Suzy Favor Hamilton: Olympian’s secret life as Las Vegas escort

December 20, 2012

Suzy Favor Hamilton at the 2001 World Championships. (Laura Rauch / AP)

Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time Olympian and middle-distance runner, has admitted that she led a secret life as a $600-an-hour escort in Las Vegas.

In an interview that first appeared on thesmokinggun.com, Favor Hamilton apologized and called working as an escort a “huge mistake.”

“I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I’m not the victim and I’m not going that route,” Favor Hamilton said. “I’m owning up to what I did. I would not blame anybody except myself. … Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge.”

Favor Hamilton, 44, used the alias Kelly Lundy as she booked dates in Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston while she worked for Haley Heston’s Private Collection service. However, her true identity was revealed when she confided in several male clients and she acknowledged that she was Kelly when approached by a Smoking Gun reporter. Favor Hamilton, who lives in the Madison, Wis., area, is married to her college sweetheart and is the mother of a 7-year-old girl.

“He tried, he tried to get me to stop,” Favor Hamilton said of her husband. “He wasn’t supportive at all.”

In a series of tweets this afternoon, she said: “I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing. I was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life. It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life. I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression. As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody.”

Favor Hamilton, who was featured in an edgy Nike ad in 2000, is also a motivational speaker and real-estate agent who told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal last summer that she had struggled to overcome anxiety, self-doubt, an eating disorder and postpartum depression.

The Smoking Gun story indicates that she began her secret life a year ago. She on her profile on the Haley Heston site: “I met Haley with the idea of fulfilling a fantasy and only doing it for the short term. … Well, after my first date, I was hooked, and have been doing my best to visit Las Vegas as often as my schedule allows (I run my own business in my real world life).”

In the profile, she added that “discretion is  EXTREMELY important to me, hence you will only see blurred photos of my face on this site. I know this is not ideal, but I hope you understand that it is essential for me.”

Favor Hamilton competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, falling in the 1,500 in Sydney once she realized she could not medal in honor of her late brother, Dan. Favor Hamilton, who competed at the University of Wisconsin, is one of the most honored athletes in NCAA history. The annual award given to the Big Ten’s top female athlete is named for her.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · December 20, 2012