Joe Francis to Release Footage of Spitzer Call-Girl

LOS ANGELES - 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joe Francis announced today that he will release a controversial video featuring Ashley Dupré, the call-girl at the center of the prostitution scandal that brought down former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.

The announcement arrives just days after Dupré withdrew a $10 million federal lawsuit intended to stop Francis and his company from capitalizing on the video.

"She clearly filed her lawsuit just for publicity," Francis said. "Now that the distraction of this frivolous lawsuit is behind us and I have been vindicated, yet again, we've been given the green light to provide her with all the public exposure she could ask for."

Dupré's 15 minutes of infamy began in March when the press exposed Spitzer's involvement with a high-priced prostitution ring. The scandal surrounding Spitzer's paid liaisons with Dupré and other escorts led to the governor's resignation - and became instant fodder for adult video producers.

Soon after the Spitzer story broke, Francis publicly offered Dupré $1 million to endorse his company. But the T&A mogul canceled that offer when footage of a young Dupré turned up in the 'Girls Gone Wild' vaults.

'Girls Gone Wild' immediately launched a Web site capitalizing on the find. However, the company hedged on releasing the video because Dupré was underage when she flashed 'Girls Gone Wild' at a Florida spring break shoot in 2003.

Dupré filed suit in April, claiming that 'Girls Gone Wild' unlawfully exploited her name and likeness and damaged her reputation.

Francis responded with a videotaped model release in which the 17-year-old Dupré gave her name as Amber Arpaio and claimed to be 18 while consenting to appear in a 'Girls Gone Wild' video. The proof of Dupre's consent allows 'Girls Gone Wild' to release the footage since the video does not show explicit sex.

When Dupré officially dropped her complaint in court last Thursday, Francis was quick to gloat.

"It was preposterous to claim that I could somehow damage the reputation of a hooker," Francis said. "We have hours of footage of Dupré including her in some very interesting sexual situations. This footage as well as a detailed account of my encounter with Dupré and her sexual escapades with Girls Gone Wild cameramen will appear in the next issue of 'Girls Gone Wild' magazine."  

In the meantime, Hustler Video has already beaten Francis to the market with its own spin on the Spitzer scandal: Gov Love, a hardcore porn spoof starring Mike Horner and Cassandra Cruz.