NEW YORK -- The collateral consequence of scandal often is newfound celebrity, and for the 22-year-old call girl involved in the Eliot Spitzer scandal, prospects are rising.
The prostitute identified in court papers as Kristen is an aspiring musician named Ashley Alexandra Dupre. Her identity was only first reported Wednesday, but already her fame is skyrocketing.
This undated photo of Ashley Alexandra Dupre is from a myspace.com web page. The New York Times reported that Dupre is "Kristen," the prostitute described in a federal affidavit as having had a rendezvous with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on February 13, 2008 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Spitzer, who came into office in 2007 promising to clean up state politics, announced his resignation Wednesday. [Agencies] More Pictures
Curious about the woman so integral in the New York governor's downfall, many have flocked to MySpace to view her photos, music and biographical information. That material was removed Thursday after over more than 5 million visited her page.
Dupre's page had portrayed her as a New Jersey native who left a broken home to pursue a music career in New York. Court papers allege that Spitzer paid thousands of dollars for her services with the Emperor's Club VIP.
"I have been alone," she wrote. "I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music."
Dupre had also posted two songs at the music sharing site Aime Street, which allows musicians to earn a 70 percent cut of download fees, which are determined by their popularity. The songs, "What We Want" and "Move ya Body" are dance-pop tunes a la Britney Spears.
On "What We Want," she sings: "I know what you need/ Can you handle me?"
As of Thursday evening, the songs had been listened to by some 200,000. Downloads were selling for 98 cents each, though "What We Want" had previously been selling for less than 20 cents. That song was also making it onto the nation's radio airwaves.
"After the first play, a lot of the reaction was negative," said Sharon Dastur, program director of New York's Z100 (WHTZ-FM). "But after the second play, it became, `Play that song again,' and `Hey, that song's not bad."
Dupre also made an appearance in a video by the rapper Mysterious, director Jonathan Ehlers told Los Angeles TV station KCAL on Tuesday. In the video, Dupre is cast as the girlfriend of Mysterious, at one point making a vulgar hand gesture while lip-synching lyrics that include an expletive.
"She was very professional," Ehlers said. "Again, she was really warm. She had a great vibe and she was really fun to be around."
He said they haven't talked in a year. When he heard the news, Ehlers said, "I was shocked. All I could think was, I wondered where she was and I hoped she was all right."
Major labels would be unlikely to sign Dupre, but in the past smaller labels have taken a stab at capitalizing on such notoriety. Koch Entertainment profited by releasing an album in 2004 by William Hung, the "American Idol" castoff who horrendously sang "She Bangs." (Koch declined to comment Thursday on interest in signing Dupre.)
Susan Ferris, general manager of Los Angeles-based indie label Long Live Crime Records, thinks Dupre is unlikely to win a recording contract.
"Would it get her foot in the door here? There would probably be a morbid curiosity," Ferris said, noting that Nicole Narain, the Playboy model who Colin Farrell sued in 2005 over a sex tape, submitted music to the label that she sampled but deemed "god-awful."
"It's the train-wreck syndrome," said Ferris. "Out of complete curiosity, sure, I would put (the tape) in. Would I then sign her if I didn't think she was great just because of the controversy? No, not at all."
Dupre has not responded to requests for an interview by The Associated Press, and her lawyer, Don D. Buchwald, has declined to comment. The New York Times, which first reported Dupre's identity, quoted her as saying: "I just don't want to be thought of as a monster."
Publishers also would be interested in her story for a book, said Eric Kampmann, president of Beaufort Books.
Beaufort last year published O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," but Kampmann said he would not pursue Dupre's story since "up until now, she had no story."
"There's just kind of this prurient fascination that neither the press nor the public can get their eyes off of," said Kampmann, who compared the situation to Amy Fisher's and Joey Buttafuoco's. In 2004, iUniverse published Fisher's book "If I Knew Then."
Following the scandals of former President Clinton, Gennifer Flowers published a memoir in 1995, and Monica Lewinsky made inroads into the entertainment industry, hosting a short-lived reality TV dating program called "Mr. Personality" in 2003.
There is one surefire avenue for Dupre to cash in, should she choose to: adult men's magazines. Penthouse and Hustler are already knocking on her door.
"We would love to have her in the magazine," said Diane Silberstein, president and publisher of Penthouse Magazine Group. "We would even consider offering her a cover. We think we could also be very helpful to her in her music career."
Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt sounded doubtful about his chances, though, suggesting that by the time Dupre starts talking, she may be too big a media phenomenon for a simple magazine spread.
"She is no doubt going to do a book. There will probably be a movie," he said. "I think she is going to have so many offers coming in that it will probably be wishful thinking just to get in the door."