With her first TV interview set for Friday, Ashley Alexandra Dupre also sat down with People, telling the celebrity news magazine that she's "a normal girl."
"Everyone just knows me as 'that girl,' but I'm not just 'that girl,'" the 23-year-old former hooker of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and many others says in the new issue of the magazine. "I have a lot of depth, a lot of layers."
Enduring the scrutiny that included seeing her photos splashed on front pages "has been really hard," the New Jersey native explains. "But I'm a survivor."
Her descent into tabloid mayhem began the night of February 13, 2008, when Ashley Dupre - who worked as a high-end escort to help pay the bills on and off since 2004 - met a client who turned out to be the Governor of New York State.
She claims she had no idea who the man was that night. What she does recall is that "Client 9," as Spitzer was reportedly known at her escort service, was polite.
"Some guys want to have conversations, to get to know each other. With him, it clearly was not like that. It was more a transaction. Strictly business," says Ashley Dupre.
Casually dressed and with no entourage, Spitzer didn't strike her as someone important. Besides, "I was there for a purpose – not to wonder who [he] could be."
She didn't find out who he was until March, just days after learning she was mixed up in some sort of FBI investigation, when saw Spitzer apologizing on TV.
"It was surreal," Ashley Dupre said. "I felt like I was sinking."As for the former governor, "I think he's been punished enough."
Asked what she might tell his wife, Silda, who stood at Spitzer's side when he announced his resignation, Ashley Dupre offers simply, "I'm sorry for your pain."
The former hooker also opens up about her troubled past – running away from home (and into Girls Gone Wild videos) at age 17 – and how a seemingly normal girl from the suburbs could ever fathom becoming a prostitute:
"This wasn't any different than going on a date with someone you barely knew and hooking up with them," she reasoned. "The only difference is I can pay my rent."
Once the FBI told her they were looking into one of her clients, Dupré says she was forced to confide in her mother, Carolyn, that she was turning tricks.
"It was extremely painful for her," Ashley Dupre says, although at the end of the day, "my mother wasn't angry. She was supportive."
Now living with her mom and stepfather back home in New Jersey, Dupre says she has learned her lesson, and then some. Now she wants to move on.
"I'm 23 years old," Ashley says. "I want to do music, to do some fashion, to write books – there's so many things." One thing she won't be doing, though, is selling her body to make ends meet. "No," she says. "Never again."