That’s Rachel Uchitel, who stands for herself.
For over a decade, Tiger Woods, brokered by Gloria Allred, has ruled her life with a sweeping agreement to disclose. It will rip it up now, she’s ready.
Just a few hundred pages of legal documents surrounded Rachel Uchitel in her Upper East Side apartment, alternately stoic, teary, and snug. These companies have been known for more than a decade: they don’t seem to leave the wallpaper in a room.
In 2009, days after she had dramatically revealed her case with the then married Tiger Woods, Uchitel signed a more than 30 pages of a non-discovery agreement that banned her from talking to anyone about Mr. Woods. The famous Hollywood lawyer Gloria Allred represented her.
She got a $5 million and a promise of $1 million a year for three years, in return for her silence and under the pressure to protect a strong man’s reputation and brand. “His lawyers say, ‘I want all your SMS and it is the price here,'” she recalled, “and you’re like ‘screwing you’ to move to business mode and suddenly it’s just the rest of your life.’
Now at 46, she’s ready for everything to be blowed — weary she can’t defend herself from continuing insinuations from tabloids and sites of gossip.
She said, “I had it with N.D.A.s.
In 2019, for an HBO documentary, “Tiger,” she agreed to be interviewing Mr. Woods. “I wanted to tell my story for once,” she said. She then filed for bankruptcy successfully and spent about 2 million dollars and said she was netting from the deal. Michael Holtz, a lawyer of Mr Woods, challenges her creditors’ protection — in order to have millions of dollars in her claim for violation of the claim on behalf of his client.
A detailed e-mail request was not answered by Mr Holtz, Mark Steinberg, agent of Mr. Woods.
Mrs Uchitel said that she could find only work related to her tarnished reputation, such as an online “dating” service spokesperson for Seeking Arrangement, which she is currently suing for a $60,000 non-payment and damage. In addition to the boiler plate confidentiality agreement, she had already signed, according to her complaint the company that made the headlines in an investigation of representative Matt Gas of Florida in the Justice Department said it would continue paying her only if she signed a contract with a restrictive N.D.A. (Arrangement for Search denies and sues any wrongdoing.)
Ms. Uchitel came to believe that such documents are part of ‘an extreme intimidation culture.’ She watched public figures such as Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears and Meghan Markle sweeten and wondered if she would have the same empathy. Or some reason, at least, that her name was pulled by a well-paid lawyer-run machine.
In answer to a detailed commentary from an e-mail, Ms. Allred sent her part of the statement: “We are proud of Ms. Uchitel’s representation.”
But her previous customer feels that her case has been mismanaged and she feels very alone these days.
Earlier this summer, she burst in tears watching a preview of Prince Harry and Winfrey’s documentary “The Me You Can’t See.” “Who will talk for us who have no oprah or a prince to rescue us?” “Who will speak?” She said Ms. Uchitel.
Glamor and loss
Maybe Ms. Uchitel was on gossip pages for life. Her father-in-law, Maurice Uchitel, owned famous havengouts in the 1960s and 70s, including El Morocco. BOB and Susan UCHITEL, which made a small fortune in the cable industry in the state, were born in Anchorage.
However, her parents divorced, and sent her to CEDU, a boarding school connected to the Synanon cult in Running Springs, California. (In 2005 it was closed.) In 1990, when Rachel was 15, Bob Uchitel died of an overdose of cocaine.
Her fiancé James Andrew O’Grady died during a terrorist attack on the Southern Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, and worked as a news director for Bloomberg Televisions. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire. Ms Uchitel was published in newspapers around the world with her photo.
In 2004 she married a secondary school friend Steven Ehrenkranz. Ms Uchitel began therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The marriage lasted approximately one year, and she went to Las Vegas west into a car with her dogs.
There she connected again and hired her as Director of VIP operations with an old friend, the Jason Strauss who had opened an outpost at the popular New York club Tao. Mrs. Uchitel showed an immediate joy for her job: taking high-wattage contacts to New York, Miami, Los Angeles and the Hamptons in her phone, connecting clubs with the elite of oxygenating nightlife.
Ron Berkowitz, the President of Berk Communications who represented Tao Group at the time, said, “To me, the word ‘hostess’ does not describe what she did. “She was the connection to big money between the club. People trusted her and called her for the clubs. She’s been the queen. She’s been the best. The Rolodex she had, she knew how to bargain. She was very sweet, too. But then she got caught up in something she didn’t like.”
