Rachel Uchitel Is Done With Tiger Woods NDA

After breaking her silence, Uchitel says a lawyer for Woods told her, "I will come after you for the rest of your life"

Rachel Uchitel poses at an event. She's the subject of a new New York Times profile in which she breaks her Tiger Woods NDA.
Rachel Uchitel was forced into more than a decade of silence by an NDA.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

More than a decade ago, Rachel Uchitel became the unwilling face of the Tiger Woods cheating scandal, despite being just one of many women involved. In the intervening years, Woods has been free to more or less return to his millions and his glamorous golf career — he’s currently tied for 12th on the Forbes list of highest paid athletes and reclaimed his Masters champion title in 2019, though he recently sustained serious injuries in a car accident. Uchitel, meanwhile, has been unable to shake the “other woman” reputation — in large part because a sweeping NDA she signed in the aftermath of the affair left her unable to defend herself from a relentless onslaught of negative press, accusations and speculation, or even share her side of the story at all.

Uchitel is finally opening up about the NDA that has controlled her life for more than a decade, sharing the details of the $8 million payout she was offered in exchange for her silence — of which she ultimately only netted about $2 million — and the disastrous effect it’s had on her reputation, finances, career prospects and personal life in a groundbreaking New York Times profile. Reportedly “tired of not being able to defend herself against continued insinuations from tabloids and gossip websites,” Uchitel is “ready to blow it all up.”

“I’ve had it with NDAs,” Uchitel told the Times. The one she signed back in 2009 reportedly prohibited her from “directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise” discussing Woods’s “lifestyle, proclivities, customs, private conduct, fitness, habits, sexual matters, familial matters,” among other topics, including the fact that she had signed an NDA at all. A decade later, Uchitel agreed to speak publicly about Woods for the first time for the documentary Tiger.

“Ten years later, people were still talking about me as a player in a story I had never talked about,” she told the Times. “I felt like it was time to take the reins.” Uchitel gave the interview and promptly filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, securing protection from creditors. Of course, that didn’t stop Woods’s lawyers from coming after her, including Michael Holtz, who has reportedly promised Uchitel he would continue to do so “for the rest of your life.”

Uchitel is far from the first woman forced into a lifetime of silence and stripped of any ability to defend herself against the relentless onslaught of sexist media slander after sleeping with a wealthy, powerful man. As revealed in a BuzzFeed report earlier this summer, NDAs are routinely handed out to women who have so much as a casual fling with even B-list celebrities. Uchitel’s story shines a light on the systemic silencing of young women via NDAs that strip them of their own narratives, and the disastrous, long-term consequences that forced silence can wreak on a woman’s life.

“It’s actually terrifying when I think about it,” Uchitel said. “I know what they’re getting themselves into. But they don’t.”

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