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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Penthouse, Flynt Offer "Kristen" Millions and Spitzer Makes Exit

From Bloomberg

By Gillian Wee

Just as Eliot Spitzer exits public life, "Kristen'' may be preparing for her grand entrance.

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt said he's willing to pay the prostitute, identified by the New York Times as Ashley Alexandra Dupre, $1 million to pose naked. Dupre, 22, may rake in $2 million more by selling her story to a magazine, said Lucianne Goldberg, the former book agent who passed taped conversations between Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky to reporters.

"A million dollars is more than what she would make as a call girl,'' Flynt said in an interview from Los Angeles after he made the offer March 14. "She's quite attractive. Maybe Spitzer wasn't paying too much after all.''

Flynt isn't the only one hustling for Kristen. Penthouse wants her to pose on its Web site, host a video chat or take part in a live Web-cam session, said Marc Bell, chief executive officer of Penthouse Media Group Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida.

Dupre's link to Spitzer, code-named Client 9 by the Emperors Club VIP escort service, has won her overnight fame. Her song ``What We Want'' was played more than 3.7 million times on her MySpace page as of yesterday, based on hits reported at the Web site.

She has already appeared in the New York Post, published by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also owns MySpace, in a spread of semi-nude pictures posted on the newspaper's Web site. The photos may have been unauthorized, according to Don Buchwald, her lawyer. Buchwald said he hasn't spoken to Flynt.

Grand Jury

Spitzer, who took office in January 2007, stepped down yesterday as the governor of New York after being identified as the Client 9 who allegedly paid $4,300 for sex with Kristen at a Washington hotel in February. Dupre, whose original name is Ashley Youmans, according to the Times, was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, Buchwald said March 13. He declined to say whether she is Kristen or whether she testified. Dupre isn't doing interviews, he said.

Dupre stands to gain more by cooperating with the print and TV tabloids, Goldberg said. Lewinsky, who snagged a book deal with St. Martin's Press and a Barbara Walters interview, was unique because of her ties to President Bill Clinton, whose troubles took longer to play out, Goldberg said.

"Spitzer was only a governor,'' Goldberg said. "Her price would go up if he had lied about it and they had the tape recording.''

"She's News"

Flynt publicist Kristine Coman said yesterday that Dupre hadn't responded to the Hustler offer, made in a news release.

Dupre says on her MySpace page, which had logged more than 9 million visits as of yesterday, that she moved to New York in 2004 to develop her music career and spent two years networking in clubs.

Penthouse's Bell wants to feature Dupre on sites including penthouse.com and adultfriendfinder.com, which in total have more than 200 million members, he said. He wouldn't say how much he's willing to pay. Other women, such as adult film star Jenna Jameson, have gone on to make millions after Penthouse, he said.

"She's news,'' Bell said. "The sooner she does something, the more money she can make. For all you know, there's going to be someone else who takes the news attention away from her.''

Dupre left home at age 17 because of abuse and a broken family, she says on her MySpace page. She was encouraged to pursue music, she says, by a friend who heard her singing Aretha Franklin's "Respect'' in the shower.

"The question with her is, is there any more material than just an article?'' said Samuel Freedman, a professor who teaches a course in non-fiction books at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. "It's hard for me to imagine a book's worth of stuff on the experience.''

Brief and to the Point:

We had advanced this possibility in an earlier post!

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