EXCLUSIVE: ‘It ruined my life.’ Tiger Woods’s ex-mistress Rachel Uchitel says being forced to sign NDA AFTER their infamous 2009 affair was exposed was ‘abusive’ – as golfer’s new ex fights his bid to keep her quiet
- Rachel Uchitel, 47, claims there was ‘an abusive nature’ in being forced to sign an NDA only after her infamous affair with Tiger Woods was exposed in 2009
- Speaking to DailyMail.com, Uchitel argued her situation is different to that of his most recent ex Erica Herman, who signed an NDA at the start of their romance
- Herman is now suing Woods over the non-disclosure agreement she claims she was forced to sign and for ‘severe emotional damage’
Tiger Woods’s former mistress Rachel Uchitel says signing a nondisclosure agreement in the days after their affair was revealed in 2009 ‘ruined my life’ and left her unable to defend herself from public attacks on her character.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, she said being forced to cover up Woods’s ‘bad behavior’ left her unable to get a job or shake off the scandal, and ultimately led to her going bankrupt after the golfer repeatedly pursued her in court.
Woods, 47, is currently embroiled in another battle over an NDA after his now ex-girlfriend of six years Erica Herman, 39, sued the golfer in a bid to have the agreement she signed overturned.
Rachel Uchitel, 47, claims signing an NDA after her affair with Tiger Woods was revealed in 2009 left her unable to defend herself from public attacks and has had a lasting negative impact on her life
Woods is now embroiled in another legal battle with his ex-girlfriend Erica Herman who is suing him for severe emotional damage and claims the NDA she was allegedly forced to sign is being wrongfully enforced on her. The couple were last seen together at the US Open in August 2022
DailyMail.com exclusively revealed Herman is also suing Woods for ‘extreme emotional damage’ and claims he booted her out of their Hobe Sound mansion through ‘trickery’ after he allegedly encouraged her to take a vacation then told her she was being thrown out when she got to the airport.
Despite the superficial similarities, Uchitel says Herman’s situation is entirely different to hers – Herman signed her NDA voluntarily while she was pressured into it after her affair with Woods became public and some of his other mistresses gave interviews about their flings with the golfer.
She said: ‘There are people who get into relationships with celebrities and they go to work for celebrities. They sign the NDA beforehand – this is what Erica did. She signed that.
‘Then there are NDAs after the fact: they are people who have been involved in or witnessed an event, who agree not to talk about a behavior or an incident to participate in a cover up, so to speak. Those are completely different types of NDAs.
‘I want people to be aware that when somebody goes to work for or gets involved in a relationship with a celebrity, you are signing that because you witness a lot of things that are private about somebody who’s very public in their lives and they want to keep it that way for a number of different reasons. That’s why you sign that.
‘The question is, is it fair to come out after the fact and say now I want to make that null and void?
‘That’s a very different thing than, I signed an NDA to cover up bad behavior.
While there are similarities, Uchitel says Herman’s situation is entirely different to hers since Herman signed an NDA voluntarily while she was pressured into it after her affair with Woods became public
Woods and Uchitel’s affair took place when he was married to Elin Nordegren, whom he married in 2004, and resulted in them ending their six-year marriage. The former couple is seen in 2009
‘There was an abusive nature in getting me to sign that [NDA] to keep me quiet and there was abusiveness in keeping me quiet for 14 years after.
‘But she’s up against a machine now.’
Although her affair with Woods happened 14 years ago, Uchitel says her daughter Wyatt, 10, has been taunted over the incident at school and she remains angry that Woods has been able to reboot his career while she took the blame for ending his marriage to model Elin Nordegren, 43.
She said: ‘I will not be gagged because it is the worst feeling, the worst feeling to have your voice tied and to not be able to tell your side of the story.
‘In the absence of truth, people make up anything they want and that is so debilitating. You lose all sense of power, all sense of self-esteem and people judge you not based on facts.
‘It’s not a way to live and it really can ruin your life and it’s not worth the money. Ever. It was not worth it because so many of those things said were not true. ‘
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Uchitel – who was educated at the cult-linked CEDU school in Running Springs, California – is no stranger to tragedy.
Her father Bob died of a cocaine overdose in 1990 when she was 15 and in 2001, her fiancé James O’Grady was killed in the south tower of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 attacks.
Then working as a producer at Bloomberg, a photo of a tearful Uchitel clutching his picture made front pages around the world.
After a short-lived marriage to high school friend Steven Ehrenkranz, in 2005 Uchitel packed her bags and moved cross-country to Las Vegas where she landed a job as director of VIP relations at upscale nightclub Tao.
It was there in 2008 that she was introduced to Woods through mutual friend Derek Jeter with the relationship turning romantic the following year.
