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Alleged Tiger Woods Mistress Rachel Uchitel Suffered 9/11 Tragedy Before Spotlight (Photos)

(AP Photo/David Zentz)
Photo: Rachel Uchitel Nov. 29, 2009.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Rachel Uchitel has been adamant that she is not having an affair with Tiger Woods, the golf great whose strange Nov. 27 car accident still remains a mystery despite an ongoing and frustrated police investigation.

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But the 34-year-old New York nightclub hostess' love life has been in the spotlight before, for radically different reasons.

(AP Photo/CP, Andrew Vaughan)
Photo: Rachel Uchitel hold's her dead fiance's photo shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

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Uchitel first gained attention in the wake of September 11, when she lost her fiancé, Andy O'Grady, in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Her grief stricken photo appeared in the New York Post as she clutched her fiancé's picture.

CBS Affiliate WCBS-TV spoke with her a year after the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.

"When I think of Andy I no longer cry. I smile and I laugh. I'm at that point now. I can go on everyday knowing that somebody like him chose me to love," Uchitel told the New York station.

But the tragedy also led to an unlikely new love, according to a 2004 New York Times profile that showcased Uchitel and her new husband Steven Ehrenkranz.

(AP Photo/Afton Almaraz)
Photo: Rachel Uchitel Nov. 29, 2009 in New York.

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On Sept. 11, Ehrenkranz had left the Twin Towers shortly before the first plane made impact, according to the paper.

Days later he was shocked to see Uchitel's photo in the New York Post. The two had attended private school together as teens, said the Times. Two years later they ran into each other at a party and started a long friendship that turned into a courtship.

(CBS)
Rachel Uchitel, right, with TV star, David Boreanaz.

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The pair married on Nov. 2004. Four months later, they divorced.

Recently Uchitel has been linked to television actor and "Bones" star David Boreanaz, according to New York gossip columnist Michael Musto, who says Uchitel has consistently denied the rumor. "She says none of it is true or sometimes she says she doesn't kiss and tell," said Musto.

The daughter of a wealthy family, Uchitel's father was built a cable TV empire in Alaska and her mother is a Palm Beach socialite, according to the New York Daily News. Her father died in 1991.

Uchitel claims she is the granddaughter of a 1960s New York nightclub impresario, Maurice Uchitel, who ran many upper-crust hot-spots including the legendary El Morocco nightclub, the New York Daily News reports.

Over the weekend, Uchitel teamed up with high-powered attorney Gloria Allred to help her manage the flurry of claims coming her way.

Allred's news-hounded client list includes Paula Jones, who sued President Clinton for sexual harassment, and Paul McCartney's ex-wife, Heather Mills.

As for Tiger Woods, the king of swing still isn't talking. And now he's not playing, either.

Woods withdrew Monday from his own golf tournament, citing injuries from his car crash. His decision comes as questions continue to mount regarding what exactly happened in the wee hours of the morning last Friday - questions that most certainly would have been asked of him had he played.

Florida Highway Patrol says their investigation is ongoing.

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate WCBS-TV

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  • Edecio Martinez

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