About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Femme fatale Ashley Dupre

Ashley Dupre enjoyed temporary celebrity in 2008 in connection with the political fall from grace of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer, who as his state’s attorney general had taken a hard line on prostitution and corruption, was outed as a client of Dupre and other call girls.

The indiscretion that ended Sptizer’s political career involved a February 2008 $4,300 transaction with Dupre at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. He had reserved the room under the name of a friend—not the most friendly of gestures. To his credit, however, Spitzer resigned as governor when the sordid facts came out.

Dupre was born Ashley Youmans and had adopted Dupre as a stage name for a hoped-for career in music. She recorded a couple of songs but found there was a quicker, more reliable way to make money: working for the Emperors Club VIP “escort service.”

The shapely, brown-haired Dupre was also involved in a controversy with the Girls Gone Wild business of Joe Francis. She had appeared on the show when she was 17 but under the name she found on a lost driver’s license. The actual owner of the license sued her for defamation in 2008 due to this use.

This story of “Client 9” and “Kristin” in one of many hard-to-explain episodes in which a wealthy and powerful man in the public eye somehow convinces himself that he can do whatever he wishes and get away with it.

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