In Sweden, business as usual for Tiger's in-laws

Thomas Nordegren's popular Swedish radio talk show on Wednesday included the usual discussion of current events, anecdotes from his time as a foreign correspondent and an interview with former ABBA member Benny Andersson.

Absent, as usual, was any mention of his famous daughter and son-in-law — Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods.

While both of Nordegren's parents are celebrities in their own right in Sweden, they have managed to maintain a “business as usual” approach without facing anything like the horde of journalists and paparazzi scampering to get the latest details about Woods or his wife back in Florida.

Elin's mother, Barbro Holmberg, a well-known Swedish politician and former migration minister, did get thrown into the media spotlight when she was rushed to the hospital from Woods' house outside Orlando this month.

But when she returned to work this week as county governor of Gavleborg in central Sweden, the focus was not on Woods but about handling a crisis involving the closing of an LM Ericsson plant in her region.

Both Holmberg and Thomas Nordegren repeatedly have refused to comment on their daughter's marriage ordeal, and it's a position most local media are politely respecting.

Holmberg did find a Swedish tabloid journalist waiting outside her house when she went back to work this week, but simply gave her standard answer — “I don't talk to media about my private life” — before heading off to a meeting about the laid-off plant workers.

Thomas Nordegren has, as expected, been asked by his listeners to comment on Woods' admitted infidelity, and briefly addressed the requests last week.

“I do, of course, have an opinion about both the Internet gossip and media's treatment,” he said. “But now I view it as my biggest task to support my daughter and my grandchildren. So to bring that up in my own program would be inappropriate and not in line with the programming rules. So enough about this.”

Although his show usually focuses on current events and interviews with other journalists and artists, he has been true to his word — ignoring the Woods saga.

In Wednesday's show, Nordegren discussed issues ranging from Swedes' view on adopting the Euro currency to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and ABBA's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nordegren used his normal relaxed style in teasing Andersson about the pop band's credentials — “How much 'rock' is ABBA, really?” — but did seem hesitant to go into more gossipy subjects.

When another guest brought up the other celebrity marriage that has captivated Swedish tabloids lately — singer Paul Anka's Swedish wife, Anna, was forced to deny this week that the couple is getting a divorce — Nordegren was quick to change the subject.

“Let's move on,” he said.

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