Rialby said...

I first learned about it from the movie "Role Models"

traditionalguy said...

Yes, I feel old. Pharma rules the world today. Drug induced mind blowinf sex, or whatever, is a waste of human potential. This will hurt Tigers image more than any affairs. Now no one will want to see him as a role model.

ricpic said...

No matter how much I look forward to Sara Lee strawberry topped cheesecake I always feel a letdown afterwards.

David said...

Snoring is a regular and frightening response to a stroke. My father died of a stroke and fell into a deep snore as he was dying.

Snoring can also be a response to a head injury. If Tiger was snoring after injuring his head, he should be having regular checkups for a while. It's potentially a serious matter.

Oberon said...

Ambien sex is real, no doubt about it. But it only fits the story if he was physically caught having sex with one of those mistresses, while on Ambien. Perhaps he requires Ambien to sleep, and the fight started (ended) while he was already under the influence. But the idea that his wife was trying to save him by knocking out the windows? That seems implausible - there are reports that substantial damage was done in the home before he fled/left. It just doesn't add up... which is why it is all so interesting...

k*thy said...

Me too - I'm not getting why the windows have to be knocked out. I think I would have called 911.

MadisonMan said...

Tiger Woods golf got him feeling like a champion,
The Sexy never sleep better slip you a Ambien

(apologies to Jay Z and Alicia)

ricpic said...

Considering that both mother-in-laws were in the house maybe this whole brouhaha began when Elin put too much dill in the coconut milk noodle soup.

David said...

Again: snoring is a known reaction to a head injury. It is actually quite a serious matter. Of course Tiger will never be able to disprove the Ambien theory. You could say that's unfair to him, but it's also another consequence of his reckless behavior. It seems our Tiger is quite a complex fellow.

The scuttlebutt in the golf industry is now that there are more "transgressions" to be revealed, including some rather exotic ones in Dubai and Thailand, both places where the sex can get pretty exotic.

art.the.nerd said...

Ann, I would like to think that you're classier than this. Speculation about the Tiger Woods accident and any possible relationship with marital difficulties or common prescription drugs belongs in a tabloid, not on your blog.

vbspurs said...

He was sleep-cheating too.

Cheers,
Victoria

Freeman Hunt said...

"Here, before we do this, let's take Ambien."
"Okay. Why?"
"To make the sex better."
"Huh?"
"Yeah, I think I would enjoy sex with you more if I were sleepy and in a daze. Being nearly unconscious would be ideal."
"Oh.

Titus said...

Chances are if he was sleeping he had a hard on.

That's hot.

Joe said...

there are reports that substantial damage was done in the home before he fled/left

No there aren't, there are rumors and innuendo. This thing turned into farce days ago when the husband-abuse-is-bad crowd used the exploit-a-celebrity and make-shit-up feminist tactics to further their cause.

(I think the Ambien theory sounds very plausible. It also explains why this would happen at two in the morning and not at ten or eleven at night.)

FormerTucsonan said...

Ambien dosen't put you in a daze, though. I've had experience with Ambien sleep walkers, they can have lucid conversations and you can't tell they're sleep walking. There's no zombie like behavior or drifting in and out of consciousness. If he was snoring it was most likely that he was drunk and passed out.

Ann Althouse said...

"Now no one will want to see him as a role model."

Are you kidding? Everyone with an Ambien prescription is getting ideas!

Joe said...

What would make the deliciously ironic is if Elin only had suspicions of affairs and hadn't yet confronted her husband. Or had and he was denying it or said "it was a one time thing."

Ann Althouse said...

@art.the.nerd said It's funny when a commenter none of us remembers seeing before tells me what supposedly belongs on this blog. This post has numerous elements that are recurrent subjects on this blog: golf, drugs, driving, sex, marriage, evidence...

Ann Althouse said...

"Ambien dosen't put you in a daze, though. I've had experience with Ambien sleep walkers, they can have lucid conversations and you can't tell they're sleep walking. There's no zombie like behavior or drifting in and out of consciousness. If he was snoring it was most likely that he was drunk and passed out."

It's disturbing like what Jeffrey Dahmer did:

"The killing was just a means to an end. That was the least satisfactory part. I didn't enjoy doing that. That's why I tried to create living zombies with . . . acid and the -- the drill." Other interviews revealed that he simply did not want his victims to leave him. So he devised a plan whereby he would drill holes into the brain of his drugged victim and pour acid into the frontal lobes in hopes of creating a lobotomized zombie. He explained, "I wanted to see if it was possible to make -- again, it sounds really gross -- uh, zombies, people that would not have a will of their own, but would follow my instructions without resistance. So after that, I started using the drilling technique."

narrledudh said...

