HBO’s “Tiger” special will air Sunday and will feature an interview with Rachel Uchitel, the mistress who eventually prompted Elin Nordegren, Tiger’s then-wife, to chase him out of their house on Thanksgiving night 2009. Nordegren had finally figured out that her husband had been cheating on her with Uchitel.
“I have stayed quiet about this story, but at this point, I have nothing left to lose,” Uchitel says to HBO. “My name hasn’t lost the stigma at all.”
Uchitel’s name became world-famous soon after Nordegren got her hands on Tiger’s phone on Thanksgiving and found he had texted his mistress, “You are the only one I’ve ever loved.”
Reportedly out of it after taking an Ambien, Tiger had no idea that his wife was about to use his phone and text Uchitel, pretending to be her husband. “I miss you,” Nordegren texted. “When are we seeing each other again?”
Uchitel responded with shock that Tiger was still up, and Nordegren lost it and revealed her true identity. “I knew it was you,” she texted back to Uchitel. “I know everything.”
The golf world was changed by early that Black Friday.
The “Tiger” story can’t be told without Uchitel, now 45. Her relationship with Woods developed as he was in the middle of a record-breaking 281-week stretch as the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer.
Tiger met Uchitel at The Griffin, a New York City nightclub where she was a VIP hostess.
“He said something like, ‘When can I see you again?’ It was intimidating.
“This was Tiger Woods. I know he was married. I knew he had responsibilities. But he said, ‘I want you to fly to Orlando. Then, I will come see you there.’
“That was the first night I had sex with him, and I remember thinking, ‘How am I ever going to be with a mere mortal again?’ Because so many people put him on such a pedestal and here he was in my bed, and he was my Tiger.”
It turned out, she wasn’t Tiger’s exclusive side piece. She was one of many. Tiger was in a tailspin complete with wild orgies of up to 10 women, according to a madam who claims to have handled business for him. There were porn star mistresses like Joslyn James and Holly Sampson, who were rumored to be part of Tiger’s rotation.
But it was Uchitel whom Tiger asked to attend the Australian Masters in 2009. The National Enquirer was waiting, put the puzzle pieces together, and the rest is history. Uchitel is left telling HBO about her time as the most famous main mistress in the history of sports mistresses.
“He told me a lot about his childhood, his dad. And he was sick of trying to hide who he was, but he was so scared of the real Tiger not living up to the Tiger that everybody else thinks he is.
“One day, I did ask him why he didn’t check in at home with Elin [Nordegren]. He said, ‘She doesn’t ask questions like you. She’s not like you.’
“It occurred to me he wanted someone to check in with. I asked him a million questions, and he wanted to give every single detail he hadn’t been able to say in years or ever.”
Looking back at that period of her life, Uchitel says she takes responsibility for her side of the story.
“I regret that he was married, and I regret the mistakes that I made. But people came at me like they wanted to blame me for the fact a married man cheated on his wife,” Uchitel reflected.
“Like I was the only one responsible for his actions.”