Rachel Uchitel is finally telling her side of the story.
The former nightclub hostess was thrust into the spotlight when her affair with Tiger Woods made national headlines in late 2009, but for years, she kept quiet about the entire experience. Then, one day, Matthew Hamachek, the co-director of HBO's Tiger—a two-part documentary offering a revealing look at the rise, fall and epic comeback of the global icon—approached her about the project, which she ultimately agreed to take part in.
Why? To break her silence once and for all, Rachel explained on the Tuesday, Jan. 12 episode of Daily Pop.
"I have spent 10 years not speaking and just let people call me so many names, and I have really lived a discount version of my life," the Celebrity Rehab alum told E!'s Carissa Culiner and Justin Sylvester. "And I think that so many people can really identify with that in their own lives, feeling like they cannot get out of the first act of their life, and they really wanna move on to the second act and you've been, like, shackled by that."
"I just felt like, you know what? I'm gonna tell my story," Rachel added. "I want to do it with somebody credible, and I want to do it with people I trust. I'm going to do it once."
And when she says "once," she really means it. Carissa and Justin pressed Rachel for tidbits about her relationship with Tiger, but she wasn't interested in answering questions.
"I talk all about everything that I was ever gonna talk about with Matt, who directed the film," Rachel explained on Daily Pop. "I shared my story once in the documentary and I just don't want to talk about it again. It was hardly the most interesting thing that ever happened to me. I don't mean to be disrespectful and not answer your questions at all...I just felt like, I don't want to be scandalous about this. I don't want this to be about anything where I feel like I'm coming out and I'm talking about this all over the place."
What Rachel does want is for people to pay attention to the role the media played in the scandal, especially when it came to shaping the narrative around not just her, but Tiger, too: "They took so much time really covering the fall and really making a big deal out of somebody's pain and personal mistakes."
"There's things that happen and then there's reality," Rachel continued. "The perception of what happened becomes what people think of you. And then that story is what people go with and you can never get out of that black cloud. Forget the public perception, but it's the perception of the people around you that just changes who you are."
Added the Tiger star, "That's happened to me and that's been my life story. I've always been Rachel Uchitel comma Tiger Woods' mistress, and I've never been able to get out of that. And that's been the tragedy of my life, honestly."
Hear more from Rachel in the above Daily Pop interview.
Part two of Tiger starts streaming on HBO Max Sunday, January 17, at 9 p.m.