Spitzer girl gone wild was 17
( AP )- A $1 million offer to the call girl linked to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was rescinded because she'd already shot footage for "Girls Gone Wild." Now it might be the video maker who will lose out.
A lawyer for Ashley Alexandra Dupre, now 22, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Dupre was 17 when the footage was filmed. After hearing from her attorney, the company said the video's Internet release will be delayed.
"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis originally reached out to Dupre, offering $1 million for her to appear in a non-nude spread for his company's new magazine and a chance to join the "Girls Gone Wild" tour bus.
But on Tuesday "Girls Gone Wild" employees found archived footage of Dupre filmed in 2003, and Francis retracted the offer.
In a statement Wednesday, Francis said he had received an e-mail from Dupre's lawyer Don Buchwald, saying Dupre may have been 17 in the videos shot in Miami and not 18 as Francis had first claimed.
In an e-mail to one of Francis' publicists - forwarded by Buchwald to the AP - the attorney said he was "informed by Ashley that the video was in fact taken when she was underage (that is 17)."
Buchwald added in the e-mail that Francis was aware of Dupre's age during the filming.
Francis said he bought Dupre a Greyhound bus ticket back home to North Carolina in 2003. Dupre returned home after she spent a week on the "Girls Gone Wild" bus in Miami and filmed seven full-length tapes, which included nudity, after signing legal papers, the company said.
"It was because she was underage that he sent her home on a Greyhound bus back to North Carolina. It would be outrageous at the very least to play the video of an underage female on the Internet," Buchwald said in the e-mail.
Francis said all nude images of Dupre were taken in public places and contain no sexual contact.
He added that his company has a "corporate policy" not to use individuals under 18 in their videos. Given this policy, the company delayed the release of Dupre's footage on the Internet. The company was "investigating the matter" and "will make our decision shortly," Francis said.
Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office, declined to comment on the subject, adding that "we would be foolish to make a broad general statement."
Lewd or lascivious acts committed upon or in the presence of those under 16 is illegal in Florida, said Miami-based defense attorney Roy Kahn. "Just taking nude video or photographs alone in a public place wouldn't be illegal if the person is 17. It doesn't violate lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor," Kahn said.
Francis returned to California last week after being sentenced to time served and fines in Florida in a case involving the filming of underage girls. He still faces trial on federal tax evasion charges that carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
By late Wednesday, Dupre was still depicted on the "Girls Gone Wild" Web site, with a free sampling on the front page of her dancing in a bikini and the rest available with a $29.95 monthly subscription.
"It's kind of like finding a winning lottery ticket in the cushions of your couch," Francis told the AP - before he saw the e-mail from Dupre's attorney.
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt told the AP last Friday that he e-mailed Dupre offering her $1 million to appear nude in his magazine, but didn't sound optimistic that she would settle for that amount.
Dupre's public profile has skyrocketed since Spitzer resigned last week amid the prostitution scandal. He was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes, including a February tryst with a call girl named "Kristen," since identified as Dupre.
Dupre's MySpace page was hit more than 5 million times in the days immediately after the scandal broke. Her musical efforts were listened to hundreds of thousands of times online and played on national airwaves.