News of a political scandal, especially one involving sex, moves fast. Ashley Alexandra Dupre might move even faster.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old New Jersey native was identified as the call girl linked in court documents to disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Today, she was a top-selling online music star with a $1 million offer to pose in Hustler Magazine.
Dupre, identified in court papers as Kristen, was an aspiring singer before the Spitzer scandal broke. The speed at which she has parlayed her sudden infamy into music success has stunned some observers.
"I couldn't come up with another example of something happening this fast and out of the blue," said Jessica Letkemann, editor of Billboard.com. "A week ago she wasn't known at all."
"She seems to intuitively know that you strike while you're hot," said Village Voice culture critic Michael Musto. "Ironically, Spitzer is disgraced and had to step down but Kristen could ascend from the same scandal and cash in on it in a big way."
Don D. Buchwald, Dupre's lawyer, did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for an interview with his client.
Two of Dupre's songs -- both in the pop vein -- have topped sales charts on the music-sharing Web site AmieStreet.com. Her music is also available on her MySpace profile, but the page was taken down Thursday after more than 5 million visited her site. By this late this afternoon, her MySpace page was running again. One of her songs is also getting airtime on Z100, a major New York radio station.
"People want to hear Ashley's music. They're interested," said Josh Boltuch, the chief marketing officer and co-founder of Amie Street. "It's good that she's able to get her music out there."
Amie Street allows both aspiring and established artists to upload and sell their music on the site. Songs are originally available to users for free but increase in price as they are downloaded more often. Artists then receive 70 percent of the revenue generated by their song sales.
Boltuch said that Dupre first posted the song "What We Want" in November. The song languished at a price of 9 cents before skyrocketing to 98 cents -- the Amie Street price maximum -- shortly after Dupre was identified.
At 2 a.m. Thursday morning, Dupre posted a second song titled "Move Ya Body." It was, Boltuch said, "the fastest song to ever hit 98 cents of any song previously on the site."
Boltuch said the company doesn't release specific sales information, but acknowledged that users had listened to samples of the song more than 200,000 times.
"Her MySpace page got over 4 million hits before it was taken down," Billboard's Letkemann said. "If she got that many downloads on Amie Street at a dollar a piece [and] if she's really getting 70 percent of a dollar, that could be huge."
Dupre stands to profit in other ways as well from her brush with notoriety. Hustler Magazine announced today that it was offering Dupre $1 million to pose for the publication. Penthouse Magazine had also expressed interest.
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt told ABC News that the magazine would like to put together an eight to ten page spread featuring Dupre and that they would also consider putting her on the magazine's cover.
He said that the magazine had contacted Dupre's lawyer with the offer but had yet to receive a response. Hustler, Flynt said, is probably one of many companies wooing Dupre.
"She's going to have book offers, she's going to have possibly a movie deal," Flynt said. "She's got a lot of options -- I just hope she's got someone advising her. This is her chance to make a lot of money if she doesn't blow it."
Both Letkemann and Musto agreed that Dupre's overnight success couldn't have been possible without the immediacy allowed by today's Internet.
"Even though the Internet was certainly strong and existed -- we were in the middle of dot-com bubble 10 years ago -- there wasn't a MySpace, there wasn't a sense of social networking," Letkemann said. "I don't think that we have seen something like this before."
Musto also credited Dupre's, ahem, professional background.
"A prostitute," he said, "knows how to sell herself."
The verdict is still out on whether Dupre will be able to achieve long-term success. Boltuch said that a number of new artists have successfully taken their music from Aime Street to independent record labels. He acknowledged that none have gone the major record label route.
Billboard.com spoke to three record company executives on the issue and their reaction was mixed.
Chris Anokute, a senior director at Capitol Records, called one of Dupre's songs terrible and told Billboard that "if people are interested in signing her, then they shouldn't be in the music business."
But the other two executives said they could see a future for Dupre.
"What the execs were saying she has this huge platform that a lot of new artists trying to break out there would love to have," Letkemann said. "The key here is the public is not stupid. Whether or not she has lasting power or not is all up to whether or not the music can stand up" to public scrutiny.
Musto, for one, said Dupre's music holds some appeal.
"You expect it to be a totally cheesy piece of disposable pop but to me it sounds like no matter who's coming out with it, it could be a potential pop hit," he said.
"If Britney can make it," he said, "why can't Ashley?"
With reports from The Associated Press.