Who knew that one little National Enquirer cheating story could be the root of all Thanksgiving evil for Tiger Woods and his family? Last week, the Enquirer published their exclusive and extensive report on Tiger’s alleged affair with a New York events planner named Rachel Uchitel. Allegedly, they’d been having an affair since June, while she was still maybe/allegedly having an affair with David Boreanaz. After most media outlets covered all or parts of the Enquirer’s affair story Wednesday and Thursday, the sh-t started hitting the fan early Friday morning. At first, the report was simply that Tiger Woods got into a car accident just outside his Florida property, and that he hit a fire hydrant and a tree (a local station a sketchier and more sinister turn as TMZ and other outlets began reporting that Tiger’s wife Elin Nordegren may have attacked Tiger physically, and may have been attacking his car.
Over the weekend, the sketchiness continued. According to reports, Elin has changed her story at least once (since being questioned by the police), and by Sunday afternoon, the police had still not gotten Tiger’s statement. Elin even turned away investigators on Saturday, claiming that Tiger was “sleeping”. TMZ has had some of the most damning reporting about the incident, but I’m not sure how much to trust them. On Sunday they even began reporting that Tiger told a friend that Elin had “gone ghetto” by attacking him (allegedly) and that Tiger said he needed “the Kobe special” -meaning that he needed to buy his wife some jewelry so she would stop attacking him or whatever. Here’s People Magazine’s version of events – which is pretty much what we can assume is the “official” version, straight out of some PR hack’s mouth:
“When [officers] got there, he was laying in the street,” Windermere Police Chief Daniel Saylor told PEOPLE. “His wife had broken out the back window with a golf club to get into the vehicle and pull him out.”
Woods’s wife, Elin Nordegren, reportedly used two golf clubs to shatter the back window of Woods’s SUV in an effort to remove him from the vehicle. “She was frantic, upset,” Saylor said in a briefing Friday night. “It was her husband laying on the ground.”
Woods had lacerations on his lower and upper lips and blood in his mouth, says Saylor, and lapsing in and out of consciousness. Alcohol was reportedly not a factor. When asked at the press briefing whether Woods and Nordegren had been arguing, Saylor said he had no knowledge of that.
Two troopers tried to interview the golfer Friday, but his wife said he was sleeping and the officers agreed to come back Saturday, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said.
The Florida Highway Patrol said tapes of the 911 call reporting the accident outside Woods’s house won’t be released until after they have been reviewed. “Right now we believe this is a traffic crash,” Sgt. Montes said. “We don’t believe it is a domestic issue.”
Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg, and spokesman, Glenn Greenspan, said there would be no comment beyond the statement posted Friday afternoon on Woods’s Web site, which read: “Tiger Woods was in a minor car accident outside his home last night. He was admitted, treated and released today in good condition. We appreciate very much everyone’s thoughts and well wishes.”
Woods’s father-in-law, Swedish radio journalist Thomas Nordegren, told the Associated Press in Stockholm that he would not discuss the accident. “I haven’t spoken to [my daughter], Nordegren said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to go into that.” He later told the Swedish newspaper Expressen he had not talked to Woods “since he got back from the hospital.”
Woods’s mother-in-law, Barbro Holmberg, also refused to discuss the incident. “She doesn’t want to comment on private issues like these,” said her spokeswoman.
Woods is set to host the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., starting Thursday, and to appear at a press conference Tuesday at Sherwood Country Club.
Meanwhile, “the other woman” has been trying to do some damage control of her own. Rachel Uchitel is quoted in reports from People Magazine, to Us Weekly, to the New York Daily News. Here‘s one of her many statements: “I did not have an affair with Tiger Woods. I understand that there’s rumors all over because everybody’s talking about it. But I’m telling you, people say rumors about me all the time. People will say a ton of things about me. I did not have an affair with Tiger Woods. The things that were said from the source in the Enquirer are in fact, not true. I met him twice and have not heard from him since.” Uchitel also claims that she offered to take her own polygraph for the Enquirer, “and they refused it. They told me it was too late and the story was running anyway.” Personally, I think she’s given interviews to everyone for the joint purpose of officially denying the Enquirer’s affair story, and to keep her own name in the press. Oh, and Uchitel has hired Gloria Allred. Probably because Allred is so camera-shy, right?
Knockout party girl Rachel Uchitel took some hard shots Saturday from the National Enquirer. The tabloid, answering her denial of a romance with golfing god Tiger Woods, released photos of Uchitel partying with pal Ashley Samson – who detailed the alleged affair to the Enquirer. The pictures show the barely dressed duo striking lascivious poses on a recent vacation they took to Spain, the Enquirer said.
On Friday, Uchitel told the Daily News she didn’t know Samson – even misstating her last name. “I’m not friends with Ashley Simpson or whatever her name is,” Uchitel told The News in a Facebook message. She did not answer messages Saturday about their relationship – and hired well-known attorney Gloria Allred.
The Enquirer promised to expose “a slew of contradictions” between Uchitel’s denials and their report. Allred said her client would have no comment on anything involving Woods.
The Enquirer lashed out as a club source told the Daily News Uchitel was spotted rubbing shoulders with Woods at the Griffin Club in the Meatpacking District in June.
“She was acting as a hostess, showing him to a private booth near the DJ booth,” the source said, noting that the pair didn’t appear to be flirting.
[From the New York Daily News]
The NYDN goes on to hit the highlights of Rachel’s life as a professional party girl. Apparently, she was engaged to a man who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and after 9/11 and a four-month marriage to Wall Street banker Steven Ehrenkranz, Uchitel “reinvented” herself as Vegas VIP hostess with a “history of being with married men” and girlfriend of powerful nightclub owners, like TAO‘s owner Jason Strauss. For the ex-husband’s part, Ehrenkranz claims he doesn‘t know if Uchitel has been banging Tiger: “I couldn’t know, and I couldn’t care. The person you’re talking about, I haven’t seen in five years.” Yikes. Sounds like a good marriage, right? Also, Uchitel’s aquaintences call her “self-destructive” and they note “she’s always popping out of her blouse.”
Here’s the thing… as everyone begins piling on, I end up feeling sorry for Tiger. I mean, I kind of believe he probably had an affair with Uchitel, but to watch this guy – who up until this point has lived a pretty squeaky-clean existence – have his life dissected by the rabid celebrity, tabloid, mainstream and sports press is intense. But I’m sure there will be more revelations about Tiger and Elin and Rachel in the days (if not hours) to come – and I’m sure I’ll be eating it up too!
Also: Tiger released this statement Sunday afternoon on his website: “As you all know, I had a single-car accident earlier this week, and sustained some injuries. I have some cuts, bruising and right now I’m pretty sore. This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn’t happen again. This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible. The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false. This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be.” Haha, I bet Elin made him release that statement or she was going to smash out another car windshield. No, it’s not funny. Maybe a little bit.