“I think people forget how badly I was treated, and the things that people really did to me, and that I couldn’t go anywhere, and I was blamed for a lot of stuff,” the Alaska native, 45, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, January 11, while promoting the HBO Max documentary Tiger. “I still, for 10 years, I’ve lived with that same scrutiny. I cannot go places without people still talking to me that same way. I don’t think people really realize that, that I’m still treated that same way.”
Uchitel, who was one of the many women Woods, 45, dated during his marriage to Elin Nordegren, explained that she struggles to this day with understanding why people were quick to point fingers at her.
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“In a lot of scenarios the men get to have a comeback and the women don’t,” she told Us. “I don’t necessarily want to make this a man vs. a woman thing, but in a lot of situations, the women get stuck with the stigma and cannot get away from it, and they just get pigeonholed in this thing. The comments of ‘home-wrecker,’ ‘mistress,’ ‘slut,’ ‘whore’ and the blame just get put on you, and you can’t get away.”
The former nightclub hostess only made a brief appearance at the end of the first part of Tiger, which premiered on Sunday, January 10. She hopes that the second episode, which begins streaming on Sunday, January 17, at 9 p.m. ET, will give viewers more insight into her time with the professional golfer.
“I needed to speak for me,” she told Us of her decision to participate in the documentary. “It’s one way to get the shackles off me. It’s one way for me to get rid of the shame and for me to feel like I get to speak regardless of what people think.”
Although Uchitel does not think Tiger will change everyone’s perception of her, she is hopeful that it will result in a more fair treatment of people who have been in similar situations.
“Maybe there’ll be a conversation to be had … about perception vs. reality and blame,” she said. “Maybe people will have a little bit more empathy. Maybe people will tone it down.”
Woods admitted to his transgressions in December 2009 and subsequently sought treatment for sex addiction. He and Nordegren, now 41, divorced in August 2010. The former couple share 13-year-old daughter Sam and 11-year-old son Charlie.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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