I have been using Ambien for my sleep apnea for a few years, and I have had sex. But never have I had sex while under Ambien's influence . . . hell, I don't eat or drive or do any of those things people report while using Ambien.

Well, I do snore, according to my wife and others who have had to sleep in close proximity.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, I see you said that there is NOT zombie-like behavior.

Is that so? What is the pre-sleep effect of Ambien? I thought you just fall into a dead sleep right away. How is that any fun unless only one person takes it and the other person is enjoying having his way with a will-less dead weight.

Titus said...

I watched the movie Dahlmer the other night on IFC. It was amazing. It was Dahlmer and next up the movie Ed Gein-go Wisconsin!

My husband and I are going to go to a sports center tonight and play ping pong. Is that gay?

Titus said...

The place we are going tonight is called Jillians and it is all sportsy and stuff. Think Buffalo Wings and Pool Tables for days.

Am I going to be able to pull this off?

Anxiety is creeping in at this moment.

bagoh20 said...

Two things:

1) I have incredible sex when I'm asleep as Titus points out.

2) Does this role-model-fail mean that Tiger will be Asian again? He's been black since he started winning. Now, the whites should adopt him. He's got the country club thing going on and his wife is a Nordic goddess.

Fred4Pres said...

Ambien sex?

Well you learn something new every day.

Still, I think you could definitely snore while unconscious. It is like sleep apnea. I do not see why it would be different, heck it might even be more likely.

John Lynch said...

It's interesting how one piece of information that doesn't fit a narrative can be more important than all the confirming details.

Titus said...

OMG, I just went on Jillians website and there is a "celebrity sighting" area and "dress code".

totally not going.

Gross.

Robin said...

Ricpic, that mother-in-law comment was funny.

AllenS said...

Sometimes, when you kick the absolute shit out of someone, and break their nose in the process, they sound like they're snoring when laying flat on their back unconsious, breathing.

david7134 said...

I think there is more to this lack of consciousness than we know. One thing that makes me very suspicious is the fact that Woods would not meet with the police. One reason for not meeting with them immediately is to avoid giving a urine sample. One of the commenters has indicated that his snoring is associated with a severe brain injury. That is true and you usually die or have very impaired function as time goes by. The easier explanation is that his wife had been on his case all day. From what I have been told, the best way of taking care of that situation is to pull out a very big roach and proceed to get stoned. I don't do this but the people I have seen that do have the reaction as described. If he interviewed the police, then he might be looking at a DUI. In addition, his wife could have gotten a domestic citation.

Woods is news and needs to be discussed. The reason is that he failed us. We allow our kids to aspire to be like this person and with his moral failure our children need to see the consequence of such actions. These actions should be severe to get the message across. As to the police handling of the problem, that should be called. I doubt that anyone reading this would have received kid glove care like he did.

William said...

Tiger had ambivalent sex with the cocktail waitress and ambient sex with his caddy on the back nine--very down low.

edutcher said...

In a weird way, I'm actually starting to feel a little sorry for this guy. He must have really hated the life he made for himself and this was the way he created to get out of it, subconsciously, of course.

And before anybody asks, this isn't meant as a defense, quite the opposite. He has humiliated his wife, family, and made things very rough for his kids. But, damn, to do everything you can to destroy yourself says something about his mental state.

vbspurs said...

He was sleep-cheating too.

Cheers,
Victoria


You are too good, Madame.

Titus said...

Chances are if he was sleeping he had a hard on.

That's hot.


No, that's normal.

traditionalguy said...

Yes Professor you are probably right so let me correct the statement that "now no one will want to see him as a role model again ". It should say that now no one who lives a golfer's life will want to see him as a role model any more than they do John Daly. And multitudes who like all night semi-conscious sex will see him as their new role model, but they never got up for early Saturday morning tee times anyway. I am feeling much older.

David said...

"One of the commenters has indicated that his snoring is associated with a severe brain injury."

No. I said snoring can be associated with a head injury. I did not say severe. Any loss of consciousness can result in snoring. Where the loss of consciousness involves a head injury, snoring can be evidence of a more severe injury, but can also result from a quickly recoverable KO.

