See the update at the end of this post on Disney canceling a 2013 Suzy Favor Hamilton appearance in Anaheim.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 20, 1:08 P.M.: Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time U.S. Olympic runner who appeared in a Nike commercial, reportedly spent the last year doubling as a $600-an-hour escort for a Las Vegas service that sent her to clients in Sin City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. So what does this have to do with prudish Orange County? Well, it was advertised "Kelly," Hamilton's alter ego, would be available for hire here Aug. 30-31. Hamilton remained in Anaheim Sept. 1 to promote and Sept. 2 to run in the Disneyland Half Marathon.
From always-on-top-of-it The Smoking Gun today:
[I]n late-August Twitter posts, [escort service] Haley Heston noted that "Kelly" would be available in Orange County, California on August 30 and 31. Favor Hamilton appeared September 1 at the Disney Exhibit Hall to provide "valuable race and training information" to runners participating in the following day's Disneyland Half Marathon (which Favor Hamilton ran with her husband).
It's an exhaustive, emotional and eye-opening piece by the Smoking Gunners, whose unnamed reporter confronted Hamilton in a hotel lobby where she initially denied being an escort, even though she had apparently shared her true identity with some clients.
Eventually, Hamilton acknowledges her "huge mistake" in the story. She called the escort business "exciting," but the mother conceded her husband strongly opposed her secret side job with Haley Heston's Private Collection.
A middle distance runner out of the University of Wisconsin, Favor Hamilton is the most decorated female athlete in NCAA track and field history and is the namesake of the Big Ten Conference's female athlete of the year award (the male equivalent honors Jesse Owens).
She ran in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics but did not medal. Nonetheless, she has appeared in national ads no only for Nike but Reebok, Clairol, Pert Plus and Foothill Ranch's Oakley.
Favor Hamilton tells The Smoking Gun her escort career began last December, when she met the Haley Heston website operator "with the idea of fulfilling a fantasy and only doing it for the short term." But after her first date, she was "hooked."
She apparently was not into it for the money. The Smoking Gun discovered she resides in a $600,000 home in Madison, Wisconsin, with her child and 44-year-old husband, and there is nothing to indicate they are in financial distress.
As a motivational speaker, Favor Hamilton makes about 60 appearances around the country a year, but she says she tried to make it to Las Vegas as often as possible to serve her Haley Heston clients. Of course, as her Anaheim engagement showed, she could appear in big cities in both Suzy and Kelly roles.
Her face was blurred out on photos that accompanied her Haley Heston escort ads and profile, which described her as being a college-educated "workout fanatic" who skied, ran marathons and had traveled to more than 20 countries.
Her rates were from $600 for one hour to $6,000 for a 24-hour period. That would get you the "Full GFE" or "girlfriend experience," meaning it would be more intimate, less wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. Clients paid $300 more for a particular sex act.
The Smoking Gun apparently learned about Favor Hamilton's secret life from one of her clients, who she referred to as "scum" and said she would never sleep with again. Indeed, she claimed that even before the reporter confronted her, she was already informing her clients she was done with the business and moving on.
She also told of recently starting therapy to "figure out myself why I've done what I've done." What's funny is, checking The Smoking Gun story's comments (45 and counting, last time I checked), it was mostly split with women reacting they can't believe they trusted Favor Hamilton, expressing sympathy for her "poor husband" and child and saying she needs "counseling."
The reaction of men, meanwhile, seems best summed up by Shawn Morris' at the top: "I see nothing wrong with this at all. Her body, her choice."
Considering the ladies who work just outside Disneyland and in nearby motels (for much less than $600 an hour), it is refreshing to see someone from the trade can makes it inside the gates.
UPDATE, DEC. 21, 9:28 A.M.: Until a day ago, a press release on Disney's website indicated Suzy Favor Hamilton would speak in Anaheim during the August 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon weekend.
With the news breaking about the three-time Olympian's secret life as a paid escort, her name has since been removed from the news release.
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Bob Hitchcock, a spokesman for the company's races, reportedly tells the Orange County Register Favor Hamilton is no longer scheduled for future Disney events. Her next scheduled appearance had been February's Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Give the Mouse credit for ignoring the sudden huge interest in those events among dads (heh-heh . . .)..
Favor Hamilton tweeted the following at @favorhamilton Thursday: "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."