- (Reuters/Shaun Best)
Tiger Woods' half brother is ill and in dire need, and yet he never hears from his famous relative, according to the family.
Tiger Woods' half brother, Kevin Woods, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, and has been battling the disease ever since. His constant struggle pay for medical care is causing him to lose his San Jose home for a lack of finances, but their sibling-one of the wealthiest athletes ever- hasn't called him since 2006, say relatives.
"Nobody's asking for money here, but [a caregiver] really would be nice for Kevin," Earl Woods Jr., another half-sibling of Tiger's, told ESPN.com's Rick Reilly. "Kevin's losing his home. He needs a caregiver and he can't have a caregiver and keep his home at the same time."
Kevin is now confined to a wheelchair. Despite the illness though, Earl says even a call from Tiger would be great motivation to the sickly cousin.
"I leave messages. I leave updates on Kevin, but for whatever reason I don't get a response. … Kevin loves Tiger. A call from Tiger would really pump Kevin up. When he doesn't call, it just makes him feel worse," said Earl Woods Jr.
Earl, Kevin, and their sister Royce all share the same father, Earl Woods, as does Tiger. They, though, are the product of his first marriage to Barbara Gray, whereas Tiger is the product of his second marriage to Kultida Punsawad. They are also 17 to 20 years older than the golf pro.
Although the three siblings say they aren't aware of any specific fallout, they allege that they've lost touch with Tiger since he was "about 15 or 16"- the beginning of his meteoric rise to sports stardom.
"I'm very disappointed in Tiger. Before he got all famous, they were in touch a lot," Barbara Gray told Reilly. She and the siblings claim that they haven't heard back from Tiger since 2006- when the family came together because of Earl Woods Sr.'s death.
For all the accusations, Tiger does keep in touch with one relative- Earl Jr.'s daughter, Cheyenne Woods, who is also a pro golfer. She won the ACC women's championship last year, and after the victory, told reporters that she hears from him.
"We talk a bit here and there," the Wake Forest golfer told USA Today. "He's busy. I'm busy. We have our two separate lives."
Also, the timing of the ESPN interview is certainly off-putting. Tiger begins the very first round of the famed Masters golf tournament today, and the story is timed with the start of the first round.
Tiger's half-siblings aren't the only ones taking advantage of the sports figure's return to the limelight. His swing coach, Hank Haney, wrote a tell-all book titled "The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods" released a few days ago.
In addition, three of his alleged former mistresses, adult actresses Joslyn James, Devon James, and Holly Sampson, starred in a pornographic movie about their time with the golf star titled "3 Mistresses: Notorious Tales of the World's Greatest Golfer" released two days ago.
For all the hangers-on seemingly looking for 15 minutes of fame, Earl Woods Jr. claims that Tiger's responsibility is a moral one, not a monetary one.
"We haven't asked Tiger for a dime," said the sibling. "Maybe when you see the world like he does, you don't see what other people are going through."
Tiger's spokesman declined to comment on the report.