Over the last two years, Ashley Alexandra Dupre has juggled multiple identities in the public's imagination. First she went by the pseudonym "Kristen," a $2000- to $4000-a-night call girl who took the Metroliner from New York to Washington D.C. for a sexual liaison with Client No. 9, aka former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. When the New York Timeslater revealed Dupre to be the governor's mistress, the New Jersey native became an overnight sensation. At the time of the blow up, Dupre was working in New York City as nightclub waitress with aspirations of breaking into the music industry. After tabloid and gossip blog fodder about "Girls Gone Wild" episodes and reality TV deals, Dupre is now attempting to reclaim her identity and sexuality by showing the full monty in a sexy Playboy pictorial. The photos are accompanied by a revealing article about the skeletons in her closet, in which she dishes about her first experience in the hooker business: "I was at a club one night, and a rich older guy said to me, 'I'll give you a thousand dollars if you come home with me.’ I was like, Wow, a thousand dollars sounds good. But I was scared. Really scared. Is he going to pay me? Is he going to beat me up? ... I made $1,000, and it was no different from sleeping with someone while I was high. Looking back on it, I realize I didn’t have any self-respect."
This week we landed an interview with the so-called most famous escort in America during her publicity blitz for Playboy. After the jump, Dupre discusses sex addiction, catching on fire, why men cheat, how Tiger's mistresses are getting it all wrong, and the secrecy of the call-girl experience.
BroBible: After the scandal broke in 2008, you received offers to pose nekked in Hustler and Penthouse. Why did you pass those down and choose Playboy two years later?
Ashley Dupre: I received $2 million offers from the other magazines. I just did not feel that they were of Playboy's standard. Really I didn't want to do anything when everything happened just because I would have been known as Spitzer's hooker. Whereas now it's two years after the fact and it's Ashley Dupre. It's where I've been from, where I come from, where I am today, and where I'm going. So it's more about myself and my story. The media outlets have been buying and selling my sex and images of half-nekked photos, just -- like -- in a different way. Playboy was really a chance for me to reclaim my sexuality as a women and for me to take control of my image. Playboy's the number one men's monthly subscription [magazine] for like 55 years. Cindy Crawford, Pamela Anderson, and Brooke Burke have all graced the covers. I'm totally honored to be a part of the Playboy family.
How was the actually photo shoot itself? Were you nervous?
It was amazing! I'm nekked and there's all these good-looking guys around you and they make you feel completely comfortable because they're so professional. I feel like they're not even looking at your body. They're like 'O.K., how's the lighting? The set needs to be changed. Fix her hair.' Nobody is really noticing that I'm nekked because they do this every single day.
How long did it take you to relax and have fun with it?
I have my own insecurities like every girl does, so I had to warm up a little bit and it was a little bit awkward. But after a little bit they just made me feel really comfortable. We had music and it was just a really cool experience. It was different.
We heard about the fire on the set. What happened?
I was laying down and I was nekked. There were probably like 100 candles around me. I was laying on the ground and I moved and my hair pretty much caught on fire. It just went up in flames because of the hairspray -- highly flammable. My hair stylist was actually all the way across the room -- probably the farthest one away -- and came sprinting across the room screaming 'Fire! Fire!' He put the fire out with his hands. It was hilarious and crazy.
Now that you're under Playboy's wing, you've had the opportunity to go to the Mansion and meet Hugh Hefner. What was that experience like?
Hef is awesome. He's a total gentlemen. They really don't make them like him anymore. He's just so classy with his manners and his etiquette. I was just completely blown away by him. He really took me under his wing and believes in me, believes in my story. He's just a great guy.
A lot of people criticize him for his girlfriends, but he's in a committed relationship. He's married. He's in a monogamous relationship. For the outside, looking at his situation, it's honorable.
The other day you blasted out a tweet from a Huffington Post blogger Cloe Angyal who championed your appearance in Playboy as a "feminist victory." What do you think she gets right by calling it that?
Because I'm a strong female and refuse to just alter my life and go away and just disappear because I've made a few bad mistakes in my life. From the age of 17 to 21, I made horrible decisions, one after the other. I ran away from home. I didn't have a father figure in my life because he left when I was younger. My brother was into drugs and he was out of my life for 12 years. From the age of 17 to 21 it was just a series of bad decisions after bad decisions. I'm 24 right now. I'm going to be 25 on April 30th. For me, I'm so proud of where I've come from. Yes, I've done drugs and I've done crazy things, but -- at the end of the day -- I pulled myself out of that and I'm pretty level headed. I went to therapy and I'm really proud of myself for not having to go to rehab and not being dead somewhere, so to say. I pretty much raised myself.
So for her to say, "[She's] a feminist and she just refuses to give up," to me that's just the best compliment. So many people on my interviews are like, "No, you're a hooker and that's all you're ever going to be." Even Opie [of the Opie and Anthony Show] -- that's fine, you can judge me, but at least read the article in Playboy. Read a couple of my blogs on Stiletto Suicide. Get to know me before you judge me. A lot of people make really bad decisions between 17 and 21. I refuse to let my mistakes be what define me as a human being and I think she got that. I don't think anybody's mistakes should be what define them. I didn't kill anyone. I didn't mol*st any children. I did something with a guy and it was two adults and we made a decision.
