Three-time U.S. Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton admitted to working as a Las Vegas escort for the past year, reportedly offering her services as recently as Dec. 5 in a secret life that she said only her husband had known about until now, TheSmokingGun.com first reported on Thursday.
Favor Hamilton, 44, who also runs a real estate brokerage firm in Wisconsin with her husband, was once featured in a Nike television commercial, a swimsuit calendar and had more recently been involved in promotional work with Disney. Her work as a call girl had allegedly taken her to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston and she was getting paid upwards of $600 per hour. According to the rates posted on the website of the company that allegedly handled her business, Haley Heston, she charged $6,000 for a 24-hour period.
The report states Favor Hamilton worked under the fake name "Kelly Lundy" but she said she often revealed her true identity, including her past life as an Olympic mid-distance runner, to clients who she thought would keep it a secret, an assumption she is now calling "a huge mistake."
On Thursday, Favor Hamilton sent out a series of tweets taking responsibility for her actions:
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. I have been seeking the help of a psychologist for the past few weeks and will continue to do so after I have put things together. I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support from family and those closest to me. I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.
According to TheSmokingGun, Favor Hamilton originally admitted to her double life as "Kelly" to a reporter in a Las Vegas casino, and was concerned about being attacked as a "homewrecker."
Favor Hamilton, who has a seven-year-old daughter with her husband, competed in the Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000 but never medaled. She finished her career at the University of Wisconsin as the most decorated female track-and-field athlete in NCAA history; the Athlete of the Year award for the Big 10 Conference is named after her. In addition to her work with Nike, she has also appeared in national ads for Reebok, Clairol, Oakley and Pert Plus.
The report cites her as taking "full responsibility" for her mistakes:
“I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I’m not the victim and I’m not going that route. I’m owning up to what I did. I would not blame anybody except myself.” She added, “Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge.”