Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew star Rachel Uchitel, 37, was once the face of 9/11 mourners, but years later her name became known as the “other woman” in reports of David Boreanaz and Tiger Woods’ infidelities
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” the mom-to-be tells Celebrity Baby Scoop in an exclusive interview. With her first child due on May 12, the reality TV star says it’s time to “forgive” and “move on.” While she admits “my name precedes me,” Rachel is trying to heal the past and “have some acceptance with myself.” In an open discussion, Rachel talks about her “great” pregnancy, excitement about impending motherhood and her hopes for a brighter future with husband Matt Hahn and their baby girl. “I’ve moved on and I hope other people will too and see that I am doing my best to try and have a normal life,” Rachel shares.
CBS: Congratulations on your pregnancy! When are you due? How are you feeling?
RU: “I’m due on May 12th and I’m feeling great! I’m trying to work out every day and stay fit. During the first trimester, I was really tired. But I never got morning sickness. I’ve been really lucky with a healthy pregnancy. I had a little bit of a scare with gestational diabetes – I tested right on the cusp of that. I didn’t require any medications, I just had to change my diet and eat more proteins and I’ve been fine ever since.”
CBS: Have you enjoyed pregnancy?
RU: “I have! I still can’t believe that there’s something growing inside of me. It’s very hard to picture it and the size of it, and the fact that it’s a person [laughs]. It’s really interesting to carry this thing around with you for nine months. And that’s why early on we found out what sex it was and decided on a name, because we wanted to identify with it and really feel like it was a person. So we’re really excited and totally thrilled, it’s just hard to believe that it’s true and there’s a baby in there!”
CBS: It’s a girl! Have you decided on a name?
RU: “Yes, it’s a girl. I’m going to wait and share her name after she’s born. You never know, we might see her and want to change our minds.
One thing I will share is that we chose a boy’s name. I know that a lot of people were giving Jessica Simpson a hard time about Maxwell which I found interesting because people are so judgemental. If you meet somebody somewhere and you ask what name the baby is, you would never say, ‘That is so awful,’ or ‘They’re going to call that kid maxi-pad.’ You would never say that! It’s such a personal choice. It’s so awful for poor Jessica who is probably hormonal and going through all these changes to hear people making fun of her child’s name.
But the bottom line is we chose a boy’s name as well, and I don’t think I’ve heard it used before. We loved it and thought it was such a strong name. And I have no idea where it came from – I don’t know anybody with this name. It just came to us and thought, ‘That is so beautiful for a girl’s name.’ We love it and if other people don’t like it, that’s fine. We gave her a middle name that’s very feminine to off-set it.”
CBS: Are you feeling prepared for the upcoming birth?
RU: “I hear that question asked to a lot of pregnant women and I often hear, ‘Oh it’s so beautiful and it’s such an amazing experience.’ But I don’t answer the question like that. I’m really scared to death! I’m so excited to have a baby, but I’m really scared of the actual labor.
We’ve taken all the classes we’re supposed to take to prepare for labor and pain. I’m going to face it and there’s nothing I can do to get around it at this point! But it’s scary because it’s the unknown. You see these birthing movies and everyone’s screaming! But I’ve prepared myself in thinking I shouldn’t focus so much on the pain, I should focus on the fact that it’s a good pain because the end result is a good thing.”
CBS: It sounds like you’re hoping for a natural birth and you haven’t scheduled a C-section?
RU: “In places like New York and L.A., they allow you to schedule C-sections. And a lot of people choose to do that now which is totally fine. To be honest, if it was made easy for me, I probably would’ve taken that route because I’m probably being a scardy-cat. But in San Francisco at the hospital I’m using, it’s not an option. My option is just to brave it out, and I’m planning on a natural childbirth. My birth plan is to try and do it naturally, but if I need drugs I’m absolutely not going to try and be a hero. I will get an epidural if I need to. I’m going to do what I need to do as it happens.”
CBS: Are you excited to be a mom? How have you been preparing for motherhood?
RU: “I’m really excited to be a mom! Until you’re pregnant, you can’t really wrap your head around motherhood. Some people grow up knowing they want to be a mom and some people don’t. And some people don’t care one way or the other. For me, I had a really tough relationship with my own mother so I was always pretty scared to be a parent, especially to a girl. A mother-daughter relationship is often tough.
So my opinions of having children in the past was that I really wanted to find the right person to have a child with, and then it would make me want to have a child. But it was really important that I found a partner that I loved enough to have their child. So finally, 37 years into my life, that happend and I’ve been lucky enough and fortunate enough to find the right person.
So parenthood for me so far – nine months of being pregnant – I feel ready and prepared. In the last nine months I’ve been doing everything that I can do to prepare like read books, take classes, strengthen my relationship with my husband, strengthen my relationship with my mother, and really try to have some acceptance with myself.
I had a really tough childhood and I’m committed to making sure that my daughter gets everything that I didn’t get including a really good childhood. That means the most to me. That’s my big goal – to make sure she gets all the things that I didn’t get. Meaning: attention and things that I think are really important for a child growing up.”
