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Ex-Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton admits to being escort

Suzy Favor Hamilton, one of the nation’s best-ever middle-distance runners, competed in three Olympics for the US.

file 1999/john bazemore/associated press

Suzy Favor Hamilton, one of the nation’s best-ever middle-distance runners, competed in three Olympics for the US.

Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says she coped with depression and a troubled marriage by turning to a life of prostitution.

In a series of posts to her Twitter account, Favor Hamilton acknowledged working as an escort following a report Thursday on The Smoking Gun website about her double life.

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‘‘I do not expect people to understand,’’ Favor Hamilton tweeted. ‘‘But the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression.’’

The Smoking Gun said the 44-year-old athlete has been working for the last year for a Las Vegas escort service that booked her for dates there, as well as in Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. The website said she charged $600 an hour for her services.

One of the country’s best-ever middle-distance runners, Favor Hamilton competed for the United States at the Olympics in 1992, 1996, and 2000 but did not win a medal. She won seven US national titles. She lives in Madison, Wis., where, The Smoking Gun reported, she and her husband, Mark, live in a $600,000 home and appear to be in no financial distress based on the website’s review of court and municipal records.

Favor Hamilton told the website that only her husband was aware of her escort work, but that, ‘‘He tried, he tried to get me to stop. He wasn’t supportive of this at all.’’

The website reported that Favor Hamilton worked under the alias ‘‘Kelly Lundy’’ but said she told some of her clients about her true identity and suspected one of them leaked it.

Soon after the story appeared online, Favor 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.’’

Prostitution is legal in most rural counties in Nevada, but is illegal in Las Vegas and Reno. Las Vegas police have no record of any arrests or contact with Favor Hamilton, said a department spokeswoman.

Favor Hamilton is a three-time outdoor 1,500-meter national champion and a three-time indoor national champion — her last title coming in 1999.

‘‘As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody,’’ she said in one Twitter post.

In another, she says she is seeking psychological care.

She closed her series of tweets by saying, ‘‘I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.’’

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