As fallen politician Eliot Spitzer attempts to resurrect his political career by running for New York City comptroller in Tuesday's primary elections, New Yorkers are sure to recall the scandal that brought it to a grinding halt a few years ago, and Ashley Dupre, the temptress who was a member of the prostitution ring in which he was ensnared. After fellow disgraced politician Anthony Weiner's latest misstep, we took a look at the post scandal pursuits of his foil Sydney Leathers (who got a serious wake up call for her poor choices). So far, Leathers has not managed to make much of her infamy, but how has Dupre taken advantage of the platform she was suddenly thrust onto in the wake of the "Luv Guv" scandal?
Dupre, a former high-end call girl known as "Kristen," has actually capitalized fairly successfully on her notoriety, finding several outlets through which to sustain her 15 minutes of fame. Not unlike Sydney Leathers, she was featured in an exclusive photo shoot for the New York Post soon after the Spitzer scandal, and received several high-figure offers to model from Hustler and Girls Gone Wild, amongst others.
Although Girls Gone Wild managed to exploit footage of Dupre which they obtained before the Spitzer scandal broke, Dupre wisely avoided getting deeply involved in the adult video industry. Instead in May 2010, she posed for Playboy, a brand which fashions itself as high class and is generally considered tame enough for celebrities to appear in.
Furthermore, Dupre didn't simply opt to take the easy route and pursue short-term financial gain, but instead cultivated a broad image and marketed herself as an expert on all things sexy. In doing so, she was able to secure a columnist position for the New York Post, and even scored a gig on the VH1 reality show Famous Food, which really had nothing to do with her area of "expertise," but effectively demonstrated her ability to move beyond being a spectacle and into mainstream media.
Eventually, Dupre decided to turn a new page and move beyond the spotlight and into family life. However, she was able to leverage her experience and insight into sexuality and relationships into a fashion business. Her boutique, Femme by Ashley, specializes in swimwear and lingerie, and was inspired by her desire to help couples stoke the flames of their romance.
All in all, Dupre has carefully and successfully moved forward from the "Luv Guv" scandal and taken advantage of several opportunities across the board to demonstrate her capabilities beyond just being "Kristen." Not unlike Eliot Spitzer himself, despite having a colorful past, she has managed to build positive experiences from and avoid being defined by the mistakes of her past.
Anthony Weiner and Sydney Leathers would do well to take note.