A New York nightclub hostess accused of having an affair with Tiger Woods cancelled a planned press conference amid reports she had negotiated a million-dollar deal to remain silent about her alleged relationship with the champion golfer.
Rachel Uchitel had been due to speak, through lawyer Gloria Allred, to reporters following speculation the discovery of the alleged fling by Woods’s wife led to last week’s car crash involving the 33-year-old billionaire.
But a day after the golfer apologised for “personal sins” that had let his family down, the briefing in Los Angeles was called off just hours before it was due to start due to circumstances that were not disclosed.
A spokeswoman for Ms Allred’s office said yesterday: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms Uchitel has cancelled the press conference which was due to take place later today.
“There will be no further statements on the matter.”
The nightclub hostess previously denied having an affair with the world’s number one golfer but was widely expected to make a statement admitting she did have a relationship with him.
US reports claimed Ms Uchitel had cancelled the press conference after negotiating a million-dollar payoff.
Since the alleged affair was reported in the National Enquirer, Woods has been accused of cheating on his wife with two more women.
Earlier, Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who first introduced Woods to his wife Elin Nordegren, said he thought the world number one “was a better guy than he is”.
Parnevik said he owed Woods’s wife an apology as it was he who introduced the American to her while she was working as his au pair in 2001.
On Wednesday, the golfer himself apologised for letting his family down in a statement that alluded to “personal sins” and the forced exposure of “intimate details” of his life.
It came as US Weekly reported a Los Angeles cocktail waitress claims she had a 31-month affair with Woods.
The magazine released what it said was a voicemail – provided by waitress Jaimee Grubbs – that a man who identified himself as Tiger left on her phone three days before his accident.
Ms Grubbs told the magazine she met Woods at a Las Vegas nightclub the week after the 2007 Masters – two months before Woods’s wife Elin gave birth to their first child.
In the voicemail released by the magazine, a man says to Grubbs: “Hey, it’s, uh, it’s Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favour.
“Um, can you please, uh, take your name off your phone. My wife went through my phone. And, uh, may be calling you.
“If you can, please take your name off that and, um, and what do you call it just have it as a number on the voice mail, just have it as your telephone number. That’s it, OK. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye.”
The third woman to be linked to Woods is 27-year-old Las Vegas nightclub promoter Kalika Moquin, who has denied rumours of a fling.
US gossip websites suggested the reports of an affair may have led to a domestic dispute between Woods and Ms Nordegren, 29, leading up to the crash.
On Wednesday, Woods, who was cited for careless driving and told he must pay a fine of US$164 (€108.79) in relation to the car crash, did not comment directly on the claims.
But he said: “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves.
“I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.”
He said he was “dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors” and added: “I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves.
“For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.”
He went on: “The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.”
He also hit out at the way he has been hounded to expose “intimate details” of the couple’s life together.
“Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions,” he said.
Woods was left dazed, bloodied and in need of medical attention to cuts to his face after the crash at 2.25am (7.25am Irish time) on Friday.
His wife told police she used a golf club to smash the back windows of the SUV in a bid to get her injured husband out of the vehicle.
But since the incident there has been growing speculation over the circumstances leading up to the accident.
Woods and Ms Nordegren have been married for five years and have two children.
To date, Woods has benefited from a squeaky-clean image which has helped him amass a fortune through product endorsements and appearance fees.