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NY governor's call girl becomes overnight star

A week ago, she was just a call girl and aspiring singer. But throw the governor of New York onto her client list and Ashley Alexandra Dupre has become an overnight star and budding millionaire.
AFP | By Paola Messana, New York
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 01:55 PM IST

A week ago, she was just a call girl and aspiring singer. But throw the governor of New York onto her client list and Ashley Alexandra Dupre has become an overnight star and budding millionaire.

Media reports said Dupre has already earned nearly a million dollars thanks to Internet downloads of her two songs since the news broke of her escapades with governor Eliot Spitzer that led to his downfall.

Her songs "Move Ya Body" and "What We Want" have been bought by two million people and downloaded from the site, the website said. Dupre gets 70 percent of the 98-cent cost of each song.

On Friday, the first song stood at number three on the site's "buzzing" list, and the second was number five on the most popular list.

And although she seems to have gone into hiding, Dupre was also reportedly in talks to pose naked for magazines such as Penthouse and Hustler, according to several US newspapers.

"She'll probably take that opportunity, especially because she wants to have a music career," Jean M. Twenge, author of "Generation Me", told the online magazine amNewYork.

"Let's face it. It could help. In some ways it's realistic."

The young woman sings in an R'n'B style, with a hint of Beyonce. And although she has not signed with any record label, her page on the social networking site MySpace says she has been influenced by singers such as Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.

On Friday she had some 1,798 "friends" on the site, and dozens of others had left messages of support and congratulations.

Spitzer resigned Wednesday after he was outed as a client of an exclusive prostitution ring. Dupre was revealed as the call girl known as Kristen with whom he had arranged a tryst in a Washington hotel.

"Wow Ash, you have been getting radio play all over NY," said one of the posts on Dupre's MySpace page. "You became a star in just one night," added another.

"Hi Love, the best thing is to take all this media attention and remind the public there is a war going on," advised a third. "There are important elections, and many women around the world who are struggling to survive and need help."

The 22-year-old from New Jersey had had a million hits on her page in the past two days, while her song "What I want" had been listened to three million times.

And Dupre's photo with its caption "what destroys me strengthens me" had had seven million hits, according to the website's online counters.

On her profile, she says: "I am all about my music, and my music is all about me. It flows from what I've been through, what I've seen and how I feel."

Dupre adds that she left home, a "broken family" and "abuse" at 17, adding that she has known drugs and solitude.

"I live in New York and am on top of the world. Been here since 2004 and I love this city, I love my life here. But, my path has not been easy," she says.

"If I never went through the hard times, I would not be able to appreciate the good ones. Cliche, yes, but I know it's true."

So far she and her laywer Don Buchwald have refused any interviews, since Dupre, born Ashley Youmans, told The New York Times: "I just don't want to be thought of as a monster."

"This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated," she added.

Her mother Carolyn Capalbo, 46, also told the Times she was "shell-shocked" to learn that her daughter was a sex escort who booked at about 1,000 dollars an hour.

"She was a young kid with typical teenage rebellion issues, but we are extremely close now," Capalbo said.

"She is a very bright girl who can handle someone like the governor," she told the paper, adding Dupre may not have realized that her client was New York's top politician.

"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."

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