The lawyer for the call girl linked to the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer lashed out at the media on Friday for thrusting the 22-year-old woman into the "public glare" without her consent and publishing revealing photos.
Since her identity was disclosed, newspapers and Web sites have splashed photos of Ashley Alexandra Dupre in suggestive poses on front and inside pages. Dupre was known as "Kristen" in court documents accusing Spitzer of paying thousands for prostitutes' services.
Her attorney, Don D. Buchwald, said she did not consent to the use of her photos in this manner, and the usage may be a violation of federal copyright laws. He said the photos have appeared on commercial Web sites without her consent.
Buchwald stopped short of saying Dupre would sue media outlets, but he contended that she is not a public figure and said he would take "all steps that we deem necessary or appropriate to protect Ms. Dupre from any unwarranted exploitation of her name, picture, voice or likeness for purposes of profit."
He did not specify the publications to which he was referring. The New York Post ran four photos Friday in which Dupre, topless, barely covers her breasts, as well as two other images of her scantily clad. The pictures, credited in the paper to Wesley Mann at Contact Press Images, have become an Internet sensation. The Post had no comment on Buchwald's statement.
The Daily News of New York also published a photo in which Dupre appears to be topless, but it wasn't clear where the image came from. The Daily News did not return calls seeking comment Friday.
Other media outlets, including The New York Times and The Associated Press, published other images that were from Dupre's MySpace page. The AP distributed three of those images, in one of which she is wearing a bikini, and issued a disclaimer authorizing the use of the photos only with reports or commentary on the Spitzer scandal. The photos were also restricted from commercial sale.
"The Associated Press discussed the photos obtained from the MySpace page in great detail and found that they were newsworthy," said Associated Press National Photo Editor V.W. Vaughan. "We distributed the photos that were relevant to the story. Those photos did not show nudity, nor were they explicit."
The Times did not return calls seeking comment.
Governor steps down
Spitzer resigned earlier this week amid the prostitution scandal. The married father of three teenage girls was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes — including a tryst with the call girl "Kristen" in Washington the night before Valentine's Day. Lt. Gov. David Paterson is taking his place on Monday.
Buchwald said the montage of Dupre's suggestive photos has nothing to do with the Spitzer story.
"While the circumstances surrounding Governor Spitzer's resignation are newsworthy, some publications, in violation of journalistic norms, have used the occasion of Gov. Spitzer's political misfortunes as an excuse to exploit Ms. Dupre's persona for commercial purposes," he said.
But media interest in Dupre still swirled. Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt told the AP Friday that he had e-mailed Dupre, offering her $1 million to pose nude for his magazine. He said he hadn't heard back.
"It will be something that will very tastefully done," Flynt said of the proposed photo spread, but he added that Dupre would have to appear completely naked and not just topless.
"Hustler readers don't like to compromise," he said. "They want the whole enchilada."
Flynt acknowledged he wasn't sure whether Dupre would accept, adding she is likely being approached with offers from other men's magazines, as well as book publishers and other media.
Media outlets had been camped outside her apartment in Manhattan's Flatiron district for days. A spokesman for her building issued a statement Thursday night saying she was not there and indicated Dupre's fellow tenants — who pay $6,595 for two-bedroom apartments — were fed up with the media circus and curiosity-seekers.