Less than twelve hours after New York Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned from office, the call girl he met in a Washington hotel was on the front page of the New York Times:
She left a broken home on the Jersey Shore at 17 and came to New York City to work the nightclubs as a rhythm and blues singer. Now, at 22, she is the unwitting, and as yet unseen, star of the seamy drama that is the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York.
Kristen, the prostitute described in a federal affidavit as having had a rendezvous with Mr. Spitzer on Feb. 13 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, has spent the last few days in her ninth-floor apartment in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. On Monday, she made a brief appearance in federal court, where a lawyer was appointed to represent her. She is expected to be a witness in the case against four people charged with operating a prostitution ring called the Emperor’s Club V.I.P.
In a series of telephone interviews on Tuesday night, she said she had slept very little over the past week, with all the stress of the case.
“I just don’t want to be thought of as a monster,” the woman said as she told the tiniest tidbits of her story.
Born Ashley Youmans but now known as Ashley Alexandra Dupré, she spoke softly and with good humor as she added with significant understatement: “This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated.”
She has not been charged. The lawyer appointed to represent her, Don D. Buchwald, told a magistrate judge in court on Monday that she had been subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury investigation. Asked to swear that she had accurately filled out and signed a financial affidavit, she responded affirmatively.
A person with knowledge of the Emperor’s Club operation confirmed that the woman interviewed by The New York Times was the woman identified as Kristen in the affidavit. Mr. Buchwald confirmed various details of Ms. Dupré’s background but would not discuss the contents of the affidavit.
Since there’s very little else to discuss, the Times then goes on the talk about the contents of Dupré’s MySpace Page where, if you’re so inclined you can hear her sing a vapid hip-hop tune.
The Times even tracked down “Kristen’s” mother:
Ms. Dupré’s mother, Carolyn Capalbo, 46, said that after her daughter finished sophomore year in high school, Ms. Dupré moved to North Carolina. “She was a young kid with typical teenage rebellion issues, but we are extremely close now,” Ms. Capalbo said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Ms. Capalbo said that she was “shell-shocked” when her daughter called in the middle of last week and told her she had been working as an escort and was now in trouble with the law. She said she was not sure that Ms. Dupré realized who Mr. Spitzer was when he was her client.
“She is a very bright girl who can handle someone like the governor,” Ms. Capalbo said. “But she also is a 22-year-old, not a 32-year-old or a 42-year-old, and she obviously got involved in something much larger than her.”
Gee, do ya think ?
The question, of course, is whether the Times should’ve but this on the front page. This comment at Lawyers, Guns and Money does have a point:
I have to say, the decision to reveal her identity publicly makes me somewhat uncomfortable — she will now be branded as the woman who brought down Spitzer, and as a prostitute. She is sure to face stigma (though perhaps she’ll get her 15 minutes too). That said, she’s an adult and chose to talk on the phone with the Times reporter.
Of course she did. Can any of us really say we’d pass up the opportunity for attention if it presented itself ? Yea, she committed a crime but it’s fairly clear she’s not going to be prosecuted for it and, like most 20-somethings, she really isn’t thinking very clearly.
Frankly, I wouldn’t surprised if she showed up between the covers of certain magazines in the next few months.