Ashley Dupré Exclusive: ‘My Side of the Story’

Escort at Center of Eliot Spitzer Scandal Talks to Diane Sawyer

By KIMBERLY LAUNIER and KATIE ESCHERICH

Nov. 19, 2008—

 

The young woman at the center of the historic downfall of the governor of New York is finally speaking out.

Ashley Dupré, the 23-year-old former escort who was the target of intense media scrutiny in the days after Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s resignation from public office, has stepped forward to give her first television interview. Dupré told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that she does not feel responsible for Spitzer’s downfall.

“If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else,” she said. “I was doing my job. I don’t feel that I brought him down.”

In March, the media discovered Dupré was “Kristen,” her alias at the Emperor’s Club V.I.P., the high-end escort service that had arranged her rendezvous at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., with Spitzer. Soon after the story broke, Dupré sought refuge at her family’s home in New Jersey.

“I felt like it was surreal, like it wasn’t happening,” she said. “But it was.”
Continue reading

Ex-Call Girl Ashley Dupré: I’m a ‘Normal Girl’

By Mark Dagostino

Originally posted Wednesday November 19, 2008 08:00 AM EST

She was the tabloid sensation at the center of the sex scandal that brought down New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. But in her very first interview, Ashley Alexandra Dupré tells PEOPLE, “I am a normal girl.”

“Everyone knows me as ‘that girl,’ but I’m not just ‘that girl,’ ” the 23-year-old former escort says in the new issue of PEOPLE, on sale Friday. “I have a lot of depth, a lot of layers.”

Enduring a media spotlight that included seeing her MySpace photos splashed on front pages “has been really hard,” the New Jersey native explains. “But I’m a survivor.” Continue reading

Spitzer Won’t Face Charges for Scandal

No Evidence That Ex-Governor Used Public or Campaign Money for Prostitution

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 7, 2008; A02

Former New York governor Eliot L. Spitzer will not face criminal charges for his role in a prostitution scandal that drove him from office this year, prosecutors announced yesterday.

Investigators for the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service uncovered no evidence that Spitzer had misused public or campaign money to pay women employed by the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced New York prostitution ring.

Justice Department guidelines disfavor indictments against clients of prostitution rings, even those who transport women across state lines to have sex in violation of the Mann Act. Spitzer acknowledged making payments to the service, which amounted to “acceptance of responsibility for his conduct,” said Michael J. Garcia, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“We have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

In all, four people connected to the Emperors Club as bookers and organizers pleaded guilty to criminal offenses for their roles in the scandal. Authorities looked closely at building a case against Spitzer based on his withdrawals of money and his payments to a shell company called QAT Consulting Group. But they ultimately determined that there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed against him, Garcia said.

Spitzer, a Democrat who had crusaded against Wall Street abuses as New York’s attorney general, encountered a rockier path in Albany, where he clashed with the Republican majority leader and even members of his own political camp.

In recent months, Spitzer receded from public view, working at his father’s real estate investment company and maintaining an unusual silence for a man who once dominated the headlines and used his office as a bully pulpit. Behind the scenes, defense attorneys Theodore V. Wells Jr. and Michele Hirshman provided financial data to prosecutors in an effort to persuade them to drop the case.

Yesterday, Spitzer made a statement through a New York public relations firm saying that he appreciated “the impartiality and thoroughness of the investigation.”

“I resigned my position as governor because I recognized that my conduct was unworthy of an elected official. I once again apologize for my actions, and for the pain and disappointment those actions caused my family and the many people who supported me during my career in public life,” he said.

The disclosure in March that Spitzer was “Client-9” in a seamy affidavit involving an international prostitution operation set off a media firestorm. Room 871 of Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, where Spitzer had a rendezvous with prostitute Ashley Alexandra Dupre in February, became a minor tourist attraction. FBI agents previously had trailed Spitzer to the hotel in an unsuccessful effort to catch him in the act.

Don Buchwald, an attorney for Dupre, said yesterday that she is “pleased the matter is behind her.”

Prosecutors said their investigation began as an effort to determine whether the governor was engaged in public corruption. They noticed unusual payments from Spitzer into the QAT Consulting bank account, an account that had been used to launder more than $1 million from the prostitution ring.

Investigators obtained wiretaps in which Spitzer and other customers arranged liaisons with women, sometimes paying more than $4,000 per night.

Spitzer resigned in the middle of his first gubernatorial term, at a news conference in which his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, stood gravely by his side.

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Link to original story

‘TWO ON ONE’ VS. SPITZER

By MURRAY WEISS

April 24, 2008

A second call girl has provided federal investigators with details of Eliot Spitzer‘s fondness for high-priced hookers, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

The lady of the night, who was intimately acquainted with the disgraced governor’s pay-for-play sessions, backs up details given to the feds by Ashley Alexandra Dupre, 22, a bombshell brunette who allegedly was a favorite Spitzer hooker, the sources said.

