Has Tiger been cheating on Elin? That's what the National Enquirer claimed in a story released several days ago. Considering the source, the mainstream media stayed away from the rumor ... until the car crash.
What does the woman alleged to be having an affair with Woods have to say? That woman began speaking out late Friday - and adamantly denying any liaison with Woods.
Rachel Uchitel is her name, and she's the Director of VIP Services for a New York City event planning company. It's a company that apparently handles many celebrity events; Uchitel, at any rate, rubs elbows with many celebs herself. And the Tiger Woods affair rumor is not the first time she had been rumored to be involved with a celebrity.
Important note: Those past episodes are, like the current Tiger Woods affair rumors, exactly that: rumors. We won't repeat any of them here.
The National Enquirer article alleging the Tiger Woods affair claims that Uchitel and Woods have been spotted together in nightclubs; that Uchitel has traveled to several cities while Woods was there playing golf tournaments; that she was in Melbourne, Australia, a few weeks ago when Woods was there for the Australian Masters; and that a "friend" of Uchitel's, Ashley Samson, says Uchitel and Woods are having an affair.
Uchitel told Ryan Ballengee of WaggleRoom.com that the woman who served as the National Enquirer's source for the Tiger Woods affair story "is not her friend" and "may have spoken to the magazine in exchange for a sizable payout."
Uchitel told the Associated Press, "Everyone is assuming I came out and said this. This is not a story I have anything to do with. I resent my reputation is getting completely blasted in the media."
She told US Magazine: "I have not had an affair with him. I understand that there's rumors all over because everybody's talking about it. But I'm telling you, people say rumors about me all the time. People will say a ton of things about me. I did not have an affair with Tiger Woods. The things that were said from the source in the Enquirer are in fact, not true."
US Magazine also related Uchitel's contention that she denied everything to the Enquirer and offered to take a lie-detector test, but the Enquirer claimed it was too late and the story would run as-is.
You get the picture. Uchitel denies it, and does so emphatically.
I know nothing about Uchitel, but what I know about Tiger Woods and the National Enquirer suggests that Woods deserves every benefit of the doubt on this. Innocent unless proven guilty.
Update: Later events obviously proved my "deserves every benefit of the doubt" comment naive, although it still made sense at the time. See Tiger Woods Scandals for all the later updates.