In 2008, Uchitel and Woods met with a friend of their own, Derek Jeter. One year later they started their relationship. “From the first time I met him, I knew him to cheat on his wife, well before we had met,” she said. But Ms Uchitel thought she had a particular status. She told her he was going to invest in a restaurant she dreamed of opening and would fly her worldwide to tournaments and events.
As tablets began to look at rumors of the infidelities of Mr. Woods, Mrs. Uchitel communicated frequently with his agents and helped him even manage crises. After their star customer crashed a fire hydrant near his home in Windermere, Florida, the representatives stopped calling back after a dispute with Elin Nordegren, his wife at the Thanksgiving night.
She realized that she needed a lawyer of her own when she swarmed outside Ms. Uchitel’s Chelsea flat. She contacted three of those she saw on “Nancy Grace,” a popular show, including Allred. The next morning she called her and told her to go to Los Angeles by plane.
Ms. Uchitel didn’t want her story to be sold. She had denied the reporters, and she wanted them to leave Mr. Woods alone.
Then other women began to talk about Mr. Woods’ sexual relations. “I’ve been pissed by now,” recalled Uchitel. And I’ve been tired of lying for him as he left me and his lawyer and agent to dry.”
A tramp, a mistress and a home wrecker were called her and she was called a “hooker” (as Joy Behar put “The View” on it, then excused). Ms. Uchitel said about Mr. Woods, “this one is someone that everybody wants to be a hero, and anyone who crosses the story is shamed.”
Ms Uchitel decided to organize one of Ms Allred’s favorite tactics for a news conference. One partner of Ms. Allred’s listened to Mr. Woods’s representatives within minutes of it being announced. Ms. Uchitel said that she gave her $200,000 to cancel and take her phone and e-mails.
Then Mr. Woods called her to “get what you can.” He called him. It was the last time you talked.
Ms Uchitel told her lawyers that she “tell them 10 million dollars.”
The night was spent on both sides. (Allred and Maroko & Goldberg, the company of Ms. Allred, wanted to cut Mrs. Uchitel’s payout to 40%, and to talk about it to 20%.) Ms. Uchitel was handed over documents after 3 a.m. for signature.
“I am not a fool, I am not a hooker, I am not a prostitute,” she said.,” she said. “I was and I’m a very clever girl, which is why I have been negotiating $8 million since I knew it would influence my life.”
But she didn’t have eight million dollars. For one, taxes and the fees for Ms. Allred – approximately $1 million for five days – netted Ms. Uchitel for some $2 million from the original $5 million, she said. She said. Then the team of Mr. Woods balked when he arrived for the first $1 million additional payment.
‘The Letter of the Scarlet.’
A document substantially longer than in most other NDAs prohibiting Ms Uchitel to talk with anyone, ‘including but not limited to’ members of the family, relatives, acquaintances, friands, associates, coworkers, journalists, and others on ‘the direct or indirectly, verbally or otherwise’ Mr. Woods’ ‘lifestyle, customs, fitness, habits, sexual matters, family matters,’ She was also prevented from saying that she signed an N.D.A.
A few days later Mrs. Uchitel signed a detention center which allowed lawyers to negotiate 10 to 20 per cent of all paid media appearances. This helped Uchitel believe that while carrying out narrowly focused interviews, she could respect N.D.A. The press called her names and she felt that it was important to answer.
Ms Uchitel had said of Mr. Woods, “I was a human being before him and I am a person after him. “Who is Rachel Uchitel, I wanted to say?”
Ms. Uchitel said, no that she’d have to sit on a live tiger after hearing. Playboy gained $250 thousand. She also said no to Michael Cohen, sent to discuss the “Celebrity Apprentice” by Donald Trump.
OK Magazine promised not to ask Mr. Woods about it, which appeared to be OK. And the $250,000 was paid to her. (The reporter for OK didn’t ask her a question about Mr Woods but the magazine ran a picture on its cover and called it the “Rachel Uchitel Tiger Woods”)
Drew Pinsky of Celebrity Rehab came, who said she felt compelled by her father and her fiancé to pay a male attention, promised no mention to Mr Woods, if she were present for the show, for $400,000. He was told she had a compulsion for male attention. “I’ve been crying about a relationship,” said Uchitel, and “got me” by Dr. Pinsky.
When the production started, however, she forecast there would be trouble when Mrs Allred first heard it, and she was right. Ms. Uchitel was called into arbitration by Mr. Woods’s lawyers, a confidential process in which parties can solve disputes without courts. Their 5 million dollars were wanted back. And forget the $3 million more.
