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Scandal equals ticket to fame

I’m not sure about you, but I can hardly wait for the Ashley Alexandra Dupre album to drop.

Ever since the story of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer indiscretion and connection to an internet prostitution ring hit the fan, I’ve been impatiently tapping my fingers in anticipation of the vile other half of the story to step into the light.

And like any good clockwork, “Kristen” rolls out of the carpet via her MySpace page and the national media.

Goodbye Monica Lewinsky, hello Ashley Alexandra Dupre.

As reported by various media, the latest political sex scandal surfaced after the New York Times printed a story linking the soon-to-be former governor to the Emperor’s Club, a prostitution ring. In the last week, it has been reported the married Spitzer has paid $80,000 to the call girl service over the last few months and even paid for Dupre’s travel expenses from New York to Washington D.C.

It is yet to be revealed whether or not that $80,000 was taxpayer’s money, but one can assume the funds were, since New Yorkers pay his salary.

While Spitzer was expressing empty apologies and announcing his resignation (to take effect Monday), low and behold a “star” was being born.

As soon as her name became synonymous with the “Kristen,” Spitzer had hired…Dupre’s MySpace page saw thousands of hits and her photo and profile became a fixture on CNN’s web site.

Dupre is apparently age 22 and originally from New Jersey, which probably does wonders for the whole N.Y. vs. N.J. feud. On her page she writes how she left a broken home at the age of 17 and since then has experienced homelessness, drug abuse and “survived only because of my music.”

She’s an inspiring pop/R&B singer! What a shocker.

Along with generic facts listed on the page, Dupre also has songs posted for web browsers to download for the cheap price of 98 cents, an obvious inflation of the price of the song which just weeks ago was going for less than 20 cents.

Yesterday (Friday) the Associated Press reported

Dupre is already making moolah off the traffic that have downloaded her songs, possibly receiving 70 percent of the money earned from the downloads.

As of Thursday 200,000 have listened to the songs.

Dupre’s tunes have even been picked up by New York City’s popular music station Z100.

And just in case you haven’t gagged yet, book publishers and adult magazines are knocking on the door.

It all makes make me wonder, just exactly what this woman’s motive is. It also reminds me of how stupid we all are to validate her as a “celebrity.”

As we watch the story unfold over the next few months and possibly years, we all will do something, perhaps driven by some twisted and perverted version of curiosity, to encourage this person as a famous personality. Whether it’s watching the story on the national news or purchasing a publication with her face on it.

Heck, I’m even doing my part writing a column about her.

It all makes me wonder, what ever happened to the real role models.

It makes me feel so proud that young women today can look up to a prostitute and think, ‘She slept with a governor and became the next Britney Spears, so can I.’

You wonder why our schools are failing, our jobs are leaving our shores and why we have government officials who solicit prostitutes…because we have nothing better to do with our time and money than buy Ashley Alexandra Dupre songs.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.