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It’s unclear whether the second woman was associated with Emperors Club VIP – the brothel that dispatched Dupre to entertain Spitzer in Washington, DC.

The owner and three employees of Emperors Club were indicted a week before word of Spitzer’s involvement broke.

Spitzer – identified in the Emperors Club criminal complaint as “Client-9” – was caught Feb. 13 on a federal wiretap arranging for Dupre, whom he knew as “Kirsten,” to be delivered to his room at the Mayflower Hotel.

In the complaint, “Kirsten” insisted she didn’t find the ex-governor very “difficult,” even though her madam warned that he might want “unsafe” sex.

Law-enforcement sources said Spitzer didn’t like to wear a condom.

The second hooker-informant also told investigators Spitzer was fond of using sex toys to enhance his own pleasure, the sources said.

“The full portrait of Mr. Spitzer’s sexual interests has yet to be told,” one source said.

Spitzer’s spokeswoman, Anna Cordasco, had no immediate comment.

The feds found the second hooker in the course of reviewing records, following the money and checking out the mountain of tips in the case.

She expanded on the portrait of Spitzer’s sexual fetishes in graphic detail, the sources said, also divulging that he had a penchant for props.

Sources said the second hooker also noted that Spitzer liked to keep his socks on during sex – a claim previously made by Republican political operative Roger Stone.

Stone said a November letter he wrote to the FBI about Spitzer and prostitutes included details of the bizarre habit.

In addition to the Emperors Club VIP, Spitzer has been linked to an East Side escort service run by busted alleged madam Kristin “Billie” Davis, law-enforcement sources have said.

The scandal erupted on March 10, when Spitzer admitted he had “acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family.”

The feds began investigating after Spitzer’s bank tipped them about irregularities in an account that he used to pay for his sex romps.

Additional reporting by Andy Geller

MORE: ‘Madam’ Lawyer Wants DA To Bare All In Indictment

 http://www.nypost.com/seven/04242008/news/regionalnews/two_on_one_vs__spitzer_107850.htm

The True Stories of O

(Books and Publishers) Permanent link

High-end prostitutes are all the rage, both in politics and, now, in bookstores. Howard Jacobson does a roundup for Prospect of recent memoirs and novels written by former prostitutes, with the intent of examining both the insight and the fairytales they offer readers. This is not a compilation of book reviews, but an airing out of controversial opinions and an unflinching examination of societal views regarding prostitution.  

Jacobson examines three books—Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, and The Scorpion’s Sweet Venom: The Diary of a Brazilian Call Girl—in an attempt to understand the dichotomous perception of prostitution and its effects on its practitioners. It is apparent, based on both the amount and manner of coverage Ashley Dupré received following the Eliot Spitzer scandal, that we are divided on what to make of the sex trade. While one would be hard pressed to find a person willing to recommend it as a career choice, prostitution is a guilty pleasure that tantalizes our imagination, men and women alike. And while most of us see the selling of one’s body as a sad and dangerous act, we also fantasize about being so desired as to merit Dupré’s $1000-an-hour price tag and career-sacrificing allure. It isn’t just high-end call girls like Dupré that hold this forbidden appeal. In Story of O, the infamous 1950s French tale of erotic submission, the protagonist derives pleasure from her debasement at the hands of her lovers. “Isn’t that what O pursues,” Jacobson asks, “the sensation of nothing mattering, least of all herself? And isn’t that why some men visit prostitutes, for the intense experience of abnegation associated with payment, for which next to nothing is given and next to nothing is felt?” The three prostitutes-turned-writers seem to think so.    

It would be unwise to read too much into these books, or to form an opinion on the complexities of the sex trade—or sex trades, as Jacobson argues that there are multiple castes within the prostitution industry—based solely on their authors’ stories. There seems to be two basic motivations for writing about one’s tenure as a hooker, neither educational: The prostitute either wants to glorify or vilify the industry and its consumers. Either of these seems simplistic and disingenuous. After all, not only are we talking about the oldest profession, we’re also trying to understand arguably the most complicated physiological aspect of nature—sex—through books about themes that, if authored by anybody other than former prostitutes, would fall under the “teen” section in the local library, as Jacobson points out.

Jacobson’s article makes a thoughtful case for infusing the prostitution debate with more perspective. The exchange of sex for money among adults is a multifaceted issue, one that deserves more than the hysterical diatribes of opponents, sensational portrayal by media, and perfunctory “keep laws out of the bedroom” refrain from decriminalization supporters. While the books themselves don’t offer a solution, at least a critically astute discussion of them raises the level of discourse.   

