A nightclub hostess was last night set to spill the beans about her alleged affair with Tiger Woods but pulled out after frantic calls from the star’s lawyers, it was claimed.
Rachel Uchitel, 34, cancelled a press conference at the last minute, citing “unforeseen circumstances”. She was widely expected to admit that she DID have a relationship with the golfing ace, despite earlier denials, but Woods’ aides are , said to be desperate to stop her talking.
And US reports claimed that Uchitel instead began negotiating a $1million (£600,000) deal to remain silent. Sources claim she was in touch with Woods before Friday’s car accident and spoke to him for around half an hour on Wednesday night. Uchitel was named as Woods’ alleged mistress in US tabloid the National Enquirer last week, just days before his car crash.
It was claimed the pair had secret trysts in New York, Las Vegas and Australia and shared phone calls and racy text messages. In an email allegedly sent from billionaire Woods, 33, to Uchitel, he was quoted as saying he could not sleep after having “a disturbing dream” that he found her having sex with two ex-boyfriends.
Initially the New York hostess insisted she met Woods only twice. She denied meeting him in Melbourne when he competed in the Australian Masters, despite claims that the star had booked and paid for the trip. And she said: “It’s horrible to Tiger’s family. His wife must feel horrible. The worst part of it, it’s not true.”
But Uchitel apparently had a change of heart after details of Woods’ other alleged affairs emerged. Cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs claimed she had had a three-year fling with the champion and reports have also linked him to a third woman, Las Vegas club promoter Kalika Moquin. Uchitel immediately flew to LA and hired lawyer Gloria Allred, who helped Heather Mills rebuild her image after her split from Sir Paul McCartney.
It was claimed yesterday that the row Woods had with his wife Elin Nordegren before the crash was triggered by texts sent between the pair and not, as originally claimed, by his relationship with Grubbs. Swedish-born Elin, 29, is said to have confronted him and demanded to know who he was texting. She then grabbed his phone and called Uchitel to confront her.
Neighbours say they heard Woods shout: “You’ve ruined our Thanksgiving, are you happy now?” Moments later he crashed his £35,000 Cadillac into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his Florida home. Elin is said to have followed and smashed up the car.
According to one neighbour, Woods was lying in the street snoring after the accident.
Jarius Lavar Adams said: “I saw Tiger lying on the ground, Elin was talking to him. At that point he was actually snoring. She was very quiet, in shock, just sitting there.”
Editor: Can of worms......