The rapidly deteriorating economy, the five-year anniversary of Iraq, and new governor David Paterson's seemingly limitless libido all may have distracted you from what's going on with our fallen former governor. But news is still dribbling out about the Spitzer affair, and perhaps more importantly, so are sexy pictures of hookers!
Okay, just because you're not as titillated by Eliot Spitzer's trampage as you were last week, you still want to know what's going on, right? Like, where the H is Kristen right now? Is Eliot Spitzer still chasing tail? And what's going on with Silda? Is she recovering with her mom in a condo in Florida right now with a glass of iced Chardonnay and a Danielle Steele novel? Here's what you may have missed over the weekend while you were too busy wandering around the East Village with green beads around your neck looking for a bar whose name began with a "Mc."
• Federal investigators are looking into payment records to a Spitzer consultant named Kristian Stiles, who used to put a lot of travel, lodging, and entertainment expenses for the governor onto her own credit card and ask for reimbursement later. [NYT]
• The Times took this opportunity to chat with three high-end prostitutes about their jobs, and they wrote a story that included this gem: "Undoubtedly, their willingness to speak publicly came with unusually upbeat perspectives on prostitution, which for many women is devastatingly exploitative." As they say, no one beats a happy hooker. [NYT]
At first we were grateful for the Eliot Spitzer prostitute scandal — it provided a much-needed beak from the endless horror that has been the Democratic-primary campaign. But now, less than a week after it broke, we're suffering from Spitzer fatigue. Isn't there anything else tawdry and embarrassing to talk about? We've sort of burnt out all of our nerve endings regarding Spitzer. It's like Britney Spears — we're all out of sorry. Lo and behold, yesterday we learned that there is something more tawdry and embarrassing than a married governor using hookers: a married governor having threesomes with his wife and male limo driver. Combined with the added bonus that the wife, despite having seen him frolicking in bed with another man, says she is shocked to learn that he's gay. (Lady, regardless of whether there was another penis in the room, straight men do not "frolic," mmkay?) And thus, Jim McGreevey, Dina Matos McGreevey, and hunky driver Teddy Pedersen have relieved us from our Spitzer doldrums.
Amid all the vengeful glee on Wall Street, the Ashleymania, and the coverage that has accompanied Spitzer’s fall, one aspect of the story has been underexplored, according to journalist Greg Palast: Could the Lonesome Gov’s fall have had something to do with the Fed's $200 billion bailout of the subprime-mortgage industry, which Spitzer conspicuously opposed and which coincidentally occurred on the same day as his resignation? It was a federal investigation which uncovered Spitzer, Palast points out, and his outing could be seen as unusual.
Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him in diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him. Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer — rarely done in these cases — was made at the ‘discretion’ of Bush’s Justice Department.
Palast, a cult hero in underground journalism circles (he’s the winner of six “Project Censored” awards), doesn’t really unload any evidence as much as speculate at sinister motives, but it's interesting, and better than watching Ashley’s maddeningly chaste dance moves on some scrub’s cell-phone camera. —Josh OzerskyEliot’s Mess [Greg Palast]
Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime [WP]
Can you not get enough of the Spitzer sex scandal? Is the minutiae of the governor's trysts with hookers that has subsumed pretty much every media outlet for the entire week still somehow not enough? Do you feel that there are some important people, such as deposed publisher Judith Reagan, Wikepedia dumpee Rachel Marsden, and Dennis Hof, owner of Nevada's Moonlight Bunny Ranch, whose full opinions have not been given their due? Then, friends, we hope you subscribe to Sirius Satellite Radio, which has just announced the creation of Client 9 Radio, a station fully devoted to news and opinion about Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. In addition to the aforementioned pundits, Client 9, which will air tonight and be hosted by Court TV's Vinnie Politan, will also air the opinions of esteemed figures like John McCain, Alan Dershowitz, and "private eye Vito Colucci." But most important, they will provide a forum for you, the listener, to join "this national conversation." So go forth, citizen gossips! Let no crevice go unexplored.
