Girls Gone Wild founder strikes back

April 30, 2008 5:05:23 AM PDT
The founder of "Girls Gone Wild" released a video Tuesday he said proved that the call girl involved in a scandal that brought down New York's former governor agreed to be filmed in 2003 for the raunchy series. The release came one day after series founder Joe Francis and his companies were sued for $10 million in Miami federal court by Ashley Alexandra Dupre, who claims she was only 17 at the time and too young to sign a binding contract. Dupre, now 22, also accused Francis of exploiting her image and name on various Internet sites.

In the new release, which you can see by CLICKING HERE, Dupre appears covered by a terrycloth towel and gives her name as Amber Arpaio. An unseen questioner asks if she is 18.

"Yes I am," Dupre answers in a strong Southern accent.

"Do you know what 'Girls Gone Wild' is?" the questioner asks.

"Yes I do," she replies with a laugh.

"Can I use this on 'Girls Gone Wild'?" she is asked.

"Of course you can," Dupre answers.

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 lived in New Jersey for a time while growing up.

A lawyer and public relations firm representing Dupre declined comment.

Dupre rocketed to fame in March when she surfaced as a high-priced call girl in the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring that involved New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned soon after the scandal broke. Dupre, going by the name "Kristen," met Spitzer at least once at a swanky Washington hotel, according to court documents.

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 various provocative poses or topless, often in such party locations as Mardi Gras or spring break beach towns.

Francis has said that Dupre was on the "Girls Gone Wild" bus for a week and made seven full-length videos. He said the video of her agreement to appear is proof that her lawsuit has no merit.

"It is incomprehensible that Ms. Dupre could claim she did not give her consent to be filmed by `Girls Gone Wild', when in fact we have a videotape of her giving consent, while showing her identification," Francis said in a written statement.

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 Dupre from 2003.

Francis has other legal problems, including federal tax evasion charges pending in California and lawsuits by 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.