Ms Allred called for mediation instead, warning that an arbitrator might force Ms. Uchitel in addition to damages to reimburse her funds that she had already received. Mediation — secret as well — meant that she was prepared to compromise on a solution.
This didn’t sit well with Mrs Uchitel who said that she was only speaking to the press to distinguish herself from some of Mr. Woods’ other lovers, as they were in pornographic films. She thought she wasn’t supposed to give up any money. “Well, they’ll have to pay me $8 million, not five, if I go for the scarlet, then they will have to pay me,” she told her lawyers.
But mediation was her best hope, they said, to keep the five million dollars. In April 2011, during a two-day hearing, they urged Mr Woods to abandon the additional 3 million dollars in order to find a resolution.
Another unworthiness: As the associates of Ms. Allred presented Mrs. Uchitel with the signing pages for this new deal, they flagged a provision saying that Mr. Woods agreed to pay her company $600,000: her $3,000,000 cut was abandoned by Mr. Uchitel. That didn’t make sense to their client Ms. Uchitel; why would she owe them 20% of the money that they were being pressured to give up? But she still signed, worried she would violate her NDA to have another lawyer’s opinion.
She was immediately regretted. “Nothing has to do with not receiving the remaining payout. I feel like I was bullied, finally,” she wrote in an email to her lawyers. “That’s how I feel.”
Frustrated by her perceived mismanagement of her case by Ms. Allred’s company, Ms. Uchitel retained Michael Piuze, a Los Angeles lawyer who won the tobacco company $28 billion ruling. In 2014, he won an award of 600,000 dollars from Allred, Maroko & Goldberg in arbitration proceedings on her behalf, proving that Mr Woods had violated the contract and had failed to fulfill his trust obligations in connection with Mr Woods’ $600,000 payment to Mrs. Allred’s business.
It was apparent during the proceedings that Mrs Allred and her partners, in addition to Ms Uchitel, represented five to 10 other women in the field of Mr Woods. According to Mr. Piuze’s closing argument, the firm of Ms. Allred had negotiated settlements so often with one lawyer of Mr. Woods that the lawyers “developed the written protocol.”
(The parties agreed that they vacate the decision – essentially annulment – and opte for settlement agreements, with the firm of Ms. Allred still bogging Ms. Uchitel over $600,000 plus $56,000 of other fees) as soon as the Arbitrator made his final decision.
“I’ve been on these large-scale lawyers every time, and I’ve felt really vindicated,” Uchitel said. When the whole business was over, she treasures an email that she received from Mr. Piuze. “I’ve been impressed by your intelligentsia, street and other things,” he wrote. “You are talented and young. There are no platforms. Time for the next chapter to move on.”
Last year, he died. Ms. Uchitel is currently on her own in matters relating to the N.D.A.
‘Time for Reins’
Ms. Uchitel tried to move on following her break-up with Mr. Woods. She met Matt Hahn, an entrepreneur at the end of 2010. In Las Vegas they married and in 2012 they had Wyatt, a daughter.
She has been struggling to find romantic partners since they divorced in 2014 who overlooked her reputation as the “Mistress of tiger woods.”
A few years ago, in a typical experience of others, Ms. Uchitel got her hair blown out for the right date and went to the bar where they agreed to meet a guy she had matched in an app. After Googling, almost two hours later, he emailed her: “I know who you are and will not see me with you.”
Two top kids’ bowling shops were opened, one in New York City in 2013 and one in Scarsdale, NY, two years later. She also attempted to find her career at low-profile level. She thought, however, her overhead was too big and she thinks she lost customers when the mothers realized from whom they bought panty pants. In 2017 she closed the shop in New York and the one in Scarsdale in 2019.
“I felt the world closing down on me,” she said, mounting letters, estranging family and an eternal sense of press denigration.
She went to a residential mental health facility in early 2020. Upon her arrival, she started to panic about the potential impact on her custody laws and was concerned that her silence and shame could violate the N.D.A. She was even more depressed after 10 days.
When the pandemic forced New York into a halt, while the Governor had announced an eviction moratorium Ms Uchitel stopped paying rent, moved out and pulled ira out of the garantee and her landlord before her rental was ready.
The producers of “Tiger” approached her before the pandemic — not for money, but for a credibility opportunity. “Ten years later, in a story I have never talked about, people were still talking about me as a player,” says Uchitel. “The time to take the reins I felt like it was.”
She wasn’t allowed to harm his reputation or profits after all this time, she reasoned. Mr Woods is currently on Forbes lists of highest paid athletes with Naomi Osaka for the 12th; the magazine reported that from May 2020 to May 2021 he received 60 million dollars. The title of Masters Champion he reassumed in 2019. (This spring he had another car crash, recovering from wounds.)