Tiger Woods and ex Erica Herman (pictured at the White House in 2019) split after six years of dating and she’s now taking him to court over an NDA she claims she was forced to sign
Woods and Herman, pictured at golf tournament in Atlanta in 2018, have now split after six years
Herman claims she was tricked to leave Woods’s $48 million mansion in Hobe Sound, Florida. She says the golfer suggested she go on vacation and when she got to the airport his representatives told her she had been locked out
Then, it all came crashing down when Uchitel was photographed checking into the same hotel as Woods during the Australian Masters – pictures that then ran in the National Enquirer on November 25, 2009.
Although Uchitel spoke to Woods’ then wife Elin Nordegren, now 43, at his behest to deny the affair story was true, the Swede was unconvinced and spent that afternoon scrolling through the golfer’s phone.
There, she found the name Jaimee Grubbs in his call log and left a message on her voicemail.
‘You know who this is’, she said, ‘because you are f***ing my husband’.
The following evening, a sleepless Nordegren scrolled through the phone a second time where she found a message Woods had sent to Uchitel. It read: ‘You are the only one I’ve ever loved.’
When Uchitel replied, a furious Nordegren called her and said: ‘I knew it was you. I know everything.’
Woken by his irate wife, Woods fled the home – pursued by Nordegren clutching one of his golf clubs – and jumped into his Cadillac Escalade SUV.
Pulling out of the driveway at 30mph, Woods crashed into a fire hydrant before smashing into a tree and winding up unconscious and bloody in the street.
The incident turbocharged the story: a voicemail left by Woods for a mistress was published by US Weekly, more than a dozen other women then came forward to say they had also slept with the golfer, and on December 11, the now-47-year-old finally admitted to what he did.
For Uchitel, unable to give her side due to the NDA she had signed, the next year saw her repeatedly raked over in public – at one point even being dubbed a ‘hooker’ by Joy Behar on The View. Behar later apologized.
In a separate court filing uncovered by DailyMail.com, Herman is suing Woods for $30 million for ‘severe’ emotional damage
Herman and Woods were regular attendees of the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York
Her notoriety meant Uchitel couldn’t move on.
She sold a few interviews and appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2010 but that only led to court – with Woods’s lawyers pursuing her for allegedly breaking her NDA.
In mediation, her $5million payment was cut to $2million – $600,000 of which had to be paid to her lawyer Gloria Allred.
She later got that back after proving breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty on realizing Allred had represented between five and 10 other women in matters related to Woods.
Around the same time, she met and married Matt Hahn – the father of her daughter Wyatt – but the couple divorced in 2014.
Her childrenswear boutiques in New York and Scarsdale failed to take off – hamstrung by her public notoriety – and in 2020, she filed for bankruptcy.
At the same time, she gave an interview – for free – to HBO for documentary series, Tiger, which resulted in her being sued again by Woods’ lawyers when it aired in early 2021.
They attempted to overturn her bankruptcy in a bid to force her to pay back the $2million left from her NDA payment but were foiled.
Uchitel told DailyMail.com: ‘Right now, the biggest story in the news is about that Vanderpump Rules cheating scandal.
‘People are just talking about it like it’s the biggest thing ever but that’s a reality show. This was my life, not a reality show.
‘You know who talks about it today? My daughter, who’s 10. They bring it up in her school.
‘It’s incredible – it happened before she was born and it’s brought up. “Oh your mom, she’s Tiger Woods’s girl”.
Uchitel is now launching a podcast – Miss Understood which is available on Apple and Spotify from March 14
Uchitel says the fallout from 2009 scandal even affects her 10-year-old daughter Wyatt today, even though she wasn’t born at the time. She is pictured with her daughter whom she shares with her ex-husband former Penn State footballer Matt Hahn
‘It’s not a joke. It’s not a reality show. It’s my reality. I’m forever tied to that. I’ve never been allowed to move on from that.
‘People are making money from it – it’s not like, oh it’s a reality show, are they going to get a new series on Bravo?
‘It’s like, hello, I went bankrupt because of that. I couldn’t get a job because of that. Still.
‘I have to hustle to figure out what I’m going to do next and how I’m going to get my kid into school.
‘People don’t get that. I don’t understand why people don’t see how serious this is for me.’
After an ill-fated attempt to reinvent herself as an ambassador for sugar daddy site Seeking Arrangement, which came about after DailyMail.com revealed she had had a fling with a man she met via the site, Uchitel is now launching a podcast – Miss Understood which is available on Apple and Spotify from March 14.
The new podcast will include episodes where Uchitel explains what it was like to be at the center of a media storm after her affair with Woods was exposed, as well as interviews with stars who have endured similar trials – among them Stormy Daniels who infamously had an affair with President Trump – and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
She said she found making it liberating.
‘The reason I’m doing it is because I haven’t had a voice for 14 years and I’ve finally found a platform for me to have a voice.
‘I do want to speak – but I also want to give a platform to other people who I feel should be reconsidered.’
Uchitel added: ‘I want to tell my story and shed light on my story from my side but I also want to give other people a platform to be able to tell their story.
‘It’s people who I feel the media has narrated their version of things because that’s what happened to me and that wasn’t fair at all. It ruined my life.’
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