The world's most famous golfer Tiger Woods dismissed "malicious" rumours following his one-car accident and asked for privacy for his family.
"This situation is my fault, and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me," Woods said in a statement released on his website on Sunday. "I'm human, and I'm not perfect."
Woods on Sunday postponed for a third time a request by Florida police for a voluntary interview about the one-car accident, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
A rising chorus of questions surrounded Woods' two days of near silence about the 2 a.m. Friday accident at the end of his driveway in the exclusive residential area of Isleworth near Orlando, Florida.
His Cadillac SUV Escalade hit a fire hydrant and a tree. Woods, 33, who was alone in the car, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he was treated and released for cuts and bruising.
Local officials told the Sentinel that his wife Elin had smashed in the back window of the SUV with a golf club in order to get him out of the car and onto the ground, where he apparently was unconscious for a short time.
The incident and ensuing silence have provoked questions about where he was going at that time of night and why his wife moved him against widely known directives from rescue professionals to leave accident victims in place until they get there.
His silence has revived scandal sheet gossip about an alleged affair.
"Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumours that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible," he wrote in his statement.
Woods, one of the world's top-earning athletes who revolutionised the sports-marketing industry, is normally circumspect about his private life and has so far avoided the gossip pages despite 13 years in the world limelight.
He said in his statement that Elin had "acted courageously" and that the incident had been "stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me".
"This is a private matter, and I want to keep it that way," he wrote. "I would ... ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be."