Uchitel, 46, became known as one of the pro golfer’s “other women” in 2009 when his sex scandal made headlines.
Now, a New York Times report about the star’s attempts to salvage her reputation shines a spotlight on the strife she has over the multi-million dollar nondisclosure agreement she signed at the behest of her then-attorney Gloria Allred and Woods’ team of lawyers.
Uchitel is facing legal implications for conducting interviews about her rendezvous with the golfer over the years, the Times reports. An attorney for Woods is seeking to file a claim against Uchitel to sue her for breaching the $8 million nondisclosure agreement she signed that stopped her from muttering any words about the professional golfer.
Uchitel, 46, became known as one of the pro golfer’s “other women” in 2009 when his sex scandal made headlines. ( James Devaney/WireImage)
The lengthy report reveals that in 2009 Uchitel signed a nondisclosure agreement that barred her from talking about Woods. At the time, she was represented by Allred, known as a high-powered attorney to the stars. Uchitel received $5 million upon signing the agreement with an additional $1 million annually for the three years that followed after signing it, the report notes.
“His lawyers are saying, ‘We want all your text messages and here’s the price,’” she recalled to the outlet, “and you’re like ‘screw you’ and you move into deal-maker mode and all of a sudden, it’s the rest of your life.”
Now, however, Uchitel says she’s “had it with the N.D.A.s.” She’s since ripped the lid off of her former relationship with Woods in one-off interviews. Most notably, in 2019, she agreed to be interviewed for the HBO two-part docuseries “Tiger.”
Uchitel said nondisclosure agreements like the one she signed are a result of “a culture of extreme bullying.” Per her agreement with Woods’ team, Uchitel was prohibited from speaking “directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise” about the golfer’s “lifestyle, proclivities, customs, private conduct, fitness, habits, sexual matters, familial matters,” the NY Times reports. She could not have these discussions with anyone, “including but not limited to, family members, relatives, acquaintances, friends, associates, co-workers, journalists.”
Even signing the N.D.A. about Woods was something Uchitel could not disclose, according to the report. Days after signing it, Uchitel signed a retainer that granted lawyers 10 to 20% of paid media appearances, leading her to believe she could conduct “narrowly focused interviews,” the report states.
Rachel Uchitel spoke out about her affair with Tiger Woods in a special that aired on HBO. (AP)
After signing, Uchitel filed for bankruptcy. She spent the $2 million she netted from the N.D.A. agreement with Woods. The Times reports, however, that Michael Holtz, an attorney for the professional golfer, is bringing a claim against Uchitel to block her protection from creditors so that he can go after her for violating the N.D.A. she signed.
Uchitel told the Times that the only work she’s been able to find in recent years is related to the scandal. She’s currently suing the online “sugar baby” dating service Seeking Arrangement for allegedly not paying her for a gig as its spokeswoman. The company planned to pay her only if she signed a contract with a nondisclosure agreement. Seeking Arrangement is also suing her and it denies her claims, according to the report.
When Woods’ infidelities became known worldwide, Uchitel said she turned down requests to speak to reporters. But when other women started coming forward, she grew “pissed” and “tired of lying for [Woods] as he and his lawyer and agent left me out to dry.”
After arranging a press conference, Woods’ team offered Uchitel $20,000 to cancel it, take her phone and emails, according to the report. With the help of Allred’s firm, Uchitel later was given the nondisclosure agreement to sign, which included a 20% cut to the celebrity attorney.
“I’m not an idiot, I’m not a hooker, I’m not a prostitute. I was and am a very smart girl and that’s why I negotiated $8 million, because I knew it was going to affect my life,” Uchitel declared.
After paying her attorney and taxes, Uchitel walked away with about $2 million of the $5 million expected, she said. Woods’ team reportedly “balked” when her first annual payment of $1 million came around.
Later, Woods’ lawyers requested her $5 million back and did not want to cough up the total $3 million expected to be paid to her annually for three years because of her speaking out about the affair. That’s when she began to have a falling out with her own attorney.
In this April 14, 2019, file photo, Tiger Woods reacts as he wins the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. Woods’ appeal worldwide, particularly in Asia, remains stronger than ever after his 15th major title. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
When Woods’ team requested arbitration, Allred suggested Uchitel to go into mediation, which she did not want to do. Allred’s team informed her it would be her best shot at holding on to the millions the N.D.A. promised.
Uchitel communicated that she now regrets listening to Allred’s team. When they presented her with the new deal which would mean she’d give up the $3 million in additional annual payments, it included a provision that Woods would still pay Allred’s firm $600,000, their cut of the $3 million Uchitel was giving up. In an email she wrote to her lawyers, Uchitel said she felt “duped.”
“It has nothing to do with not getting the rest of the payout. It’s that I feel, ultimately, like I was bullied,” she wrote per the Times.
Uchitel ended up hiring Los Angeles lawyer Michael Piuze. In 2014, Piuze helped Uchitel secure $600,000 from Allred due to a “breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.” That also unraveled some other information critical to Uchitel: Allred was representing over 5 other women related to Woods so her firm and Woods’s lawyers “developed a written protocol,” Piuze argued via the Times.
“At every turn, I was up against these big-shot lawyers, and I really felt vindicated,” Uchitel said.
Tiger Woods was in a rollover accident earlier this year in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Piuze died in 2020 and now Uchitel is “on her own,” the report states.
Reps for Holtz, Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, and Allred did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
Allred and her team reacted with a statement to the Times, writing, “We are proud of the representation that we provided to Ms. Uchitel.”
The star has apparently become emotional when reading other headlines in the news about women speaking up about their own headline-driven news, such as Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears and Meghan Markle. Particularly, the outlet reports that she broke down crying upon seeing a teaser for “The Me You Can’t See,” a documentary Prince Harry produced with Oprah Winfrey. The series explores mental health issues.
“Who is going to speak up for those of us who don’t have Oprah, or a prince to rescue us?” she asked.
Uchitel has been in therapy before for post-traumatic stress disorder. The University of New Hampshire alum suffered the loss of her fiancé James Andrew O’Grady, who was killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the south tower of the World Trade Center. She was also previously married to a high school friend named Steven Ehrenkranz for a year before she departed for Las Vegas.
Uchitel also married businessman Matt Hahn in 2010. They divorced in 2014 and share daughter Wyatt.
Uchitel has apparently struggled with finding work. She opened two children’s boutiques in 2013 that she has since closed. In early 2020, the star went to a mental health care facility where she feared that discussing her situation would violate her N.D.A.
Woods’ former mistress has also moved out of New York amid the coronavirus pandemic. In January, she reportedly heard from Holtz who warned that he’d go after her if she becomes successful.
“If you get a job, I’ll come after your wages. If you get married, I’ll go after your joint bank account. I will come after you for the rest of your life,” Uchitel claims Holtz informed her.
Uchitel requested $275,000 per year from Woods so that she could live near her ex-husband (per a custody agreement) and stop talking to the press, which she believes has been her only chance at having an income. The other option, she claimed in writing to Holtz, was to “kill myself” given their attempts to “make my life unlivable.”
Holtz is now zeroing in on Uchitel’s bankruptcy case, telling a judge in May that he wasn’t informed in a timely manner of her filing, to which the judge agreed. Uchitel is expected to attend a hearing in the case on Aug. 10. She is being represented by Abrams Fensterman who took on the case pro bono.