Amidst Rachel Uchitel’s ongoing clash with Tiger Woods’ legal team over her NDA, she accused her former lover’s lawyers of making her life a living hell.
“I’ve had it with N.D.A.s,” Rachel Uchitel tells The New York Times regarding the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) she signed in 2009, the one that prohibited her from speaking about her affair with Tiger Woods. For her silence, Rachel, 46, and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, negotiated an $8 million deal — $5 million upfront, with a promise of $1 million annually for three years. But, after appearing in the 2019 HBO documentary Tiger – and after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, having spent the approximately $2 million she claimed she got from the agreement – one of Tiger’s lawyers, Michael Holtz, challenged her bankruptcy protection, so he can bring a claim against her for supposedly violating the NDA.
“ ‘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,’” Mr. Holtz allegedly said to Rachel after the documentary aired, she told the NYT. As to why she appeared on Tiger, Rachel said, “I wanted for once to be the one to narrate my story.” When the infidelity scandal broke, Rachel was called a “tramp, a mistress, a homewrecker,” as well as a “hooker” by Joy Behar during an episode of The View (she later apologized.) “Ten years later, people were still talking about me as a player in a story I had never talked about,” Rachel told the NYT. “I felt like it was time to take the reins.”
The 30-page NDA — which is “substantially longer” than most NDAs, per the NYT — prohibited Rachel from discussing “directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise” Tiger’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.”
However, Rachel claims that she can only find work related to her reputation, such as a spokeswoman role for Seeking Arrangement — an online “sugar dating” service that she’s currently suing for nonpayment of $60,000 and damages – and going on shows like Celebrity Rehab. Her appearance on Dr. Drew Pinksy’s program actually cost her dearly: once Tiger’s legal team heard about it, they called her into arbitration. They demanded that she give back the $5 million, and that she could forget about the additional $3 million.
Rachel, with her legal team, met with Tiger’s lawyers in mediation, instead. After a two-day hearing in 2011, Ms. Uchitel’s team urged her to give up the additional millions as a compromise.
Rachel tried to move on with a lower-profile career, opening two high-end children’s clothing boutiques: one in New York City in 2013 and another in Scarsdale, NY, two years later. But, when clients found out who she was, business dried up. She closed the NYC store in 2017, and the Scarsdale store in 2019, in debt to both landlords. The 2020 pandemic offered no help to her financial arrangement, and earlier this year, she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and was granted protection from her creditors.
In April, Rachel sent an email to Mr. Holtz and Tiger. She proposed a $275,000 annual stipend — from Team Tiger — that would allow her to live within about 30 miles of her ex-husband, Matt Hahn, with who she shared a daughter, Wyatt. In exchange for this stipend, she would forgo “the only work she says she can get, which requires her to interact with the press,” per the NYT. “ Otherwise, she could – as she wrote — “kill myself, not sure why you are trying to make someone do that? You are trying to make my life unlivable. [Or] You can leave me alone completely, with a notice that you will, so I will back off too.” Or, as she added, “I can sing like a canary.”
Mr. Holtz did not reply. During a virtual bankruptcy hearing in May, he did appear and, through his lawyers, argued that he wasn’t notified of Rachel’s bankruptcy filings in a timely fashion. Rachel claimed that she told a lawyer who prepared her bankruptcy filings to add Mr. Holtz to the papers and notify him. A hearing in the matter is scheduled for today, Aug. 10. Maureen Bass, a partner with the New York law firm Abrams Fensterman, agreed to represent Ms. Uchitel in the bankruptcy matter, pro bono.