Tiger Woods would have long been exposed as a love rat, if only a People magazine reporter would have written about his philandering ways.
Steve Helling, who has now written a book, titled Tiger on the ace golfer, said that he had a chance to expose Woods as a cheater long before his scandal broke in November 2009 - but chose not to.
"Over the years, I had heard rumours of Tiger's partying - drunken nights at the clubs, dirty dancing with other women, phone numbers slipped to pretty blonds - but I didn''t follow up on the tips," the New York Daily News quoted Helling as saying in the tome.
And Helling concealed all this because he didn''t want to be cut off from the golden golfer.
"Negative coverage of Tiger - or even positive coverage that wasn''t approved and micromanaged - would often result in swift, permanent excommunication from the Tiger Woods camp. It was in everyone's best interest to sweep the rumours under the rug," he wrote.
And now that the cat is out of the bag, Helling is spilling the beans too.
"Marriage hadn't changed Tiger's appetite for sex, and he was always on the prowl for women," he said of Woods.
He claimed that Woods was apparently looking around as soon as he and Elin Nordegren said "I do" in 2004.
According to Helling, a television producer source said: "[Tiger] dated a lot of girls even after he was married to Elin. When he was filming some commercials at Universal Studios, he asked out a few girls, and this was after he was married. If they said no, he'd move on.''
Helling insists that he wasn't the only one who ignored the whispers of Tiger''s infidelities.
He claims that a club owner in Florida who saw Tiger "drinking and dancing with a woman who wasn't his wife" in 2006 called several weeklies with the story.
"No one returned his calls, and the one person he spoke with told him that they weren't interested in the story," said Helling.
And that’s why Tiger stayed in bed with his mistresses - and out of the headlines - during his supposedly squeaky-clean 13 years in the public eye, which got shattered in the past months.
"It took 13 calculated years to meticulously shape his image. It took two weeks to destroy it,” said Helling.