Rachel Uchitel was linked to Tiger Woods this week by the National Enquirer. Few believed at the time that Woods, one of the richest and most famous athletes in the world, would cheat on his gorgeous wife, Elin Nordegren, with Uchitel. Then came Woods’ mysterious “accident” Friday morning.
The mainstream media, for the most part, initially left Rachel Uchitel out of the equation. While bloggers and the twitter masses speculated the obvious, the mainstream media didn’t veer from the police reports. Enter TMZ around midnight:
We’re told he said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We’re told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV — but according to our source, Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.
We’re told Woods became “distracted,” thought the vehicle was stopped, and looked to see what had happened. At that point the SUV hit the fire hydrant and then hit a tree.
We’re also told Woods had said during the conversation Friday he had been taking prescription pain medication for an injury, which could explain why he seemed somewhat out of it at the scene.
Is TMZ just speculating the obvious, or was it able to procure this information from someone in the hospital? TMZ has a history of paying off cops and hospital workers for information, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if this is how it went down. What would surprise us is that Tiger actually told anyone this information.
The Associated Press spoke to Uchitel, who vented, but basically offered no answers:
The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the AP.
“I resent my reputation is getting completely blasted in the media,” she said during a telephone interview late Friday. “Everyone is assuming I came out and said this. This is not a story I have anything to do with.”
Uchitel said she was in Melbourne two weeks ago with clients and never saw Woods the entire time she was there.
(She offered a much firmer denial to TMZ.) The mainstream media’s reaction to Uchitel has largely been muted. We saw the 9 am Sportscenter and it avoided the TMZ post/Enquirer speculation. The Orlando Sentinel, sadly, still believes the “golf club used to smash window” theory.
Fox Sports, though, makes a passing reference to the Enquirer (“racy tabloid reports”) in the sub-head (!) on the front page. SI has Tiger at the top of its “headline” rail, and used a Golf.com story … which includes the TMZ post but makes no mention of the Enquirer. We expect ESPN to treat this story with kid gloves (see here) … it probably has a great shot at getting the first interview with Woods.