Rachel Uchitel Defends Love Addiction, Shares Plan to Taser People
By Nicki Gostin Posted Dec 1st 2010 05:00PM
Last year, Rachel Uchitel's face was splashed all over the tabloids as one of the other women in the Tiger Woods scandal. Now she's back in the news as a participant in VH1's 'Celebrity Rehab,' which debuts Dec. 1. Uchitel agreed to talk to PopEater under the condition that there were no questions about her relationship with Woods. What she would talk about was her head-scratching reason for being on 'Rehab': love addiction. "I hope one day people will recognize love addiction as a real addiction," she tells us. Uchitel also responded to recent hateful e-mails she's been getting by reading us a new one and shares her career plan (taking classes and learning to "fire guns and take fingerprints and taser people"). Fun!
Why did you decide to do 'Celebrity Rehab'?
I decided to do it because I wanted to give myself a chance to be understood and heard, that's the bottom line. I had been offered 'Celebrity Apprentice' and I was honored to get that call from Donald Trump, but it wasn't an opportunity to take a look at what was going on with me and what I was struggling with. 'Apprentice' was an opportunity for me to do tasks and possibly get fired but it wasn't an opportunity for me to feel understood.
Were you apprehensive at first to join the show?
When they approached me, and they approached me a few times, I was like, 'Absolutely not. I'm not a celebrity, I'm not an addict and I'm not enough of an actress to pretend I'm an addict.' Addiction to me was something involving meth, cocaine, heroin and I thought it was ridiculous to suggest I might have a love addiction. I didn't even know what that term meant and I thought it sounded ridiculous. What I've come to realize is that love addiction hasn't been recognized in the addiction community. I think it's the most common addiction that people suffer from and yet the least common addiction that people talk about or give credibility to.
What do you hope will come of this, then?
I hope one day people will recognize love addiction as a real addiction. Just like they've come to understand that alcoholism is a disease. It's not a moral issue, it's a condition.
What were your manifestations?
For me, it means I mistake intensity for intimacy. I'm used to these very grandiose expressions of intensity and I mistake that for love. I'm not good at having a relationship that's really calm and quiet. It's so funny for me; I think that I'm super simple. I might cause a ton of drama, but all I want is for that person in my life to turn to me and say, 'I'm not leaving, I'm not going anywhere, you can kick and scream all you want, I'm still right here.'
Are you able to uncover the trauma that started this?
Through the recovery process, I realized the primary male figure in my life, my father, died when I was young in a very tragic way and you know this is the primary figure that's supposed to teach you to be loved unconditionally and then later I lost my fiance in 9/11. He was this person who I could kick and scream and he would say, 'Okay, are you done? You want to go get some pizza? I'm not going anywhere so this is a waste of time.' I went through a bad marriage because I think I chose somebody because I wanted to know that somebody would stick around. I think I went through a lot of trauma that led me to feel like I need the reassurance of an intense relationship to feel loved. That's what my love addiction is about. I feel like when I discuss it with people, so many people share the same disease.
It's really interesting to me that there's an actual addiction called a love addiction. There's a label for this problem and there's a solution and that's the greatest thing for me having gone into rehab and learned it. And the reason I chose to do 'Celebrity Rehab' and do it in front of the cameras as opposed to doing it privately because it was my only way to be seen, to be understood, to be heard because otherwise the media made me into a character who people wanted to hate and vilify.
You were on the cover of all the newspapers after 9/11 and you were on all the covers last year. It was one extreme to the other.
It was really horrible. It goes to show you that you can be branded something because of the media. It's horrible to look at the span of those nine years and what's happened to me in between to get me to that place. I realize again from going to rehab that it was because of some trauma that I incurred that I went down some really dangerous paths in my life that led me to a bad place.
I saw you got sent a horrible e-mail.
This morning, I got an even worse one. I'll read it: 'You can add this to the list. If your husband didn't die in 9/11 I'm sure he would have killed himself like your junkie Dad.' Can you believe that? I've never in my life been spoken to like that. I don't see how it's okay for someone to behave like that. I'm speechless.
Wow. That's awful. Was your dad a drug addict?
Yeah, he died of a cocaine overdose.
What are your plans for the future?
I've learned from rehab it's really important to have a purpose. I lost a lot of credibility, if not all of it, in the last year. I come from a good family. I want to get back to working. I'm hard working. I have a good work ethic. I'm getting my masters in forensic psychology. I'm also taking an intensive course in forensic investigation, which allows me to practice as a private investigator. Whether or not that takes me back to the path of journalism or the P.I. business or into nothing at all besides being a more rounded person. I don't want to look too far into the future.
Right now, I'm excited to go learn at school, I'm excited to take classes, I'm excited to go learn to fire guns and take fingerprints and taser people; it's a fun activity for me. And it's about getting my credibility back so I can walk into a room and say, 'I want this job, here's why I deserve to have it.'
Best of luck with that.
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