Tiger Woods’ former mistress Rachel Uchitel who was one of several women who cost him his marriage in 2009, said she is ‘shaken up’ by the car crash that seriously injured the golf legend on Tuesday.
Woods, 45, had to be cut free by fire crews after his vehicle rolled over and suffered ‘major damage’. He is now undergoing surgery.
Later on Tuesday, Uchitel told the New York Post: ‘Obviously hearing the news has shaken me up as it’s probably shaken everybody up to see that.
‘Hearing [agent Mark Steinberg] say that he’s in surgery for his legs is something that really worries me and when you hear a comment like that you know it’s true,” Uchitel added.
The 45-year-old continued: ‘He’s an athlete and his legs are essential to his sport and to him being who he is and he’s already had trouble with his body up until this point. He didn’t need any more injuries.’
Shocking images of Wood’s smashed up car following the accident in Los Angeles provided a stark flashback to his 2009 crash when he hit a fire hydrant outside his Orlando home.
Tiger Woods’ former mistress Rachel Uchitel (left) who was at the center of the 2009 scandal that cost him his marriage, said she’s ‘shaken up’ by the car crash that seriously injured the golf legend on Tuesday
Woods, 45, had to be cut free by fire crews after his vehicle (pictured) rolled over and suffered ‘major damage’. He is now undergoing surgery
Workers move Woods’ vehicle after a rollover accident involving the golfer on Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California
That came after he was chased out of his house by then wife Elin Nordegren over his numerous affairs and eventually led to admissions of infidelity and drug use.
He was arrested for a DUI with five different kinds of drugs in his system in 2017 leading to Woods taking an ‘indefinite break’ from golf before his stunning comeback at the 2019 Masters. That journey to redemption had been an arduous one for Woods.
Now, just months after a new HBO documentary heard from Uchitel for the first time, Woods is back in the headlines after crashing while driving alone near Rancho Palos Verdes when his Genesis GV80 flipped over at 7.12am.
Tiger’s mistress Uchitel opened up in her first TV interview for the HBO documentary. Their affair became public after Woods summoned her to the Australian Masters in 2009.
The National Enquirer had been monitoring Woods for months and a reporter followed her up in the elevator and watched her go into Woods’ suite, which was proof enough for the story to run.
Woods tried to persuade Nordegren that Uchitel was a friend and put her on the phone with her for 30 minutes.
Uchitel says she used the time ‘convincing her I was not having a sexual relationship with Tiger’ and she seemed to have bought it.
The story came out and it seemed to have made little impact.
On Thanksgiving Uchitel says she was texting Woods they had ‘gotten away unscathed in what could have been a complete nightmare’. Then she got a text saying: ‘You were the only one I ever loved’. Uchitel was feeling that things had ‘never been better’ between them.
Woods said he was taking an Ambien and going to sleep but a short while later Uchitel got another text saying: ‘When am I going to see you again’, and then the phone rang.
Uchitel was at the center of Woods’ divorce from his then-wife Elin Nordegren (pictured together in 2006)
After Nordegren confronted him over his numerous affairs, Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree outside his home in 2009
Surprised, Uchitel answered with ‘hey babe’ but it was Nordegren who told her: ‘I knew it was you.’
Nordegren and Woods got into a ferocious argument that led to her chasing him out of the house with a golf club and him crashing his SUV into a tree.
After the incident the affair became public, Woods’ world collapsed and a slew of women came forward to claim they had affairs with him.
Nordegren, with whom he had two young children, divorced him for a reported $100million.
Uchitel says: ‘I regret that he was married and I regret the mistakes that I made but people came at me like they wanted to blame me for the fact a married man cheated on his wife, like I was the only one responsible for his actions.’
Woods arranged for a confidentiality settlement and told Uchitel to ‘get as much as you can’ from his lawyers.
Uchitel says: ‘I think to him that was his only way to love me at the time.’
Uchitel was the first of more than a dozen women who were identified as Woods’ mistresses in 2009, which led to his downfall from the pinnacle of the golfing world.
Away from the golf course, Woods would make regular trips to Las Vegas where he indulged a side of him that the public never did.
In Vegas, Woods would party with basketball legends Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley who would be surrounded by beautiful women who wanted to hang out with them.
Woods was wide-eyed and clueless in the beginning and asked Jordan what to say if one of the women approached him.
A recent two-part HBO documentary about Woods’ life, called Tiger, claims Woods used to order up to 10 prostitutes at a time during wild parties in Las Vegas which cost $100,000 or more for the weekend.
There were five different kinds of drugs in Woods’ system when he was arrested in 2017
Woods continued winning for a few years but injuries destroyed his form and he hit rock bottom in 2017 when he was arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County
A former escort who took part said Woods was into role playing and treated hookers like ‘little puppets’.
Until then Woods’ image had been squeaky clean and he had earned hundreds of millions of dollars from sponsorships, including Nike and American Express.
During an excruciating televised apology in February 2010, Woods revealed he had undergone 45 days of ‘inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing’.
Other women who allegedly had affairs with Woods include: Jaimee Grubbs, Cori Rist, Mindy Lawton, Holly Sampson, Joslyn James, Loredana Jolie, Julie Postle, Devon James and Raychel Coudriet
Woods split from wife Elin in 2010.
Following revelations of his infidelities Woods returned to action in the Masters and had to endure a public dressing down from Augusta National chairman Billy Payne.
‘It is not simply the degree of his conduct here that is so egregious,’ Payne said. ‘It is the fact that he disappointed all of us and, more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to expectations.’
Spinal fusion surgery in 2017 was the last throw of the dice to save his golf career, and proved successful, although Woods still had issues in cold weather and when forced to play more than 18 holes in a day.
But just weeks after his spinal surgery, Woods hit rock bottom when he was arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County.
Woods was found asleep at the wheel of his car and later pleaded guilty to reckless driving.
It emerged that Woods had five prescription drugs in his system at the time and he spent 11 months on probation.
Woods celebrates winning the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 14, 2019
His girlfriend Erica Herman is understood to be at the hospital where he is undergoing surgery. Woods is pictured with Herman in 2019
During his return to action in November 2017, Woods revealed the depth of his physical struggles. ‘I’ve been in bed for about two years and haven’t been able to do much,’ Woods said.
But his tale of redemption was complete in 2019 when Woods held his nerve on a chaotic final day at Augusta National to win his 15th major title.
It was his fifth green jacket in the 83rd Masters.
The achievement won him widespread acclaim, and then President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 6, 2019, with the White House hailing Woods as a ‘global symbol of American excellence’.
At the time Trump said: ‘Congratulations again on your amazing comeback and your amazing life and for giving sports fans everywhere a lifetime of memories.’
Woods has continued playing since, but has still been plagued with injury. Woods recently underwent his fifth back surgery and has not been playing competitively while he recovers.
Following Thursday’s crash en route to a Los Angeles golf course, Woods is again undergoing surgery on Tuesday for non life- threatening injuries including a compound fracture and a shattered ankle.
His girlfriend Erica Herman is understood to be at the hospital where he is undergoing surgery.