 —Morgan Winters

Sexist Language, Not just for the Right Wing Anymore

by kellie bean  

March 21, 2008 at 14:36:10
 

This month, Rob and I agreed I would begin serving as a “topics editor”; I will be tracking and reporting on media coverage of women. I expected at the time to have my hands full covering such things as the roles spouses play in the Presidential campaigns, McCain’s fluctuations on abortion, and questions concerning the whereabouts of Michelle Obama’s Princeton thesis. (By the way, it was never actually unavailable, as reported; I Googled her and found the document instantly way back in February.)

Then the Spitzer hubbub. It pains me to offer as my first post a critique of language used against the woman involved, language appearing here at OEN.

Let’s be clear. The woman now being called “Spitzer’s whore” will not achieve the wealth and notoriety so much media commentary predicts. At best? She’ll further disempower herself by posing for notoriously, aggressively misogynist glossies like Hustler and Penthouse. If these issues outsell all others, her body will have further enriched male-defined industries. What about a potential book deal? Well, do we imagine she has secured a literary agent—or, rather, that one has approached her, knowing full well the money people will pay to read her story. Wait. No one would pay to read her story; it’s Spitzer’s story the publisher will actually be selling, using her to, again, further enrich others. Surely no one imagines that this woman has been entertaining literary aspirations, hoping to one day pen a memoir of her life as a prostitute.

Many others, likely men, will make money mocking, ridiculing, reporting on her behavior (see: Penthouse, O’Reilly, Schlessinger, et al). One DC escort service did. MSM is as we speak, churning out the Spitzer “news” and updates of the day. So why the anxiety over the woman making a few bucks? Indeed, this scandal may put money in her pocket, but wealth does not translate into a safe, happy or promising life to come. Just ask the drunken young women routinely exploited by the titanic Girls Gone Wild enterprise and the many who have filed abuse charges against its owner/founder/pimp Joe Frances. Young women are offered t-shirts and trucker hats in exchange for the product (salacious videos/women’s bodies) that has made Frances a billionaire.

Why begrudge the “whore” a few hundred thousand dollars when the particular man in question could afford to spend thousands on a single encounter? Further, someone else is earning lots of money pimping her services under the kinder gentler moniker: escort service.

And this brings me to language. Dictionary definition of whore: “a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.” There is no synonym in our language for a man who does similar things. We’re stuck with “male whore”—which proves my point here about sexist language. Only women can utterly debauch themselves where sex and money are concerned. Men, particularly powerful men, on the other hand, take and sell pictures, stand with brittle wives behind podiums explaining how their actions are nobody’s damn business and painting themselves as devoted public servants. These men frequently recover both their reputations and their careers. Who can forget Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Arlen Spectre, George H. W. Bush? The list is long. But who remembers the names of their female cohorts? Let’s disabuse ourselves here and now of the myth that women seduce powerful men for fame and career.

Finally, a word about the use of the possessive. Today in my inbox this tag line appeared: “Spitzer’s Whore? What about Cheney’s?” These women do not belong to these powerful men. They simply don’t. But the possessive doesn’t function at the denotative level in this case. That is, it doesn’t indicate literal ownership. Operating at the connotative level, the phrase exposes ideology. “Spitzer’s whore” renders the unnamed woman invisible while highlighting her guilt as greater than the named man’s.

As grown men and women, we’re smarter than we sometimes sound when it comes to women, sex and morality. Discovering sexist language on a site like OEN disappoints but does not surprise, not because I believe Rob or any other contributors/commenter entertain truly misogynist politics, but because the syntax of gender bias so saturates our culture and language that too often in moments like these language fails. Language—politicized, gendered, vexed—exposes not just what we do not love about our culture, but sometimes ourselves as well.

———–

Dr. Bean is an Associate Professor of English at Marshall University. She is the author of “Post-Backlash Feminism: Women and the Media Since Reagan/Bush” (McFarland & Co. 2007).

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http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_kellie_b_080321_sexist_language_2c_not.htm

Twitter, iPhones Let Sex Workers Spread Their Gospel

By Regina Lynn 03.28.08

When the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal heated up headlines earlier this month, every media outlet in the country suddenly began scrambling to talk to a sex worker.

The downfall of Spitzer, the New York governor who resigned after his private sex life unexpectedly became public, generated an enormous amount of interest in the escort industry and in Ashley Alexandra Dupré, the woman he had been seeing.

But the whirlwind didn’t catch sex workers and activists lying down. They organized a media blitz through blogs, Tumblr, Twitter and shared Google Docs. They kept tabs on which reporters approached the topic with respect and which didn’t. And perhaps for the first time, they made their voices heard in mainstream venues like Fox News and CNN — organizations that cannot be dismissed as fringe or adults-only media. Continue reading

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