While the accident at the end of the driveway is curious, there are many possible ways it could have happened--rapid acceleration and loss of control, inattention or distraction being obvious possibilities.

Pogo said...

Shoot.
I thought this was a post about Ambient music, and we were gonna get all Eno this and Fripp that and Basisnski's still cranking them out and Harold Budd is done and -oh- Eluvium and all that.


Seriously, isn't golf Ambien enough?

JohnAnnArbor said...

In other crime news, Amanda Knox was convicted over in Italy.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Honestly, if we could just make it where I wouldn't even remember this."
"!"
"That would really be sexy."
"Uh..."
"Drugs down the hatch. Alright, let's go. Validate me."

Rialby said...

@Titus: My husband and I are going to go to a sports center tonight and play ping pong. Is that gay?


Dude, you crack my sh&*t up. Funniest commenter on the site.

Btw, Jillians is a cheeseball place full of cheeseball chowdaheads. I assume you're going to the one on Lansdowne?

Alex said...

I was hoping Althouse would had a "crazy Ambien sex" tag. Alas, no such luck.

David said...

I took Ambien briefly quite a while ago and did not like it. I felt groggy and out of it the next day. It does put you out pretty quickly. I was sleeping alone at the time so have no sex stories to tell.

Wikipedia says that "[r]ecreational users claim that "fighting" the effects of the drug by forcing themselves to stay awake will sometimes cause vivid visuals and a body high." That might explain the sex enhancement.

Freeman Hunt said...

"You know what would REALLY get me?"
"No..."
"If you looked like a neon buffalo and I had a fever."

Horace said...

Ambien sex = great sex.

Only you can't remember it in the morning.

--

Word verification: undahsr

Undahsr, undancr, undndr & bltzin . . .

MamaM said...

I'm thinking a picture of "Titus from Althouse" would make an interesting addition to the 8 pages of celebrity pics on the Jillian's site!

Titus said...

Yes it is the one on Landsdowne.

What does one wear to play Ping Pong? I don't want to look gay and I don't want to try to look like I am coverin up my gayness by wearing a Bruin shirt and Sox cap.

This is hard.

What if my ping pong swing is a little too "swingy" if you know what I mean?

Titus said...

Please Jillians on Lansdowne please do not play a Lady Gaga song.

I am likely going to bounce a little if I hear her on the speakers.

David said...

"You know what would REALLY get me?"
"No..."
"If you looked like a neon buffalo and I had a fever."


Captain Freeman, this is Captain Titus.

Captain Titus . . . Captain Freeman.

Call it in the air, Captain Titus.

Captain Titus: Heads! (smirking)

{Captain Freeman sniggers, falls down laughing, does Neon Buffalo dance.}

Penny said...

"Ambien sex = great sex.

Only you can't remember it in the morning."

That might make the parting of strangers even sweeter.

HT said...

Listen to the 911 call. Tiger speaks on it. Listen to it closely.

Youngblood said...

art.the.nerd wrote:

"Ann, I would like to think that you're classier than this. Speculation about the Tiger Woods accident and any possible relationship with marital difficulties or common prescription drugs belongs in a tabloid, not on your blog."

It would have been better if you'd worked in the fact that Althouse is a law professor. The traditional version is, "...and you, a law professor!"

Maybe next time, you might want to try something like, "[This] belongs in a tabloid, not on the blog of a law professor!" Something like that.

Methadras said...

Oh God. New monsters for movies; Ambien Zombies.

HT said...

For those interested, Tiger says, "I hit a tree."

Listen to it. I don't think anyone unconscious can talk.

Donna B. said...

Ambien worked for me only if I went to bed immediately after taking it. If I stayed up, it was like I hadn't taken anything at all, or had a harder time falling asleep.

Isn't it strange how drugs can have such different effects on different people?

save_the_rustbelt said...

Rumor has it Rachel was texting Tiger at night. I'm guessing Tiger was asleep and wifey was reading the texts.

Wifey wakes Tiger from a deep sleep and begins the attack.

Sleepy and confused Tiger runs for the exit.

Was it drugs? Could be.

MadisonMan said...

As it has been explained to me, ambien blocks the formation of short-term memory. So if you take it, and then do something/converse/whatever, you remember nothing.

It doesn't necessarily put you into a deeper sleep -- but of course you could be in that part of your REM cycle when you wake up.

MadisonMan said...

I should have said -- when you are awakened by your very angry wife.

vbspurs said...

