Ashley Alexandra Dupre, well into her 14th minute of fame due to her affiliation with Eliot Spitzer, has sued "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis for allegedly taking advantage of her youth and vulnerability by once filming her sans T-shirt.
Why does it seem like these two may be perfect for each other?
In the complaint, filed on April 28 in the Southern District of Florida, Dupre alleges that she encountered "agents and representatives" of Defendant and his production company in 2003, when she was 17 and just trying to stay out of trouble while on spring break:
10. On said date, Plaintiff was socializing with friends at the Chesterfield Hotel when she was approached by [said agents and representatives]. They offered Plaintiff alcoholic drinks. After Plaintiff became drunk, they induced her into [sic] exposing her breasts while being filmed. While drunk, Plaintiff was told to sign a "release." . . .
11. At the time of these events, Plaintiff did not understand the magnitude of her actions nor that her image and likeness would be displayed in videos and DVDs produced and distributed by Defendants.
12. Likewise, at the time Plaintiff signed the "release," Plaintiff did not and could not foresee that she would later have sex with a famous person for money, thus herself becoming famous and therefore acquiring a valuable legal claim.
Okay, I made up Paragraph 12, but Dupre does allege that the defendants have profited by means of advertising designed to capitalize on Plaintiff's "fame and notoriety," which, if I'm not mistaken, is due to having had sex with a famous person for money.
According to the Miami Herald, Francis's version of the Paragraph 10 events is very different. As he tells it, Ms. Dupre was completely sober while going wild, and he personally -- personally, mind you -- put her on a bus home after catching her with a beer. As you know, drinking is strictly against "Girls Gone Wild" policy.
Dupre's complaint contains eight counts, including unjust enrichment, Lanham Act claims, state-law false advertising and unfair competition claims, unauthorized publication of Plaintiff's likeness, and, of all things, cybersquatting. The complaint seeks damages of not less than $10,000,000. That is likely to pose some proof problems, especially as to the Lanham Act allegation that defendants' acts "have cause[d] substantial and irreparable injury . . . to the Plaintiff's business, reputation and good will." I doubt that the reputation of someone who [disturbing phrase deleted] with Eliot Spitzer while [matter redacted due to protective order] and also putting [sanitized for your protection], not once, but [illegible], while in Washington, D.C., has been harmed that much by an ad for "Girls Gone Wild."
Joe Francis, who has made millions from the GGW videos and who, according to this month's issue of Scientific American, is an utter sleazebag, paid someone to come up with a pretty good line. "I think it's ironic," he told CNN, "that she charged Gov. Spitzer $2,000 for sex and she wants to charge me $10 million for taking some naked pictures of her." Not bad, and a lot better than the line he tried out after being held in contempt in 2007, also in Florida; that, Francis announced, was a case of a "judge gone wild." A little more effort, please.
Link: Miami Herald
See also "'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Says Judge Has Gone Wild in Suit Filed by Girls Who Had Previously Gone Wild," Lowering the Bar (Apr. 6, 2007); and "'Girls Gone Wild' Creator, Residing in Hole, Continues to Dig," Lowering the Bar (Apr. 16, 2007).