Ashley Alexandra Dupré, the New Jersey woman at the center of the New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer call-girl scandal, filed suit Monday against Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis and his film company – claiming he exploited her name and image for profit.
The lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages. In legal documents, Dupré alleges that Girls Gone Wild representatives approached her while she was vacationing in Florida in 2003, offered her alcohol and cajoled her into exposing her breasts for their cameras when she was just 17 (and not of proper legal age to sign a release form allowing her to be filmed).
Since then, the suit claims, Girls Gone Wild has illegally exploited Dupré’s name, picture, voice and likeness in a number of deceptive ad campaigns and on Web sites.
Francis said he was “surprised and in fact amazed” by the lawsuit, noting he has not released new video of Dupré “due to corporate policy of not using footage of individuals younger than 18” and asserting she gave her consent on video, providing identification.
“She’s seeking $10 million for topless photos taken in front of a room full of people, including two newspapers and multiple crews we had in the room,” adds Francis. “These images were taken in public places and contain no sexual contact. We expect to triumph in this matter.”
Last month, Francis was released from a jail in Nevada, where he continues to face federal tax evasion charges. He is currently fighting separate charges in Florida for allegedly filming underage girls in Panama City. Francis claims that the girls in question lied about their age.
Dupré, who turns 23 this week, has not appeared publicly since the Gov. Spitzer scandal broke.