Look at all these women who are in marriages with these guys and they don't even love them. That's like the legal form of prostitution. To me, that's horrible.
There's a mystique to the call-girl experience in popular culture. Last year there was the movie "The Girlfriend Experience" and there's "Secret Diary Of A Call Girl..."
All developed after my situation...
What do you think these fictional spins get right or wrong about the call-girl experience?
I think that they don't really... At the end of the day, that was really such a secret part of my life. I woke up one day and my secrets were exposed. My mistakes were exposed for the whole world to see. It's something I'm going to have to talk to my children and grandchildren about. Really, I am horrified that I have to do that. I'm horrified and disappointed that I got myself in these situations.
As far as glamorizing, I don't do that. A lot of people on interviews say "Talk about this or talk about that." I'm not going to promote prostitution. I'm not. Do I think it should be legalized? Yeah, I do think the bigger agencies should be legalized so they can be monitored for human trafficking.
After the Tiger Woods scandal broke out in December, you told "Extra," "When you sleep with a married man, you're only helping him stay married." How so? Can you can elaborate on that?
It's easy for a married man to stray from a relationship and go get a girlfriend or an escort. It's easier for him to do that than go get a divorce and break up everything he's worked for. He's created this lifestyle with someone. You've bought a house together. You have cars, children. You have things together. It's easier for them to go outside the relationship and get that little void that's missing than it is to break all that off. You're really helping him stay married because you're filling the void.
For me, I feel that guys who cheat -- yes, maybe it's a bigger situation, and yes, maybe they're not getting whatever at home -- but, shame on them for deciding to go astray or a women deciding to go astray, because women do cheat, too. Shame on them for saying "we need to sit down, there's a problem here. Let's figure it out before we go outside the marriage."
You also came out with some harsh criticism toward Tiger's mistresses for speaking freely and openly about their affairs. What was so upsetting about that for you?
I don't think they have any idea the impact this has on them as girls. They're going to be labeled and branded the rest of their lives just as I am and I'm fighting to overcome that. Will I ever overcome it? I have no idea but I'm trying pretty damn hard to not let my mistakes define me as a human being. I also don't think they realize the impact that this has on their family. I was brought into this. I had no choice. I was catapulted into the media spotlight. I had no choice. I didn't ask for this. I'm trying to do the best that I can. Obviously I've made mistakes and I'm dealing with them and I'm paying for them. These are the consequences. At the end of the day I have to explain this to my children and my grandchildren and that's going to be extremely difficult.
Tiger was a part of this chain we see in the media of high-profile people on top of their careers cheating. Mark Sanford, Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer. Why are they willing to risk severely damaging everything they've built up for themselves by cheating?
I think it depends on the situation. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors. We don't know about their relationship is like with their wife. We don't know what's going on. We get one side that they cheated and shame on them, but we don't have the whole story. Like I said, I think it is easier for them to cheat than deal with the problem that's going on within the marriage.
I do think a lot of guys cheat just because they can and can get away with it. It's power and those things. Those are the guys that should be in a swinging relationship and married to a women who shares the same belief as them. But the male ego is "Well, I can sleep with other people but I don't want my wife to sleep with anyone." Then there's the sex addict that won't acknowledge he needs help.
That's something I wanted to ask you about. We've heard so much about sex addiction over the last couple months. There's two sides to the issue — that it's a real problem that needs treated or it's merely BS. What's your opinion?
I think a lot of people use it as a cop out. A lot of people that get caught in a relationship say "Oh, I'm a sex addict. I'm going to go get help." But there are truly sex addicts out there. There are truly people who, by a girl wearing a sleeveless shirt with a little bit of cleavage, can't control themselves. It's definitely known and out there. But I think a lot of people are also using it as a cop out to save a relationship.
As a sex columnist for the New York Post, what's the one sex tip every guy needs to know?
Well, I'm not a sex columnist. I know they advertise it like that, but I'm a relationship columnist. I do relationship questions and sex questions, but then I had a parent write in saying "My 16-year-old daughter is out of control. What do we do?' As far as any relationship, I say, "Don't let life get in the way of any relationships." When you have kids, don't forget that that child is a product of your love for each other. Save your relationship because happy parents equal happy children.
You've kicked up the blogging at Stiletto Suicide. What are you goals with that project?
I don't want to be famous, I just want to be successful at doing things that I love. Yes, a lot of doors have closed for me; I can't exactly be a third-grade teacher anymore. That's been a dream of mine if music didn't work out before everything happened. I can't do that. But I'm looking for doors that are open. I can help young girls who are headed down a similar path or parents with wild children. I have my column in the New York Post. I have Stiletto Suicide. I'm on the cover of Playboy. I'm trying to find those doors that open. I refuse to let my mistakes define me. It's not even that I want fame or anything, I just want a chance to show people who I am rather than what people think I am. I refuse to let the mistakes I made between 17 and 21 define me for the rest of my life. If I can change stuff a little bit, then I'm happy.