Former US running star says she worked as a prostitute

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:09pm EST
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By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Former U.S. Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, one of the biggest U.S. track and field stars of the 1990s, worked as a prostitute over the last year to cope with depression, the middle-distance champion said in an apology on Twitter.

Favor Hamilton confirmed what she called a "double life" after an online tabloid site, The Smoking Gun, reported the story on Thursday, including details that she had charged $600 an hour while working for a Las Vegas escort service.

The three-time Olympian, and multiple All-American and U.S. champion from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, tweeted that she became a prostitute because it provided coping mechanisms to deal with struggles in her marriage and her life.

"I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them," she tweeted on Thursday. "I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing."

Using the alias "Kelly Lundy," the attractive, fit, blonde-haired Favor Hamilton, 44, traveled to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston with dates, The Smoking Gun said.

"As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody," she tweeted.

She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she runs a real estate firm with her husband and does motivational speaking and promotional work for the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association and the Disney running series.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association said on Friday it had terminated its agreement with Favor Hamilton, who helped promote potatoes as part of a healthy diet.   Continued...

Suzy Favor-Hamilton of the U.S. sits on the track after a DNF in her heat of the 1500 meter semifinal at the World Championships in Athletics, in Edmonton August 5, 2001. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn