OLYMPIC skiing champ Lindsey Vonn is hiding horrifying family secrets – including a shocking suicide attempt – from her new boyfriend Tiger Woods, and sources say that could destroy their relationship.
An in-depth ENQUIRER investigation reveals that Lindsey comes from a wildly dysfunctional family plagued with mental illness, heavy debts and kidnapping.
Lindsey’s gorgeous smile at the recent Masters golf tournament, where Tiger competed, masked a family tragedy that climaxed when her parents’ 18-year marriage crashed and burned in June 2002 amid allegations of depression and domestic violence.
Lindsey’s father Alan Kildow, a, former junior skiing champ and attorney, told a court-appointed investigator during the couple’s divorce that his wife Linda, also an attorney, suffered a stroke right after Lindsey was born in 1984, and basically checked out of family life.
“He said that her stroke was a huge setback and she had been depressed after that,” states the investigator’s 2003 report in court papers – obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER. “(Kildow) said (his wife) reported she had tried to kill herself with an overdose of phenobarbital.
“After her stroke, sher would say she had a compulsion to steer the car off the road. He thought she had told the children about these thoughts.”
At the time, the investigator also spoke with Lindsey, who charged: “Mom isn’t capable of taking care of the kids.” She said she and her four siblings were doing everything, including housecleaning, laundry and preparing meals.
As a result, according to court papers, their home was chaotic – with clothing and toys strewn everywhere.
Tiger’s childhood was far different as his parents worked together as a team to provide a stable base for the future golf superstar. In contrast, Lindsey’s dad claims that he struggled to raise his kids as the primary caregiver, commuting back and forth between their home in Minnesota and Vail, Colo., where he’d secured a condo so Lindsey could get better ski coaching.
Kildow also hired a succession of nannies for the kids, who bounced back and forth between their parents. And they all ended up in court-appointed therapy.
After splitting from his wife, Kildow took a girlfriend, Terri Blomfelt. She apparently had the approval of Lindsey, who shocked the world when she and Tiger announced their relationship on their Facebook pages on March 18.
“Lindsey appeared to be very defensive about her dad…and why his affair wasn’t ‘a big deal,’” said the investigator. “Lindsey’s information was notable for its totally negative view of her mother.”
An angry Kildow claimed in court papers that Linda – who now uses her maiden name Krohn – was jealous of Lindsey’s close relationship with her dad and bizarrely once told him: “You should just marry her!”
During the hellish divorce, Linda accused Kildow of “whipping the children with a belt” and once trying to strangle her, according to the investigator. “However, she said that the verbal and emotional abuse she experienced was so commonplace that she did not think the children would recognize this behavior as a problem.”
Linda also filed for temporary custody – claiming the children had been kidnapped while on a trip to visit their paternal grandparents with her husband. In startling court papers, obtained by The ENQUIRER, she charged that her estranged husband “has kidnapped my children and has kept them from me…He has been moving them around the state of Wisconsin with his parents, his sister, and various other people, hiding them from me.”
But the youngsters insisted on staying with their grandparents and said they did not want to go with their mother, according to the documents.
At one point, the battling spouses filed restraining orders against each other.
All the while, the family had been sinking deeply into debt. Kildow ran up $18,000 in charges on an American Express card, and Linda complained he would write “very large checks” for cash and spend large sums, including a $3,500 stay at the Ritz-Carlton. The ENQUIRER dis covered Kildow also got hammered with multiple federal tax liens amounting to more than a half-million dollars, despite his $250,000 salary.
At the time of the divorce, Linda’s savings account held just $16 and her checking account was overdrawn by $100. Her husband had a checking account with just $750 and no savings. In divorce papers, Kildow told the court that he had been making “regular payments on the great majority of our financial obligations” while Linda was “engaged full time in sunbathing, getting manicures, taking art classes, receiving physical training from her personal trainer and engaging a headhunter to locate a suitable position for her.”
To make matters even worse, Kildow has repeatedly run afoul of the law, amassing multiple driving violations including speeding and driving on a suspended license. His most recent bust came on March 15, due to an outstanding warrant regarding a 2012 traffic charge.
Insiders fear that when Lindsey’s new beau Tiger, 37, finds out about her horrendous background, he’ll be shocked. “If their relationship becomes more serious, there is going to be big trouble,” said an observer. “When it comes to raising a family, their home life couldn’t be more different.
“Lindsey is a lone wolf with no role model of a strong family or caring mother to draw on. This difference is bound to cause trouble.”
In the meantime, it seems that about the only thing Lindsey’s parents DO agree on is Tiger.
Linda told The ENQUIRER: “We are excited about Lindsey and Tiger being together. We really like him.”
And her dad told us: “I like Tiger Woods as a person, and I support Lindsey in whatever she does.”
Added a source: “Considering all Lindsey’s been through, it’s a miracle that she could become such a shining superstar in her own right.”