Furore as woman at centre of Spitzer scandal is revealed

The sex worker at the centre of the scandal that brought down the governor of New York state, Eliot Spitzer, has become the most sought after person in the United States, with camera crews camped outside her Manhattan apartment and her MySpace page inundated with traffic.

Ashley Youmans’ website address was receiving about one million page impressions an hour on Thursday morning, and at midday it was taken down and rebooted to remove her personal account of her life and a recording of one of her songs. The deleted page carried the quotation: “What destroys me, strengthens me.”

She also wrote frankly on it about how she left a broken home in New Jersey, aged 17, to escape abuse.

“I have been alone. I have abused drugs.
I have been broke and homeless. But I survived on my own. I can sit here now and knowingly tell you that life’s hard sometimes. But I made it. I am still here and I love who I am,” it said.

Youmans contacted the New York Times on Tuesday night and confessed to being “Kristen”, the prostitute employed by the New Jersey company, Emperor’s Club VIP, through which Spitzer arranged numerous sexual liaisons, including at least nine in the past 18 months. She met the now disgraced governor, identified by FBI agents as “Client Nine”, in a hotel in Washington last month and was paid $4 300 by him.

Youmans told the New York Times she feared opprobrium. “I just don’t want to be thought of as a monster. This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated.”

In court documents that give transcripts of FBI intercepts of telephone calls between Emperor’s Club VIP and its workers, Youmans reveals her attitude to the trade. “I know what my purpose is. I am not a moron. You are here for a purpose. Let’s not get it twisted—I know what I do.” Her handler in the operation replied: “You look at it very uniquely, because no one ever says it that way.”

Youmans’ background has led her to adopt numerous personas. Apart from her name by birth, and her pseudonym, Kristen, she also changed her name legally in 2006 to Ashley DiPietro, and now goes under the name Ashley Alexandra Dupre.

Her writing expunged from her MySpace page lists her true passion as music, which was what first brought her to New York in 2004 in the hope of pursuing a career. The site formerly contained a song she produced, called What We Want. Its lyrics include the lines: “I know what you want. Can you handle me, boy?”

She lists her musical influences as including Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Frank Sinatra, Madonna and U2.

Youmans was among 50 sex workers run by Emperor’s Club VIP in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris. .

Media organisations are now likely to be queuing up to bid for her story. Divine Brown, the sex worker who was caught with Hugh Grant on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, is reported to have emerged from the scandal $1,6-million richer, after several television appearances and a film that recreated the events.

‘I am all about my music’

From Youmans’ expunged MySpace material:

  • I am all about my music, and my music is all about me. It flows from what I’ve been through, what I’ve seen and how I feel.

  • I live in New York and I’m on top of the world. But my path has not been easy. When I was 17, I left home ... Left a broken family. Left abuse. Left and learned what it was like to have everything and lose it, again and again. Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone.

  • The past few months have been a roller coaster, with so called friends, lovers and family. But it’s something you have to deal with and confront in order to move on. Every person is different, every person has their voice. Can you recognise your voice, listen to it, and stick up for it? - guardian.co.uk Â
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