Ashley Dupré Exclusive: 'My Side of the Story'

Ashley Dupré tells Diane Sawyer, "I was doing my job" and shocked by scandal.

ByABC News
November 18, 2008, 12:19 PM

Nov. 19, 2008— -- The young woman at the center of the historic downfall of the governor of New York is finally speaking out.

Ashley Dupré, the 23-year-old former escort who was the target of intense media scrutiny in the days after Gov. Eliot Spitzer's resignation from public office, has stepped forward to give her first television interview. Dupré told ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she does not feel responsible for Spitzer's downfall.

"If it wasn't me, it would have been someone else," she said. "I was doing my job. I don't feel that I brought him down."

In March, the media discovered Dupré was "Kristen," her alias at the Emperor's Club V.I.P., the high-end escort service that had arranged her rendezvous at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., with Spitzer. Soon after the story broke, Dupré sought refuge at her family's home in New Jersey.

"I felt like it was surreal, like it wasn't happening," she said. "But it was."

Middle Class Kid to High Class Escort

The insight Dupré gives into the world of high-end prostitution is a continuation of Sawyer's recent and extensive reporting on the profession "Prostitution in America."

Dupré's situation raised questions about how an upper middle class girl from New Jersey, whose stepfather is a prominent oral surgeon, could become an escort.

She told Sawyer that, as a child, she was a "happy kid" who "got along with everybody" and was particularly close to her older brother, Kyle Youmans. She changed her last name to Dupré because she didn't have a close relationship with her biological father.

"I wanted a new name to go along with me," she said. "I've been searching for so long for that identity of who I am." In high school, Dupré was an honor student, worked in a restaurant and "never really socialized and went ... to any of the parties, the high school parties."

"I got along with everyone, I was kind of popular," she said. "I was pretty popular."

But Dupré also told Sawyer about her struggles with drugs, running away from home at 17 and troubled relationships with men in her life.

"I was an angry 17-year-old," she said. "I was so confused and I didn't understand my emotions. Where I became self-destructive."