Ms. Uchitel conducted the interview with Tiger and first talked about Mr. Woods in public, she said, then submitted bankruptcy to Chapter 7 and was granted creditor protection earlier this year.
After that documentary appeared in January, Mr. Holtz, the principal opponent of Mrs. Uchitel in the management of N.D.A., called herself on his website, “Ray Donovan with a pen.”
“I’m going to come after your wages if you get a job. I will follow your joint bank account when you get married. For the rest of your life, I will come after you,” she said. Soon she was aware that, despite the protection of her bankruptcy, Mr. Holtz wanted to continue pursuing damages against her.
In an e-mail in April to Mr. Holtz and Mr. Woods, Ms. Uchitel put forward a $275,000 grant annually from the Team Tiger that will allow her to live within around 30 kilometers of her ex-busy (by her custody agreement).
She might otherwise, she wrote, “kill me, don’t you know why you’ll do this? You try to make my life impossible.” You see. Or, “You can leave me entirely alone, with a note you are going to, so I’ll get back off as well.”
“I can sing like a canary,” she wrote, adding a scoop.
Not a reply from Mr. Holtz.
But at the May virtual bankruptcy audience, Jerrold L. Bregman himself represented the Gawker Media after their legal struggle with Hulk Hogan, his commentary was well-known. He claimed Mr. Holtz had not been promptly notified of Ms. Uchitel’s bankruptcy filings.
“It’s Rachel Uchitel who represents myself,” Uchitel said, attempting to explain that she had repeatedly told a lawyer who, as representative of Mr. Woods and his company, prepared her bankruptcy application to add Mr. Holtz to the papers and report her intention.
It was dismissed and Mr. Holtz’ motion was granted by the judge. She said subsequently, “This is the same feeling I ever have. “There’s a group of lawyers who don’t let me speak, and the judges and the men.”
In recent weeks, Ms Uchitel has twice called on Mr. Bregman to agree to postpone proceedings, arguing that she cannot “simply choose somebody from the telephone book” to take on another “lawyer of the “far not named party.” He said no. He said no.
There will be a hearing on 10 August. Late last week Maureen Bass agreed to represent Ms Uchitel on the matter of bankruptcy, pro bono. A partner with the New York law firm Abrams Fensterman.
‘Some strange Tragedy of Greece.’
Earlier this year, Uchitel requested assistance from Jeffrey Lichtman, a lawyer in criminal defense, who has been accompanied by the drug dealer “El Chapo,” Joáquin Guzmán. On his behalf, he agreed to call Mr. Holtz.
Mr. Lichtman said “I felt bad about her.” “With Woods she has a consensus, her fault is more than his, but he has been able to carry on his golf career after it was finished, while her stigma as the other woman was stuck.” But he also knows the position of Mr. Holtz. “She wasn’t required to do so if she didn’t want to sign the agreement.”
An offer was given by an influential company one day this spring to help Ms. Uchitel make $5,000 – $30 thousand a day on the Website of OnlyFans which content creators frequently sell impressive pictures of themselves.
‘So, in a Starbucks, I can work,’ she said, ‘and keep my dignity’ or show her body for a lot more, the thing it possesses fully. “These names have been called for years by people. She added, “I will work and make money to pay Tiger back for the whole of my life. What is this shame in stripping? What’s the shame?” How about a strange tragedy in Greece?”
She rejected the offer, but recently accepted an interview with $10,000 from a German production company as she visited Lower Manhattan Memorial for the first time in the Museum on 11-September. The producers asked her again and again to watch a video of her young self, anxious at the Bellevue Hospital, to find Mr. O’Grady.
Ms. Uchitel said, “It’s difficult to describe what I felt like in my body.” But she needed $10,000 to pay the lawyer to assist her with the search arrangement lawsuit.
These are the cycles in which she finds herself, making a difficult decision to deal with the previous one. Ms. Uchitel said in her dining-room, put a plate for her dog, Mishka, with her feet, “I feel the tick of a bomb and it’s all coming to an end. “This is all about to end.”
During the summer, she became increasingly concerned about institutional muzzles by women, like the anonymous article published in BuzzFeed in recent days about the proliferation of N.D.A.’s distributed to those with even B list celebrities who engage in casual hookups.
Ms. Uchitel reads all about the culture that she is now an elder statesman of—the culture of celebration, sex and the media.
She said, her voice capturing, “It is actually terrible when I believe about it. “I know what it’s all about getting in. But they do not.” But they do not.”