Okay, so we've known the identity of the hooker who hung Eliot Spitzer for nearly two days now, and in that time we've heard from her sketchy friends, her family, and a dude who claims to have been her pimp but probably really wasn't. But where's Ashley Dupré, a.k.a. Kristen, herself? As AM New York brilliantly points out, "for a call girl, Ashley Dupré sure has proven hard to get ahold of." The press is camped outside of her tony Chelsea building, but she's not inside. She doesn't need to work, because yesterday she made a ton of money off her selling her single on the Internet. But she's nowhere to be found! Not even at Barbara Walters's place! While we endure this interminable wait for her spectacular public debut, here's what we've learned about her since yesterday:
• Some people (okay, us) wondered whether she was actually 32, not 22 as has been reported. But it turns out that's probably wrong. [NYM]
• Spitzer had met with her several times before, but it was only after her last visit that she called her Emperor's Club bosses and said, "Oh, my God! Do you know who this guy is?" [NYP]
You remember when bonnie lass "Kristen," the girl who brought down a governor, was profiled this morning in the New York Times? They reported her age at 22, which seems about right. She's a lovely young thing, and, well, when you're paying you might as well buy the ripest fruit. (Oh God, ew, we hate ourselves for coming up with that metaphor.) But we've done some sleuthing, and we've discovered that two separate public identification records reveal that the only Ashley Youmans (the real name of "Kristen," a.k.a Ashley Alexandra Dupré) from the Jersey Shore (or anywhere in New Jersey) is actually 32. Now, we're not going to blame a girl for lowering her age on her résumé — she is, after all, a struggling singer and someone who, professionally, needs to have a reputation for not being able to hold her liquor. But still, knocking off ten years? Could this be true? How bad did she think the lighting was going to be in Room 871??
Earlier:Eliot Spitzer’s ‘Kristen’ Somehow Much More Adorable Than Anticipated, Daily Intel's Complete coverage of the Spitzer Scandal
Last night, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. "Kristen," told the New York Times she was worried about paying her rent in the fancy Flatiron district building in which she lives. But in fact, in the less than 24 hours since that interview took place, Dupre's personal wealth has increased considerably. The two songs on her Amie Street profile, which each cost 98 cents, have reportedly been downloaded more than two million times, and according to that site's business model, Dupré should receive 70 percent of the total profit. Plus! Playboy and Penthouse are both reportedly interested in setting up photo shoots. "We've already discussed some options," Penthouse publisher Diane Silberstein tells Radar, adding that they'd pay in the "high six figures." Book publishers, however, are dragging their feet. "I don't think it's worth anything," HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham tells Portfolio today, making us want to wrap our hands around his neck and administer a light throttle. "There's no story there." Seriously? Does no one remember for instance the best-selling Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, soon to be an HBO series with Darren Star? Hookers are so hot right now.
In the excitement surrounding the unveiling of Kristen, the Jersey-grown hooker who (accidentally) brought Eliot Spitzer down, we almost missed the fact that last night, the city lost another famous prostitute. Andreia Schwartz, the "millionaire" madam who was arrested last year for running a brothel on West 58th Street where call girls got paid between $700 and $1,500 an hour (how quaint!), was quietly deported back to her native Brazil after twenty months in prison and, the Post tells us, serving as a source for the federal authorities who were probing Spitzer. Schwartz's biggest client was Time Warner CFO Wayne Pace, who she said paid her about $200,000 and helped her buy the apartment out of which she ran her business. He denied it and got off with only a terrible reputation, but now we're wondering … who were clients one through eight?
Kinky Link to Brazil's Bombshell[NYP]
Earlier: Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow Much More Adorable Than Anticipated
Last night Eliot Spitzer finally released his official letter of resignation. It was short, simple, and hand-signed:
Dear Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno,
I am writing to advise you that I am resigning my position as Governor of the State of New York effective 12:00 noon on Monday, March 17, 2008.
We love that (a) he's still governor until noon on Monday, which is surely a few extra hours that Paterson didn't ask for (think of how many personal checks pardons he can issue in that time!) and (b) how he had to put "Eliot Spitzer, Governor" at the bottom of the letter. Savor that, dude. "Eliot Spitzer, Attorney-at-law" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
But more importantly, as Vulture pointed out, our beloved "Kristen" had a very important new release today, too. Her latest song track! It's called "Move Ya Body." We were going to make a joke about that song title and Eliot Spitzer, but then we realized that every pop name ever could be a pun about hookers and governors.
Resignation Letter Released [NYDN]
Kristen Releases Another Song! [Vulture]
Earlier:Eliot Spitzer's 'Kristen' Somehow More Adorable Than Anticipated
We're not really sure what we expected from "Kristen," but when we learned that she was a fresh-faced, seemingly earnest 22-year-old, we realized it wasn't that. We sort of thought the Emperor's Club prostitute that brought down Governor Eliot Spitzer would be some over-made-up 35-year-old with pounds worth of hair extensions and a laugh that sounded like a whinny. But the real "Kristen," a.k.a. Ashley Youmans, is nothing like that. In fact, we kind of like her. Here's what we learned about her, starting last night with a big report in the Times:
• She's from the Jersey Shore, and left when she was 17. And she comes from a "broken home."
• She lives in the Flatiron district. [Ed: That explains everything! And nothing.]
• She's an aspiring singer-songwriter. Her demo, which the Times says uses "dated slang," can be found on her still-live MySpace page.
