Now that she sees that getting famous off of Tiger’s Dirty Dog antics is kind of backfiring, Uchitel is out to make herself look like a wholesome girl who really thought she was in love and never meant to break up Elin’s happy home.
Thanks to her career as a nightclub hostess – essentially a highly-paid female nightclub maitre d’, looking after VIP clients such as Sir Philip Green and Premier League footballers, among many others – she has been reviled as little better than a prostitute, or at best a gold-digging marriage-wrecker.
Yet Rachel’s friends insist that she is an intelligent, middle-class girl who sincerely believed her eight-month affair with Woods was a serious relationship with a ‘soul mate’, and who has never breathed a word in public about him. And tragically, they add, her previously respectable life was derailed on the darkest day in modern American history.
On September 9, 2001, privately-educated Rachel was working as a television producer for the Bloomberg News channel and engaged to be married to 32-year-old investment banker Andrew O’Grady. He was killed in the Twin Towers atrocity. She briefly became the face of America’s grief after a picture of her holding a photo of her fiance was printed on the front page of the New York Post.
Ever since, she has been trying to fill the void left in her life with a series of affairs with unsuitable men – of which her doomed love affair with Tiger Woods is just one.
But last night Rachel, 35, finally broke her silence. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday from the ocean-front balcony of her rented home in Malibu, she said: ‘People have called me all sorts of names, but they don’t know me. I am not the same as the other girls and I never ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be caught up in a scandal like this.
‘If things had been different and 9/11 had never happened, my life would have taken a different course. I’d be fat and happy, living in a big house in Long Island with a load of kids.
‘I’m only telling my story now so that people can discover what sort of girl I am and learn the truth about me. If they still choose to hate me, then so be it. But I never set out to hurt anyone.’
Too bad she has a hard time making the “good girl” image stick.
She also insists she ‘mostly’ went home alone, but it was as nightclub hostess that she met Tiger Woods and embarked on their affair.
According to friends, the golfer bombarded her with texts and emails promising to leave his wife and calling her his ‘soul mate’.
One source told me: ‘They were both emotionally immature. Tiger was trapped in an unhappy marriage and Rachel worshipped him. They both thought they had found the love of their lives and got caught up in the drama.’
Rachel refuses point blank to discuss her affair with Tiger. It is widely rumoured that a £6 million commercial settlement was reached a year ago. When I ask Rachel directly about the pay-off, she smiles sweetly and says: ‘Naughty you. You know I can’t say anything.’
Yet the signs all point to the fact that Tiger ‘invested’ in her silence. She recently bought an apartment on Park Avenue in New York for more than £2 million. She owns an apartment in Las Vegas and splits her time in LA between Beverly Hills and Malibu, where a £10,000 tan Hermes bag sits casually on a side table.
She reveals she has gained a sense of humour about Tiger – when I tell her she is much prettier than most of Wood’s other women, she giggles: ‘It’s hard not to be,’ before calling Tiger’s lover Mindy Lawton ‘poor Mindy’ (referring to her looks) and adding about cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs: ‘The poor girl had a tooth missing. Honestly! She was toothless!’
Oh, and now that she’s done with her stint in Celebrity Rehab – getting help for pills and an addiction to love… but not to attention whoring – her new career is going to be as a private detective, helping women proven their husbands are cheating? B*tch, PLEASE go sit down somewhere!