Vanity Fair: MJ and Barkley Lead Tiger Astray, Calls Out Earl Woods

While news about Tiger Woods hanging around Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley is nothing new, the idea that a member of Woods' inner circle reporting that they are to blame for his recent sex scandal is certainly newsworthy.

According to a 14-page article in the recent Vanity Fair, former Woods lawyer John Merchant tells the magazine to stay away from Jordan and Barkley... and in rather colorful terms:

"I told him, 'Stay away from that son of a bitch [Jordan], because he doesn't have anything to offer to the f- - -ing world in which he lives except playing basketball, which he did yesterday,' " lawyer John Merchant told the latest edition of Vanity Fair magazine, which hits newsstands today.

Apparently, Barkley may have also been a slight instigator:

Tiger temptress and Las Vegas nightclub hostess Jamie Jungers added, "One of the times [Woods] arrived in town, he texted me, 'I'm gambling with Charles Barkley. Text me when you're here, and I'll tell the gate you're coming.'

What the article doesn't specifically state, however, is how either Jordan or Barkley had anything to do with Tiger agreeing to cheat on his wife. Granted, neither MJ nor Sir Charles have been saints during their respective careers, but even Tiger has admitted that any mistakes that were made were soley his responsibility.

The Vanity Fair article will also go deeper into why Merchant is a "former lawyer" of the Woods estate, including the following:

In 1996, when a 21-year-old Woods scored a $40 million endorsement deal with Nike, Merchant said he called out Tiger's dad, Earl, for grabbing $1 million of the deal. Merchant said he was fired the next morning and Tiger was then surrounded with yes men and corporate enablers.

Meanwhile, Earl Woods, aside from being a money-grubber, also was uncouth, some sources said.

He was once given a "Father of the Year" award from an organization -- and showed up at the coat-and-tie affair "in these little hot pants -- short shorts -- and a golf shirt, and he's got a big, old vodka gimlet going and a cigarette burning, and he's sound asleep, just hammered, sh- -faced," a source told the mag.