December 21, 2012, - 2:17 pm

Suzy Favor Hamilton: The Olympic Athlete/Secret Hooker I Knew

By Debbie Schlussel

Yesterday, my inbox was buzzing with e-mails from former University of Wisconsin athletes I tutored when I was a grad student at the University of Wisconsin School of Law and, after that, at the University of Wisconsin Business School. The e-mails were about their friend, Suzy Favor Hamilton, the former Wisconsin track star, three-time U.S. Olympian, and–as it was revealed yesterday–a high-priced hooker. I was surprised, but maybe I shouldn’t have been.


At the time I was a tutor for the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department, Favor Hamilton sometimes hung around campus, where she often trained and we often saw her at parties and athletic department events and fundraisers, including “Butch’s Bologna Bash,” a giant party held at the Wisconsin Athletic Department Fieldhouse where I didn’t eat the stuff (because I keep kosher). She was beautiful with all-American good looks, and she was stiletto-thin, almost anorexic-looking as many full-time professional runners are. She seemed nice to me. But most of the athletes I knew dissed her and dismissed her as a self-centered airhead and a ditz.

I tutored mostly football and hockey players (until I was fired after I wrote an op-ed piece in the Wisconsin State Journal about how many of the athletes couldn’t compete academically and were unfairly coddled and subsidized by other students and taxpayers). And I became friends with many of those I tutored, who were just a couple of years or so younger than I, and we kept in touch. Yesterday, I heard from many of them with the link to The Smoking Gun (TSG) expose.

I can’t say I’m surprised that it turns out she’s living a double life as a prostitute . . . er, “escort,” even though her finances are fine and she didn’t need the money. Suzy Favor Hamilton had fame and fortune and adulation. But she never medaled in any of the three Olympics in which she competed. And her looks and the attention she garnered were fast fading. I think she did this for attention and the praise and power over male suitors that she once had when she was a track star and not a track star has-been. That’s what she meant when she told the TSG reporter, “You wouldn’t understand.” Um, we do understand quite well. It’s a sick egomania that she fed with deviance, as many pro athletes do. You don’t have to be a star to know that’s what’s going on. She went from being a hick from Stevens Point, Wisconsin (where I once briefly lived and worked as an attorney) to being a semi-star, and she coudn’t handle the drop back to obscurity.

Favor Hamilton’s reaction to her outing by TSG, after she told her “clients” her real identity, is warped and out of touch, too. Revealing her true identity to men engaged in crime and deceit with her and expecting it not to get out is truly idiotic, as there may be honor among thieves, but not among johns. It backs up the “airhead/ditz” characterization the jocks I knew made about her. They were on the money more than they knew. Or maybe they knew all too well.

I feel sorry for her husband, who was a pitcher on the University of Wisconsin Baseball Team and seemed like a really decent guy, and, especially, their seven-year-old daughter. It’s simply warped that she did this, especially knowing that her husband knew about it. Not sure how any husband could tolerate the wife being a call girl. She offered herself to “couples” for $1,500 for two hours. Eeuuww. Suzy Favor Hamilton, incredibly, remarks that her husband “wasn’t supportive of this at all.” Really? Ya think? Gee, I wonder why not. The long overdue divorce is probably coming soon soon he finally had the guts to remove her from the family biz website.

Even though she never reached Tiger Woods’ level of fame, she had his level of conceit and inflated sense of self worth. And just like him, now that she’s been caught, she dismissed it all as a response to depression. Uh-huh. You keep tellin’ yourself that, Suze.

That’s what this was all about. Very sad. But there are a whole host of former Olympians (just like former NFLers and NBAers), spoiled like this for most of their lives, who just can’t handle it when they have to return to a life of being one of “the little people.”

Unfortunately, since this is America–where every malefactor in a scandal is rewarded with even more fame, her selfishness will pay off. Watch for the Suzy Favor Hamilton book deal, the interview with Barbara Walters or People or “60 Minutes,” the modeling spread.

That’s how it works. She was upset her fame and excitement faded and did something extremely selfish, and now she’ll be rewarded by being more famous than she ever was.

Only in America.

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