« Miami Man Wins MTV Reality Show From G's to Gents | Main | Televangelist Joel Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel »

Ashley Dupre, Eliot Spitzer, Hookergate, and Trick Turner

Morning folks, I thought we might start the day off with a little discussion of Hookergate, co-starring Ashley Dupre and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

You may recall that Spitzer's political career came to a grinding halt, and he was forced to resign last spring, when it came out that he had been paying several thousand dollars an hour to hook up with Ms. Dupre.

By the way Trick Turner has absolutely no relevance to this discussion. I just wrote that down 'cause I've always thought it would be a cool stage name for a porn star or, um, a trick turner. And did you know there is a Hookergate School in the UK? I wonder what their mascot is.

But I digress. I was struck in a bad way this morning by news that Ms. Dupre has yet another interview scheduled - next up with Diane Sawyer for ABC's 20/20 news magazine - on the media tour she's undertaken over the past week or so.

When this edition of Hookergate first erupted in March, Dupre was unapologetic, not at all a disciple of the takes-two-to-tango school of thought, essentially suggesting that Spitzer was the lone culprit in that mess, and insisting that she was merely an impressionable young pawn ripped from the gritty 'hood, and earning a buck several thousand bucks the only way she knew how.

Later, it was learned that her rough, gritty, childhood was about as real as the biography that Vanilla Ice sold us back in the day of him coming from the mean streets of Miami, as opposed to the Dallas, Texas, 'burbs. Dupre had actually come from a relatively well off family and by most credible accounts had been a well cared for child.

So with that revelation in mind, here's why her media tour, which I'm guessing will lead to a book deal and/or an original movie on the Lifetime Network, bugs the crap outta me: It's not really redemption if you were never in those dire straights.

I get that trading sex for dollars means you've fallen pretty low. But I'm saying unlike a lot of people who find themselves there, Dupre had pretty solid means to avoid that life but chose it anyway.

I'm a reasonable guy, open-minded to the extent I really do believe that people deserve second (and third, and fourth, and many more chances) to redeem themselves and become productive, non-toxic members of society.

There are times I see people who've done bad things, ranging from distasteful to seriously criminal. And my immediate reaction tends to be screw 'em. They brought it on themselves. But it's inevitable that my tone softens and my role goes from critic to cheerleader if, for example, I learn later that the guy who was caught stealing $100 worth of groceries has five hungry kids at home and is unemployed due to injury. His act was wrong and technically criminal, but under the circumstances I understood it. That coupled with his apparent remorse compels me to endorse a helping hand up for him.

And then there's the drug addict with whom I'm annoyed for lacking self control, until I learn she became addicted as an impressionable 10-year-old who accepted a free sample from a sidewalk pharmacist in her neighborhood.

So giving bad actors a spotlight and opening a door for them that leads to potential fame and income is not a bad thing in and of itself. Seriously, rewarding people who turn tricks, solicit trick turners, slide down poles without the benefit of being fire fighters, deal drugs, etc., can be just fine. I write about people like that all the time. If you didn't see it yesterday here's my latest shameles self promotion article on such a person.

The difference in these people and folks like Ashley Dupre is that her ilk has the means early in life to do the right thing, and lacks the incentive to do desperate things. They don't grow up in trouble, get immersed deeper in it as they grow into adulthood and then struggle their way out. Nor do they work hard and earn big fame, fall from grace, and scrap their way back from the fall.

They grow up with support systems and decent family, voluntarily shun those support systems, willingly seek out trouble, get busted while engaged in trouble, and then do media tours and offer formulaic apologies - in Dupre's case to Spitzer's wife - not for redemptive purposes but as a precursor to the fame they hope will fall into their laps. But hey, fame in your lap is probably safer than a paid-by-the-hour set of genitals in your lap.

You know how they say that one vote counts? Well, so does one viewer. And as much as I enjoy 20/20, I won't be watching this Friday...not that ABC will care, mind you, but you get the picture.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ashley Dupre, Eliot Spitzer, Hookergate, and Trick Turner:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I wouldn't be surprised if that "decent family" turned out to be not so ideal. I've never heard of a hooker that came from a well-adjusted family. Although I guess it's not impossible, just not very likely.


We impeached Clinton in 1998 for oral sex with a woman that wasn't his wife. Wasted most of 1998 on it. Spitzer's political is finished because he paid for sex with a consenting woman. We re-elected two guys after they started a war looking for weapons of mass destruction, that it turns out never existed, and that's OK. Don't even start on the Patriot Act and the loss of civil rights for so many people, and all that's OK. I thought we decriminilized sex? Why is sex such a problem here?

James B.

Grizz, I hear you. But in my "travels," I've also met an element of young people who did receive good upbringings but are so ambitious for notoriety that they're willing to do virtually anything to get it, including disavowing the manner in which they were raised.

Monty, I agree with you on all the things you cited, but this isn't about sex. That Eliot Spitzer had sex outside his marriage isn't the end of the world. It goes against the whole staying true to his vows thing. But he wouldn't be the first government leader to have an extramarital affair...with a prostitute. My humble opinion is that the sex didn't end his political career. The hypocrisy ended his political career. Attentive voters can stand a cheater unless his/her spouse is back home sick with a terminal disease while the cheating is going on. but attentive voters cannot abide a hypocrite. Don't forget that Spitzer took down Ms. Dupre's former dating agency before he met her. And when he took it down he made loud public declarations about how wrong they were for profiting from prostitution. And then when she found a new agency he found her and they did the do. Spitzer wasn't a victim of hyper-morality. He was a victim of hypocrisy. I suspect his fate would have been the same if this had nothing to do with sex but still involved hypocrisy - if, for example, he'd taken down an illegal gambling den and then been caught patronizing one a year later.


A great, well thought out post. I agree with you. You are right about Spitzer being brought down by his hypocrisy. As for Ms. DuPre she is just practicing a different form of prostitution these days. Her 15 minutes of fame is about over. She is gonna cash in one more time. Everything about this ordeal is sad at best.

James B.

Thanks, Mark. It is sad, all the way around. Still annoying too.


I agree w/ everything you said. My little sister was living in New York. She did not live in a doorman building in Manhattan but took the bus and subway to work from Queens. She worked at an office job that didn't pay much. Eventually, she moved away. Plenty of young women live in New York City without prostituting themselves. It IS possible, for Christ's sake.

I don't feel any empathy for that whore. Moreover, she has been blessed w/ great looks and, as such, has far more than most of humanity. She'll do very, very well, that one.

James B.

Matt, I'm gonna cherish this moment - a post in which you and I are basically 100% in agreement ;-)


Yup, it was the hypocrisy. Personally, I don't care about fidelity, except for in my personal relationships. I'm no judge. And I think prostitution should be legalized. But to kick and scream and indict, and then use those very same services...unforgivable.


Just proves that the rest of us need full body prophylactics.


Point well taken. I didn't follow Spitzer as much as I followed Bush and Cheney 25 miles away.

James B.

Franki, bingo.

Pamela, no kidding.

Monty, I have to confess I didn't follow Spitzer to closely till some of his prosecutions began reminding me of another former hotshot NY prosecutor - Giuliani. And so I began to be curious as to whether Spitzer, like Giuliani preached morality in conjunction with some of the folks he prosecuted and then left the sermon at the office at the end of the work day.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise