'Coping mechanism': US Olympian admits leading double life as prostitute

Three-time Olympian runner Suzy Favor Hamilton has admitted leading a double life as an escort.

She apologised on Thursday after a report by The Smoking Gun website said she had been working as a prostitute in Las Vegas.

The 44-year-old Favor Hamilton lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The Smoking Gun said she has been working for the last year for an escort service.

Despite using the name 'Kelly Lundy' as she advertised her services through Haley Heston's Private Collection, her double life has been revealed after she told clients about her real identity, believing there was an unwritten rule they would not speak out.

Soon after the story appeared online, Hamilton released a series of tweets saying in part that she 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."

A middle-distance runner, Favor Hamilton competed for the US at the Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000 but did not win a medal. She won seven US national titles. She went on to record a Nike TV advert, a swimsuit calendar and carry out Disney promo work.

AP

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