Tiger Woods‘ former mistress Rachel Uchitel is being sued by the golf superstar’s attorney for breaking her $8 million NDA after she spoke publicly about their affair.
Uchitel revealed that she signed an NDA and described how the fallout from the scandal continues to affect her life in a profile for the New York Times published on Monday.
Uchitel said she initially signed a more than 30-page long non-disclosure agreement in 2009 soon after it was revealed that she and Woods, who was married at the time, had an affair.
Uchitel, who was represented by famed Hollywood lawyer Gloria Allred, got $5 million and the promise of $1 million annually for three years to follow in return for her silence.
But despite her deal, in 2019 she broke her silence and agreed to speak about her relationship with Woods for the HBO documentary ‘Tiger,’ which was released earlier this year.
Rachel Uchitel is spotted on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Monday as an article in today’s New York Times quotes her as saying ‘I’ve Had It With N.D.A.’s’. is being sued by the golf superstar’s attorney for breaking her $8 million NDA after she spoke publicly about their affair in a recent documentary about Woods
I wanted for once to be the one to narrate my story,’ she told the Times about her decision.
After appearing on the documentary, Uchitel successfully filed for bankruptcy, having spent the approximately $2 million she said she netted from the agreement. However, one of Woods’ attorneys, Michael Holtz, is challenging her protection from creditors so that he can bring a claim against her for millions on his client’s behalf for violating her NDA.
Uchitel told the Times a suit like that could put her in a deeper hole than the one she is already in.
She said she has fallen on hard times and can only find work related to her tarnished reputation, including being a spokeswoman for the online sugar daddy website ‘Seeking Arrangement,’ which she is currently suing for nonpayment of $60,000 and damages.
Uchitel says things went downhill for her after she signed the NDA.
She was one of several women with whom Woods had affairs during his marriage to now ex-wife, Elin Nordegren.
As more women came forward about their affairs with Woods, Nordegren would eventually file for divorce, which was finalized in August 2010 after nearly six years of marriage. Woods and Nordegren have two children together: daughter Sam, 13, and son Charlie, 12.
Ultimately it was revealed that Woods had multiple affairs but Uchitel was the face of the scandal and of all of the golf star’s mistresses she was the one who was a constant presence in the tabloids.
Seeking to protect her reputation, Uchitel arranged a news conference and claimed that within minutes after it was announced, her attorney heard from a representative from Woods offering her $200,000 to cancel it, and to seize her phone and emails, she told the Times.
Woods then called Uchitel, and told her to ‘get what you can,’ in what would end up being their final conversation.
Uchitel decided on a $10 million sum and Woods and her lawyers worked through the night and by 3am the deal was cut down 20 percent to $8 million.
‘I’m not an idiot, I’m not a hooker, I’m not a prostitute,’ she told the Times. ‘I was and am a very smart girl and that’s why I negotiated $8 million, because I knew it was going to affect my life.’
But Uchitel says she did not end up getting $8 million after taxes and lawyer’s fees which totaled $1 million for five days’ work, ate about $2 million of the original $5 million. When it came to making the first additional yearly $1 million payment, Woods’ team hesitated.
The NDA itself prohibited Uchitel from ‘directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise’ discussing Woods’ ‘lifestyle, proclivities, customs, private conduct, fitness, habits, sexual matters, familial matters,’ with anyone, ‘including but not limited to, family members, relatives, acquaintances, friends, associates, co-workers, journalists,’ the Times reported.
It also forbade her to say she had even signed an NDA.
Shortly after signing the NDA, Uchitel also signed a retainer that granted lawyers 10 to 20 percent of any paid media appearances they helped to negotiate, leading her to believe that it was possible to abide by the terms of the NDA while still doing interviews.
She told the Times that the press was calling her names and she felt it important to respond.
‘I was a person before him, and I am a person after him,’ she said. ‘I wanted to answer, ”Who is Rachel Uchitel?”
After turning down a gig on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and Playboy magazine cover, Uchitel did several interviews, including one with Dr. Drew Pinsky, of ‘Celebrity Rehab,’ for $400,000 after he promised not to mention Woods if she’d come on the show, to which she agreed.
But after the production began Woods’ lawyers called Uchitel into arbitration, and they said they wanted their $5 million back and that Uchitel could forget about her additional $3 million.
Her lawyers told her that mediation was her best hope to hold onto the $5 million and Uchitel was urged during a two-day hearing in April 2011 to give up the additional $3 million.
As Uchitel was ready to sign the new deal, her attorneys flagged a provision stating that Woods agreed to pay their firm $600,000 – their cut of the $3 million.
Uchitel said she thought this made no sense, but she still signed because she worried that getting another lawyer’s opinion would violate her NDA.
Uchitel, who recently successfully filed for bankruptcy, is taking up gigs so that she can afford to pay off attorneys
Uchitel would go on to retain Los Angeles attorney Michael Piuze, and in 2014, on her behalf, he won an award of $600,000 from Allred, Maroko & Goldberg in an arbitration proceeding, proving breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty related to the payment from Woods to Allred’s firm, the Times reported.
Then in 2019, she was approached by the producers of the HBO documentary ‘Tiger’ 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,’ Uchitel said. ‘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 the documentary aired in January, Uchitel heard from Holtz who threatened to make her life hell, she claimed in the New York Times.
‘If you get a job, I’ll come after your wages. If you get married, I’ll go after your joint bank account. I will come after you for the rest of your life,’ she alleged.
She then got notice of Holtz’s intention to continue to pursue damages against her, despite her bankruptcy protection so she sent an email in April to Holtz and Woods proposing a $275,000 annual stipend from Team Tiger 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.
Holtz did not reply but did show up at the virtual bankruptcy hearing in May and he was granted a motion to move forward.
Uchitel now has a hearing scheduled for August 10 and last week a partner with the New York law firm Abrams Fensterman agreed to represent her in the bankruptcy matter pro bono.
In the meantime, Uchitel is 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,’ she said.