Ashley Alexandra Dupre
Feb. 27: Gov. Eliot Spitzer speaks at a news conference in Albany, N.Y.
The call girl involved in a scandal that brought down New York's former governor has dropped a lawsuit claiming "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis exploited her image and name on the Internet.
Ashley Dupre voluntarily dismissed the $10 million federal lawsuit, according to court documents filed Thursday. She said she was only 17 when she signed a binding contract giving permission to appear in the "Girls Gone Wild" video.
Telephone calls and e-mails to Dupre's lawyer and publicist were not immediately returned Friday.
Francis said in a statement issued late Friday night that "the truth invariably comes out, as I knew it would in this case. I am happy to, once again, be completely vindicated."
In her lawsuit, Dupre said she was on spring break in Miami Beach in 2003 when she was approached by "Girls Gone Wild" producers, given alcoholic drinks and then signed a release agreeing to appear. The series depicts women in provocative poses or topless, often in such party locations as Mardi Gras or spring break beach towns.
Francis has said Dupre was on the "Girls Gone Wild" bus for a week and made seven full-length videos.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Francis released a video where Dupre appears covered by a terry cloth towel and gives her name as Amber Arpaio. An unseen questioner asks if she is 18 and if the footage can be used on "Girls Gone Wild." She says yes to both questions.
The video also displays a New Jersey driver's license with the Amber Arpaio name and a birth date that would have made her appear to be in her 20s.
Dupre rocketed to fame in March when she surfaced as a high-priced call girl in the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring that involved then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned soon after the scandal broke. Dupre, going by the name "Kristen," met "Client 9" — later identified as Spitzer — at least once at a swanky Washington hotel, according to court documents.
After the Spitzer scandal, Francis made a public $1 million offer for Dupre to appear in one of his videos and go on a promotional tour. But he rescinded the offer after realizing he already had footage of her.
Francis has other legal problems, including federal tax evasion charges pending in California and lawsuits filed by women in Panama City, Fla., claiming they were victims of underage exploitation. Francis spent a year in jail and was released in March after pleading no contest to child abuse and prostitution charges for filming underage girls in that Panhandle beach town.