Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Rachel Uchitel learned the hard way not to leave traceable, tawdry texts if you're sneaking around -- and now she's ready to put that knowledge to good use. Uchitel, who rose to infamy in 2010 as one of Tiger Woods' former mistresses, tells the New York Post she graduated from private-detective school last week and is already working on her first case in New York City.
Although she has some personal experience in this department, Uchitel, 36, says she has no intent of catching philandering partners. "Obviously, people want to go down the 'cheating' road, and assume it's all about me finding cheating spouses," she says. "But I'm less interested in that."
"I'm more interested in cases that haven't made it on (CNN's) Nancy Grace or Jane Velez-Mitchell, but are just as important," says Uchitel, who has previously worked as a Bloomberg TV news producer and VIP nightclub host. "Missing people, cold cases... and sure, a few liars out there who need to be exposed. I want to solve cases for the underdog, for people who don't have a voice."
Uchitel, who underwent weapons training while taking her private-investigator classes in Los Angels, is pursuing her gun licenses in both NYC and LA, and says she's excited to pack a pistol. "I love the Glock," she says, revealing that she'd like to carry the same 9mm handgun as many NYPD cops.
While the former mistress was learning the finer points of sleuthing at DGA Detectives Academy, she worked for owner Dale Gustafson's PI firm researching a child-custody case, personal-injury claims and financial matters. "She's very smart," says Gustafson. Uchitel scored a 97 on her final exam from his academy, the third-best among hundreds of academy graduates over the past 15 years. "She's very meticulous and careful, and good with details, and pretty in-your-face about going in and talking to people. She's not afraid to ask the hard questions."
Uchitel hopes to eventually open up her own PI firm and jokes, "I'm thinking of calling it Puma PI -- because I'm not yet a cougar!"