By Chris Strauss, USA TODAY Sports
One of the most decorated female distance runners in U.S. track history admitted that she had been working as a $600 an hour escort for a service based in Las Vegas.
According to The Smoking Gun, who had been working on the expose for several months, Suzy Favor Hamilton admitted to one of their reporters that she was the woman being profiled as "Kelly" on a site called Haley Heston's Private Collection. The service deleted Favor Hamilton's photos earlier this month at her request.
Via The Smoking Gun:
"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." She added, "Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge."
Several hours after the story broke, the 44-year-old married mother issued a direct apology on her Twitter account.
"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."
Favor Hamilton competed in the women's 1500m in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. A nine-time NCAA champion at Wisconsin, the Big 10 awards its "Suzy Favor Award' annually to the conference's female athlete of the year.
It was in the women's 1500 meter final at the 2000 Games in Sydney where Favor Hamilton drew attention for falling to the track (she later admitted it was intentional) after it became apparent she wasn't going to win a medal.
The Madison, Wisc. resident discussed that race and other obstacles in her life in a July feature with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Via the Journal-Sentinel:
"Your whole life, you're told how great you are, from your coaches to your friends to your parents' friends," she told the paper. "I had to be the perfect child, in my mind. It wasn't anybody's fault. I never blame anybody. It's just the way society is. So you feel you have to be perfect. Or, at least, I did."
Favor Hamilton told The Smoking Gun that her husband Mark was aware of her escort work.
"He tried, he tried to get me to stop," she said. "He wasn't supportive of this at all."
USA TODAY Sports