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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ashley Dupre - The People Magazine Interview

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."

Spitzer Was Unknown to Her
Her descent into tabloid mayhem began the night of Feb. 13, 2008, when Dupré – who had worked as a high-end escort to help pay the bills on and off since 2004 – met a client who turned out to be the Governor of New York.

Dupré claims she had no idea who the man was that night. What she does recall is that "Client 9," as Spitzer was reportedly known at her escort service (which was shut down in March), "was polite.

"Some guys, they want to have conversations and really get to know each other. With him, it clearly was not like that. It was more of a transaction. Strictly business."

Casually dressed and with no entourage in tow, Spitzer didn't strike Dupré as someone important. Besides, "I was there for a purpose – not to wonder who [he] could be."

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FBI Steps In
In fact, she didn't find out who he was until March when, just days after learning she was mixed up in some sort of FBI investigation, she saw the Spitzer apologizing on TV. "It was surreal," Dupré says of seeing the client she had met a month before. "I felt like I was sinking."

As for the former governor, "I think he's been punished enough." Asked what she might tell his wife, Silda, who stood at Spitzer's side when he announced his resignation, Dupré offers, "I'm sorry for your pain."

In the interview, Dupré also opens up about her troubled past – running away at age 17 into a non-stop life of drinking and partying – and how a girl from the suburbs could fathom becoming a prostitute: "This wasn't any different than going on a date with someone you barely knew and hooking up with them," she reasoned. "The only difference is I can pay my rent."

Mother Finds Out

Once the FBI told her they were looking into one of her clients, Dupré says she was forced to confide in her homemaker mother, Carolyn, that she was turning tricks.

"It was extremely painful for her," Dupré says, though "my mother wasn't angry. She was supportive."

Now living with her mother and stepfather in New Jersey, Dupré says she has learned her lesson, and then some.

"I'm 23 years old," she says. "I want to do music, to do fashion, to write books – there's so many things." One thing she won't be doing: selling her body to make ends meet. "No," she says. "Never again."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ashley Dupre on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer

As reported - pretty much everywhere by now - Ashley Dupre will be on "20/20" this Friday, as part of that on-going Diane Sawyer series on prostitution. But for some reason, ABC has withheld the official announcement...until now.

Here it is:

"A Diane Sawyer exclusive: In her first television interview, Ashley Dupre, the woman at the center of the scandal involving former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, speaks candidly about what life as a high-end escort is like, how an upper middle-class, girl next door got into the profession and the psychological journey she continues to experience. The interview is a continuation of Sawyer’s recent and extensive reporting on prostitution that was the basis for an in-depth look at the profession, which aired in March of 2008."

OK, let's parse this: You'll notice that no where here does it actually imply that this will be an interview about the actual scandal, so one is left to wonder: Is Dupre even asked about Spitzer? A so-called "conditional" interview would be almost unthinkable, but I wonder why ABC doesn't at least say or suggest Spitzer comes up in the interview?

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