Tiger Woods' former mistress, Rachel Uchitel, is facing financial ruin for reneging on the multi-million-dollar non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she signed with the star.
The former cocktail waitress gained infamy in late 2009 when she became embroiled in Tiger’s cheating scandal, which began to unfold when the golfer crashed his SUV in the driveway of his Florida mansion.
The scandal led to Tiger’s ex-wife, former model Elin Nordegren (now 41), filing for divorce after six years of marriage and two children, daughter Sam Alexis (now 14) and son Charlie Axel (now 12).
In a recent The New York Times exposé, Rachel recounted signing a “non-disclosure agreement more than 30 pages long” that promised her a payment of $5 million, and $1 million annually for three years to follow if she stayed silent about their affair.
The agreement prohibited her from discussing "directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise" the golfer's "lifestyle, proclivities, customs, private conduct, fitness, habits, sexual matters, familial matters", among other topics, with anyone, "including but not limited to, family members, relatives, acquaintances, friends, associates, co-workers, journalists”.
It also forbade from telling anyone that she had signed an NDA.
“His lawyers are saying, ‘We want all your text messages and here’s the price’,” she told 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.”
But she claims she did not end up getting $8m. After taxes and fees to her powerhouse attorney, Gloria Allred, the now-46-year-old said she pocketed about $2m of the original $5m. Then when it came for the first additional $1m payment, she claims Tiger’s team didn't follow through.
The reason for this was reportedly because Rachel participated in US reality show Celebrity Rehab to help her address her supposed compulsion for male attention, brought on by the death of her father and her fiancé.
Her dad, Bob, died of a cocaine overdose when she was 15 and her fiancé, investment banker James Andrew O’Grady, died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
In 2019 Rachel was approached by the producers of the HBO documentary Tiger, which was released earlier this year, with the promise she could clear her name.
“Ten years later, people were still talking about me as a player in a story I had never talked about,” Rachel said of the opportunity to appear in the doccie. “I felt like it was time to take the reins.”
She reasoned her interview could not harm the golf star, who had come back to the public's good graces in recent years, and so she agreed.
After appearing in Tiger, Rachel successfully filed for bankruptcy, having spent the approximately $2m she said she netted from the agreement.
The mother-of-one claims to be in financial dire straits, having previously opened and closed two children’s clothing stores, both of which are in debt.
But her current financial standing means little to Tiger’s team of bloodthirsty lawyers, she claims.
Soon after the revealing doccie aired she heard from one of Tiger’s attorneys, Michael Holtz, who threatened to make her life hell.
“If you get a job, I’ll come after your wages. If you get married, I’ll go after your joint bank account," she alleges he told her. "I will come after you for the rest of your life."
After hearing of the golfer’s intention to continue to pursue damages against her, despite her bankruptcy protection, she sent an email to his team in April proposing a $275 000 annual stipend from Tiger’s estate that would allow her to live within about 30 miles of her ex-husband (per her custody agreement) while forgoing the only work she says she can get, which requires her to interact with the press.
Rachel now has a hearing scheduled for later this month and has found a New York law firm which has agreed to represent her in the bankruptcy matter pro bono.
In the meantime, she says she’s taking up gigs so that she can afford to pay off attorneys.
“I feel there is a bomb ticking and it’s all coming to an end.”
SOURCES: NYTIMES.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, OKMAGAZINE.COM, LATIMES.COM