The first half of Tiger, the HBO documentary, showed the ascension from child prodigy to PGA Tour superstar. It ended with a hint that the finale would delve into the adult life of Tiger Woods – the very adult life.
Golf and gossip fans have never heard Rachel Uchitel go into the details that she is expected to reveal in Tiger, which draws from a 2018 book by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian.
Rachel Uchitel proved to be the downfall of Tiger Woods
Until late November 2009, the worst thing that most sports fans knew about Tiger Woods was that he cursed on the golf course quite frequently. Even then, though, fans were sympathetic; Tiger’s popularity meant there was always a microphone nearby, an affliction that Vijay Singh or Anthony Kim didn’t face.
As Thanksgiving approached, however, the National Enquirer was running down a story. Woods had married Elin Nordegren in October 2005, but she did not accompany him to the Australian Masters in mid-November 2009, Rather, it was Rachel Uchitel who had been seen nearby.
After Woods had been tipped that the magazine was preparing a story, his lawyers were unable to derail it. Early in Thanksgiving week, Woods attempted a pre-emptive strike by arranging a phone call between his wife and mistress, with Uchitel assuring Nordegren that the relationship was non-sexual.
The magazine hitting the newsstands did not bring about the end of the marriage. Rather, it was messages that Nordegren found on her husband’s phone after he fell asleep on Thanksgiving night that set off a well-documented chain of events: Woods attempted to flee the house and ended up crashing his Cadillac Escalade in the driveway and creating a media frenzy.
Tiger Woods has shocking advice for his mistress
Once the National Enquirer story broke, multiple other women came forward to tell their stories of dalliances with international golf superstar Tiger Woods. As far as anyone knows, however, Rachel Uchitel was the only one of the at least 11 mistresses to have had direct contact with Elin Nordegren, who subsequently divorced the golfer.
Presumably, then, the media would find her insight to be significant. And while reputable news outlets wouldn’t pay for information that she might supply, many magazines and TV talk shows would be a different matter. Her words could conceivably have been worth a seven-figure sum at the beginning of the frenzy.
That’s why what she has to say on Tiger, the HBO documentary, is what has golf fans most interested. According to The Ringer, much of the Uchitel interview consists of discussing her time with Woods. According to the website, Woods considered her someone he could be with the escape the pressures of being one of the most successful athletes and recognizable people on the planet.
Aside from being successful and recognizable, Woods was rich beyond imagination. He had already collected more than $90 million in PGA Tour tournament purses in his career, and endorsement money undoubtedly ran higher. It’s why he had parting advice for Uchitel, as reported by the website, that was understandable yet fascinating:
“After their affair was found out, the only time they spoke again was when Woods advised Uchitel to ‘get as much as you can’ in a nondisclosure agreement with his lawyers.”
Rachel Uchitel cashed in and then returned the money
Being identified as Tiger Woods’ mistress immediately made Rachel Uchitel the other face of the sex scandal that captivated the world. With offers pouring in to pay Uchitel for her story, she was approached by Woods’ lawyers with a payoff to buy her silence. The price of that nondisclosure agreement was widely reported to be $10 million, but that is not where that story ended.
In July 2011, less than two years after the National Enquirer broke the huge story about Tiger Woods, Uchitel returned most of the $10 million to Woods. According to TMZ, her decision was prompted by advice from lawyer Gloria Allred, who negotiated the nondisclosure agreement for her.
Woods’ lawyers had objected to Uchitel’s appearance on Celebrity Rehab to treat her purported “addiction to love.” Although she never spoke specifically about the golfer, Allred reportedly advised Uchitel that Woods’ lawyers were likely to win in court.
In the end, she wound up with neither the man nor the money.