Celebrity Rehabber Rachel Uchitel visited Ground Zero with Dr. Drew and TV cameras for closure, not publicity, she insisted.
The Las Vegas party hostess, who was linked to Tiger Woods in the aftermath of his breakup with his wife, came to the site of the 9/11 attacks last week to shoot scenes for her upcoming appearance on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab."
Uchitel, 35, lost her fiancee in the attacks and was featured on the cover of the New York Post at the time, plaintively pleading for information on his well-being. She raised her profile in the years after the attacks, working as a party promoter in New York and Vegas.
Uchitel bristled at the suggestion the trip to hallowed ground was in bad taste.
"Who the f--- are people to be talking about me?" Uchitel told the New York Post. "Until they go through what I went through, living with a guy and being engaged to him and having that person dead an hour after waking up next to him."
Uchitel said she visited the site to "get closure on some stuff I've been dealing with . . . and I don't know why people would take that the wrong way.
"If people think I'm milking something for the benefit of getting on TV or getting more well-known, I'm already well-known," she said.
Joining Uchitel on the upcoming season of "Celebrity Rehab" are actor Eric Roberts, "The Hills" star Jason Wahler, original supermodel Janice Dickinson, 1970s teen heartthrob Leif Garrett, troubled actor Jeremy London, socialite Jason Davis and Keyshia Cole’s mother Frankie Lons.
London has denied reports that he and Uchitel have been more than friendly during the taping of the reality show.
In 2004, Uchitel wed a Wall Street trader, but the marriage lasted just four months. She moved on to "party girl" status and reportedly dated stars including Woods and "Bones" actor David Boreanaz.