Bish­op­scourt re­hab cen­tre ups se­cu­rity over Tiger ru­mours

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LYNNETTE JOHNS

A UNI­FORMED se­cu­rity guard walks quickly to the high wrought-iron gate at the sound of an ap­proach­ing car, a wary ex­pres­sion on his face, but backs off hastily and dis­ap­pears as the ve­hi­cle cruises by.

The view of the Bish­op­scourt man­sion is screened by a creeper-clad trel­lis, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to see be­yond the drive­way. If golfer Tiger Woods is in­deed holed up at Mon­trose Place, there is lit­tle chance of catch­ing a glimpse of him.

Most of the high-walled homes in this up­mar­ket sub­urb on the lower slopes of Ta­ble Moun­tain have CCTV cam­eras.

The exclusive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity has had to bump up its se­cu­rity this week as ru­mours abounded that Woods had booked into Mon­trose Place.

Founded by Johnny Graaff, 30, a re­cov­ered drug ad­dict, Mon­trose Place is the epit­ome of lux­ury.

All the action hap­pens at the back of the villa, where the views of the moun­tain are breath­tak­ing.

Clients can spend up to R75 000 a month here, their pri­vacy guar­an­teed.

Rea­sons to leave the villa could in­clude a trip to the Graaff fam­ily farm De Gren­del, where Johnny’s brother, Robert, has Arab horses which are used for “equine-as­sisted psy­chother­apy”.

The gar­den is African-zen in­spired, with wooden bridges across koi ponds, a pool, rolling lawns and spec­tac­u­lar views.

Clients are of­fered chef-pre­pared meals, coun­selling, and ac­cess to a psy­chi­a­trist.

World-weary clients are of­fered a range of ther­a­peu­tic treat­ments. If Woods is in­deed there he could be dab­bling in art, or ex­press­ing him­self in drama.

Swim­ming in the 15m pool would have been ruled out, as he­li­copters hov­ered over the es­tate this week, with pho­tog­ra­phers wield­ing long lenses hop­ing for exclusive pic­tures.

The mod­ern gym of­fers the ser­vices of an on-site bioki­neti­cist, who as­sesses clients on ad­mis­sion and de­signs per­son­alised train­ing pro­grammes.

Chances that Woods would leave the sanc­tu­ary to at­tend sup­port meet­ings would be slim, a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion spe­cial­ist said this week. “Mon­trose would not want to break his cover.”

This is the same place where Lord Irvine Laid­law was treated for sex ad­dic­tion in May last year.

Bil­lion­aire Laid­law was ex­posed in the UK for fly­ing pros­ti­tutes to his £6 000-a-night (R72 000) Monte Carlo ho­tel suite for sex par­ties. He later ad­mit­ted he was a sex ad­dict and had been fight­ing it his en­tire adult life.

Woods dis­ap­peared from the pub­lic eye at the end of Novem­ber af­ter claims he had had 14 lovers. Some of his spon­sors, Ac­cen­ture, Gil­lette, Ga­torade and Tag Heuer have pulled the plug on him, and there are re­ports his wife, Elin Norde­gren, wants a di­vorce.

Lo­cal and in­ter na­tional me­dia spec­u­la­tion that Woods had checked into Mon­trose Place first sur­faced two weeks ago.

Graaff is no stranger to priv­i­lege – he is the great­grand­son of Sir David Graaff, grand­son of Sir De Vil­liers Graaff (leader of the old United Party), and son of for­mer Na­tional Party MP Sir David Graaff. The fam­ily are wealthy cat­tle, grape, wine and fruit farm­ers.

Most of Mon­trose Place’s clien­tele are for­eign, and since open­ing three years ago, Graaff has opened offices in Lon­don, Geneva and Paris.

Mon­trose Place is South Africa’s first lux­ury ex­tend­ed­care re­treat spe­cial­is­ing in ad­dic­tion and other com­pul­sive be­hav­iours.

Mean­while, Har­mony House ad­dic­tion coun­sel­lor Ni­cholas McDiarmid said al­though sex ad­dic­tion was not yet de­fined as an ill­ness in the cur­rent Di­ag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­ual (DSM IV), it would prob­a­bly be in­cluded in the next edi­tion.

McDiarmid said there has been an in­crease in the num­ber of high achiev­ers, like sports and busi­ness peo­ple, seek­ing treat­ment for sex ad­dic­tion.

“The pub­lic spot­light brings pres­sure to bear on their masks of calm­ness and cer­tainty and they have to be stronger than oth­ers, so it is not un­com­mon for them to reach for ex­ter­nal ‘help’.”

If Woods was a sex ad­dict, he needed to be sup­ported and not ridiculed, McDiarmid said, as he had an ill­ness that needed to be treated.

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