CBS: Who will be at the birth?
RU: “It will be Matt and I in the birthing room and my aunt is actually a midwife here in San Francisco and she will be there to help deliver the baby. My mother lives in New York so she will get a phone call when I get into the hospital and she’ll fly out right away. I think it’s really important that it’s just Matt and I in the delivery room, but my mom will be here right away and she’s planning on staying for a week. Matt’s family will probably come out as well to help out.”
CBS: Do you think it will be healing between you and your mom when the baby arrives?
RU: “I hope so. I’ve spent the last nine months taking this very seriously and trying to repair relationships and come to terms in my own head about things in my past so that I feel content in raising a child.
So yes, I feel like this will be helpful and my mom and I will strengthen our relationship. And maybe I will get a new understanding for what she went through as a mother. She raised me on her own because my parents got divorced when I was four. She’s the CEO of her own company so I was basically raised by housekeepers and I went to boarding schools and was kind of shipped all over the place.
I feel very strongly about making sure I have a very safe environment for my child and a happy home with two parents that are raising her and making sure that she doesn’t feel the way that I felt. But now, I feel like I might have a better understanding for my mother. The choices she made are the best choices she could’ve made and I didn’t see it that way growing up.”
CBS: Is Matt excited to be a dad? What kind of dad do you think he’ll be?
RU: “He’s really excited! When he found out we were having a girl, his whole world became all about this little girl and she’s not even here yet! He’ll be a great dad. He comes from a big family – he’s the oldest sibling of four children. He grew up in a very close-knit family and he’s great with kids and babies. He’s very patient and I think he’s super excited that it’s a girl. Sometimes I’ll come home and he’ll be hanging out with the dogs just practicing on the glider to make sure it rocks properly. I got these onsies that say ‘I love daddy’ and I’ll notice him checking them out – it’s really cute.”
CBS: Your name sure has been dragged through the mud! How have you dealt with the public scrutiny?
RU: “I moved on a long time ago and it’s odd to me that a lot of people haven’t. People will still hear my name, an article will come out about me, I’ll see the negative spin on it and I’m not sure why. It was three years ago that my name was in the paper so much. I’ve actually never commented on anything and did my best to keep my head above water. But it’s tough when you have people judging you so harshly. I’ve moved on and I hope other people will too and see that I am doing my best to try and have a normal life. You can’t make everybody happy and people are going to think what they want to think. All I care about is the people that I know. The people that know me are very supportive of me and they love me.”
CBS: Are you worried that your past might follow your daughter in the future, maybe when she goes to school?
RU: “No, not at all. I think that people won’t be talking about it four years from now or ten years from now. I don’t see that happening.”
CBS: What’s up next for you? Maybe a reality TV show for your new family-of-three?
RU: “It’s been two years since I did Celebrity Rehab. I’ve been offered a few different things and gone down a couple paths, but nothing that’s really made me want to say ‘yes.’
The tough thing is that my name precedes me. People are always like, ‘I know you from somewhere,’ and then when they figure it out, they have a preconceived notion of me. And it makes it difficult to get a credible job. I was a television producer in news years ago. I’d love to go back into TV and news in some way. That would be one of the things that I’d love to do, but it’s very difficult to go back into a job like that when the cameras have followed you for so long.
So I haven’t been able to find something that I feel comfortable with yet that I want to pursue. We’ve been in talks before about reality shows and I turned down options that were related to following me in a personal way. But everything changes with every moment. My life was different when those options came in and now I’m married with a child so I’d have to see how I feel about that.”
CBS: Anything you want to say to the public about the ‘real’ Rachel?
RU: “It’s almost like the crazy person saying, ‘I’m not crazy!’ [laughs]. People have a preconceived notion about somebody and nothing’s going to change that unless you meet that person. You can read tabloids about celebrities, and most people have never met these celebrities, and they judge them based on how the story is written.
It’s a hard thing to answer because, of course, I would love for people to get to know me. And that’s why I did Celebrity Rehab instead of Celebrity Apprentice. When Donald Trump offered Celebrity Apprentice, I chose Celebrity Rehab because I was having a hard time and really wanted people to get to know my story and really see me. If they chose not to like me after I let my whole self out there, then that is totally acceptable. But it wasn’t acceptable for me to let people make judgements about me based on what they read from the media. And it’s funny, anyone that has seen the show has been so respectful and supportive of me. And people that haven’t seen the show, still will make whatever judgements they want to make.
So I don’t really know what to say. I’d love to say to your readers: you’ve got to give everybody a chance! Not just me, but you’ve got to give everybody a fair shake because that’s what I think they would want in their lives. I’m doing my best to try and get on the right path and have a family and be happy and make other people happy. I’m trying my best and everyone deserves a second chance. I hope that people can see me as not so much of a threat. I hope I’m forgiven and I want people to know I’m trying my best.
People will often say to me, ‘Who cares what other people say about you!’ and I’ll reply, ‘It doesn’t bother me,’ but of course if bothers me! It cripples me, so I don’t read any of that stuff. I’m only human.”