Exclusively in our imaginations, that is. We're not sure whether Hillary Clinton, in the past 48 hours, has called Silda Wall Spitzer. But it's not out of the realm of possibility. Clinton is close with the Spitzers, and she did call Dina Matos McGreevey after her ordeal with the whole "My husband's a gay governor" thing to give counsel. So we're just going to assume that she did for a moment (we're not sure you'll ever hear the real story confirmed by her press people anyway — they likely don't want to remind everyone that Hillary for a long time was best known for standing by a philandering husband). We'll never know for sure what might have gone on in such a conversation (until, of course, Silda gives up on Eliot and gets her $3 million book deal), but we do have an idea. Thus, we have constructed for your reading pleasure an imaginary phone conversation between Hillary Clinton and Silda Wall Spitzer:
[A phone rings somewhere in the Spitzer apartment on the Upper East Side. Silda is holed up in the bedroom, reading a copy of Honor Thyself, Danielle Steel's latest best-seller. She does not get up — the thing has been ringing off the hook, and it's always for him. Usually these insistent calls come late at night, after she's thankfully taken a Klonopin and drifted off to sleep. On the other side of the apartment, Eliot is surrounded by advisers in the children's playroom. He is seated precariously on a Playmobil tea table. He picks up the phone.]
Eliot: If this is anyone but the Daily Princetonian, I have no comment, okay?
Hillary: Hello, Eliot.
Eliot: Kristen? Is it you? I've been trying—
Hillary: NO, it's not KRISTEN. God, they always have white-trash names, don't they?
When we were little, our grandpa used to tell us stories about the olden days. "Used to be, you could get a hooker for a dollar!" he'd say. "Those were the days." Sigh. If Grandpa had seen the complaint filed in the bust of Emperor's Club — well, he'd have about keeled over. The preferred escort service of former governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the complaint, charged between $1,000 and $5,000 an hour. And, as one potential prostie was heard to complain, that didn't even include dinner. Inflation affects even the oldest profession, and according The Wall Street Journal, the "wealth boom — and the explosion in the number of multi-millionaires — has created entirely new pricing levels for escorts." Of 661 people who own private jets, a survey from Prince & Associates, a Connecticut-based wealth-research firm, found, 34 percent of males and 20 percent of the females had paid for sex. And that's just of people who owned private jets. If you apply those percentages to, say, people who own BMWs, that's enough to skew the numbers for everyone. But at least one thing remains the same since Grandpa's* day: The most popular reason the people surveyed gave for using escorts was “unique experiences."
How the New Rich Are Changing the Oldest Profession [WSJ]
Earlier: You Can Say This About the Girls of the Emperor's Club: They're No Morons
*We made this bit up. Our real Grampy, God rest his soul, was a wonderful man and a devout Catholic who never ran with loose women. With the exception of his second wife. But they were married.
At a press conference at 11:30 a.m. in his Manhattan offices, Eliot Spitzer announced that he would step down as governor of the State of New York. By his side was his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, his wife of 21 years, who spent much of the last 48 hours in the same apartment with her husband (but reportedly in different rooms). Below, a rough transcript of his speech:
In the past few days I have begun to atone for my private failures with my wife Silda my children, and my entire family. The remorse I feel will always be with me. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the love and compassion they have shown me.
From those to whom much is given, much is expected.
I have been given much, the love of my family, the faith and trust of the people of New York, and the chance to lead this state. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me.
To every New Yorker and to all those who believed in what I have tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize. I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been, but I also know that as a public servant that I and the people I work with have accomplished a great deal.
Joe Bruno held a press conference just now, and it was well played. Despite the fact that Eliot Spitzer has basically been up until now his mortal enemy, he didn't rub it in that he was totally right when he told New York earlier this month that the governor was “two-faced. He does not tell the truth." Rather, wearing an expression of weary "I-don't-have-time-for-this-perv" resignation, he discussed the possible transition of David Paterson (with whom he has a "great relationship") into the position of governor and went out of his way to make the point that just because someone decided to defy Lord and country by sleeping with hookers doesn't mean that everyone else was going to stop doing their jobs. "There is no pleasure in what is going on in this state," he said. "This is a distraction of proportions we have never experienced. As for Eliot Spitzer, my heart goes out to his wife and his family. He must deal with his problems in his own way."
Related: How Eliot Spitzer Finally Got Joe Bruno on the Ropes [NYM]
Eliot Spitzer has begun telling officials that he will, indeed, resign today, sources say. According to NBC in New York, Eliot Spitzer will issue the statement in written form, rather than during a press conference. (CNN disagrees, claiming that a conference will be held at 11:30.) The television station also reports that the resignation may not go into effect until Monday. Meanwhile, ABC adds that Lieutenant Governor David Paterson has confirmed that the resignation is imminent. A letter, drafted yesterday, is expected be submitted to the secretary of state today. Later today, CBS adds, Paterson will be sworn in as governor up in Albany.
Spitzer to Resign Today [ABC]
Spitzer to Resign Effective Monday [NBC]
THE END IS NEAR [CBS]