Sarasota mom's paternity case against Tiger Woods dismissed

7:52 PM, Aug 17, 2010   |    comments
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Melinda Brinling, aka Devon James

UPDATE: Tuesday, a Manatee County judge threw out the paternity case against Tiger Woods. The Sarasota woman, who filed the petition, Devon James, failed to show up in court for the hearing and the judge found she does not have custody of the child she is seeking child support for. 

Sarasota, Florida -  For the first time, 30-year-old Devon James of Sarasota is talking about her alleged relationship with professional golfer Tiger Woods. She claims he's the father of her 9-year-old son, Austin.

James says she met Tiger Woods in Hawaii in 2000 during a PGA tour. She says they exchanged phone numbers and agreed to get together if he ever visited Florida. In court documents, she claims to have had sex with Woods in the Crescent Beach area, south of St. Augustine. That encounter, she says, happened at the end of March that year.

She says it was during that encounter when she got pregnant.

On June 18th of this year, though, James filed a petition at the Manatee County Courthouse to determine the paternity of her son. She is also asking for child support and all medical fees associated with the birth of her son, even though she doesn't have custody of Austin. Her parental rights were terminated and her parents have legally adopted him.

Click here to read the paternity petition (PDF)

When asked why she waited nine years, she says she never told anyone about Tiger's alleged connection to her son because she was scared her family wouldn't accept a mixed race child. James says, "I have a problem facing things head on. If there's a problem and I don't know what to do about it, you know, I won't deal with it."

10 Connects has found court documents filed back in 2002 that clearly show another man is a 99.99 percent match to being her son's father.  Pele Watkins is not white, either. We showed the documents to James, who says she never saw Watkins take the test. "I honestly can say I know nothing about this because I didn't see him get swabbed."

DOCUMENT: Genetic testing results for paternity of Austin Brinling

James admits she's had a troubled past. She says she was molested from the age of 6 to 17 and battled a drug addiction for four months. Back in December, she was arrested for prostitution.

She adds she is not coming forward now for publicity for her career. She says her son is curious about his eye and skin color. She says she believes he should know the truth. 

Devon James also has two young daughters by her first husband. Her ex-husband is caring for them.





Tammie Fields, 10 Connects

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