Rachel Uchitel & Tiger Woods: The Club Connection

So my editor wanted me to write something about Tiger Woods. I thought it was a stretch. I write about clubs and his wife maybe swung a golf club at him. Then it was explained to me that there was some sort of connection between Mr. Woods and club icon Rachel Uchitel. Rachel and I met for the first time when she was dating Tao/Marquee/Lavo partner Jason Strauss and was the director of V.I.P. Services out in Vegas. I remember her being very insistent that I get that title right, so I hope I did. Uchitel was beautiful, intelligent, articulate and driven. Did I say beautiful? She was the go-to gal for tables at hotspots like Pink Elephant, Dune, Marquee, Tao (Vegas) and most recently Griffin. I asked some of her close friends about the allegations of her affair with the Tiger. Although her friends say “probably,” I could not confirm the affair. I got a lot of “I wouldn’t put it past her” and “she rolls in those kinds of circles.” I did get one reliable “she told friends she was friends with him.” One in-the-know type said, “She told me she was splitting to L.A. to avoid the papparazzi camped by her door. I love her to death, but she makes things tough on herself.” Then I did some checking on Mr. Woods just to see if the “homewrecker” label being tossed around had any validity. It seems Mrs. Woods might have a lot more to be teed off about.

The allegations of Rachel driving a wedge between the married couple seem silly. I am not a gossip columnist but I did ask around “certain circles.” These “circles” scoffed at the idea of Tiger’s innocence. I was told that over the last three to five years, many a jet was occupied by Mr. Woods and his entourage, with an ex-working girl tasked to provide beauties for the beasts. Come back tomorrow for more on the working girl in question — a lady based out of Chicago who is a regular “pal” of one of Tiger’s inner circle. “The jets would touch down in L.A. or Vegas or wherever the party was,” said my source. I asked if Mr. Woods was partaking in the girlie action? She responded with “duh.”

The superstar celebrity meeting the beautiful girl in the club story seems old hat. Why are we shocked when a Kobe or a Michael or a Mel Gibson or a senator is caught with his pants down? The Spitzer thing was kind of beyond the pale sick because he was prosecuting those kinds of crimes while partaking. But everyone in clubdom knew Ashley and her ilk and their resumes. Why is the world at large shocked? I mean, there aren’t too many average joes affording $1500-an-hour call girls. These gals are hitting lots of famous chit.

Rachel is being painted as a homewrecker, and it doesn’t seem fair. It takes two to tango. And if the shock, jealousy, and moral indignation of the shamed wife is entertaining, it’s still strange. When watching Tiger toss clubs around and scream at people at televised golf tournaments, does it seem like he’s a person who cares about others’ feelings or plays by rules of decency and decorum? Did his wife expect that he would play on a one-hole golf course? Egomaniacs take what they want and live by their own rules. Rachel is a doll, and I’ve always admired her strength and professionalism. She has survived the unsurvivable and thrived when others would have withered. She will come out of this on top and someday fulfill — what I have been told — is her dream, to own her own joint. I have a great name for it but will keep quiet for now. I heard old Tiger isn’t saying much. Good for him. I will borrow a few lines from Miss Daisy Eyebright to guide him: “If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek, five things observe with care: of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and how and when and where.”

Speaking of secrets not being kept well: The closing of Civetta, its renovation, and the December opening of a restaurant commandeered by Nur Kahn and Paul Sevigny is the talk of the town. I attended the closing-night party at Civetta Saturday night, and everyone was saying it out loud. Nur was in denial when I reached him via text. His comment is, “I wish I had a dollar for every time someone suggested that Paul and I were opening a new restaurant/bar together.” I’m going to send Nur a buck and Paul as well. I’m hoping and suspecting that it’s all true, and I’ll have a place very close to my home to stumble home from. Civetta was ill-conceived. Opening an Italian restaurant with attitude on Kenmare and Mulberry is like bringing “superior” sand to the Sahara. I loved everyone there and I would pop in constantly. I was told the irony is that the joint was “actually making money,” but an insider told me its “complicated menu and the recessionary times doomed the place.”

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