Rumor has it Rachel was texting Tiger at night. I'm guessing Tiger was asleep and wifey was reading the texts.

NICE. That is one of the first deductions I've read of this case that actually makes sense.

vbspurs said...

Elliott Althouse (no relation)

Dude. What are the chances!

elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elizabeth said...

(edited spelling error - s/be sleeping/snoring myself...)

Apparently straight, not drugged up sex, isn't satisfaction enough when cheating on a spouse...
FORE~play! ;D

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Michael said...

"Woods is news and needs to be discussed. The reason is that he failed us. We allow our kids to aspire to be like this person and with his moral failure our children need to see the consequence of such actions."

I read stuff like this and I think I'm from another planet. I'm pretty sure I never allowed my kids to draw deep lessons from the life of a guy who hits a ball with a stick. He's an athlete, that's right up there with stripper and acrobat as far as I'm concerned-- entertainment, but nothing serious.

DaveW said...

Is it all fitting together now?

It fits together better with the Ambien but it is still a bit fuzzy to me.

Someone in a previous thread linked the crash report from the police. I had gone over and looked at it and was puzzled. The time is shown as (IIRC) around 2:30am. It shows him driving out of his driveway, running over a median, heading over to his left to an intersecting street, overshooting the turn, having a couple of impacts with fixed objects before coming to rest after hitting a tree in his next door neighbor's yard.

Assuming these are very nice large houses, a safe assumption I think, we're talking about maybe a couple hundred yards of travel. Ambien would explain why he was running into fixed objects all over the place at 2:30am. Someone above suggests the girlfriend was texting him and the wife was reading it while he was asleep. OK, if that's true I now get why he's fleeing the house at 2:30am after taking a sleeping pill.

The lack of a DUI charge could be explained by the private security response to the scene prior to the police arriving. Gated neighborhood Security shows up, packs him off to the hospital and calls police.

So yeah, it starts to fit together better now. What I'm still not quite getting is the golf club assault. Mrs. Woods, in the driveway, with a 9-iron I guess.

seysmetou said...

This all happened at 2:30 am. Something was going on in that home before the crash.
Scenario: Tiger came home late after a night of Ambien sex with some mistress and was caught by his wife. A big fight ensued that became physical. Tiger tried to flee but wife chased him with golf club. Trying to dodge her, Tiger crashed. After the crash, it took some time for the ambulance to arrive and under the influence of the Ambien, Tiger laid down fell asleep.

Ricardo said...

Tiger mistress #4 is lawyering up. Obviously this story is more than about "an affair". It's about a hound-dog on the prowl.

DADvocate said...

Tiger's wife caught wind of what had been happening, Ambien sex and all. Like a Siren, she lured him into taking Ambien with the promise of great sex.

BUT! When Tiger was sufficiently groggy, she attacked him scratching and kicking. He tried to escape the escapade in his Escalade. Due to the effects of the Ambien, he didn't get far and Elin was right behind, club in hand.

vbspurs said...

To paraphrase a comment about this on TMZ:

Tiger getting into a car accident in his gated community -- boring. Tiger swerving all over the place with his Escalade, hitting a fire hydrant and tree whilst being chased by his crazyass Viking wife with a loft wedge, after a night of Ambien-fueled sex -- NOW THAT'S A STORY.

Cheers,
Victoria

amba said...

I suggested Ambien in your comments when it first happened. Without the sex, however.

Oberon said...

This one seems to have run its course, but I would note that the appeal of Ambien sex is that you *struggle* sleep during intercourse. It creates a high, a lasting high. No one falls asleep. It isn't like having sex with a dead fish. Think of a time when you were really tired, but you really wanted sex, and had it. That's what it's like. Apparently, a lot of readers here are surprised by how common it is (not that it is that common, but it is something that is known to be done by "younger" people)...

doctorstevenpark said...

The fact the he snored while on his back, and was taking Ambien, and with the smallish size of his jaws, he most likely has a sleep-breathing problem. Take a look at his pictures on my post about this issue:
http://doctorstevenpark.com/what-you-can-learn-from-tiger-woods-snoring

If you look at his father's facial features, he most likely had obstructive sleep apnea.

doctorstevenpark said...

Interestingly, a recent study showed that good golfers who had their sleep apnea treated improved their handicap by three strokes.

http://doctorstevenpark.com/can-sleep-apnea-treatment-improve-your-golf-score