(CBS/AP) Stop that $1 million check: It turns out the call girl linked to Eliot Spitzer had already shed her clothes for "Girls Gone Wild" as an 18-year-old while partying in Miami, the video company's founder said Tuesday.
Joe Francis had reached out to Ashley Alexandra Dupre, now 22, with an offer of $1 million to appear in a non-nude spread for his company's new magazine, plus a chance to join the "Girls Gone Wild" tour bus, his company announced Tuesday.
But Francis said someone had a revelation at the Tuesday morning staff meeting: Did anyone think to check the archives?
They did, he said - and there she was.
"It'll save me a million bucks," Francis told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "It's kind of like finding a winning lottery ticket in the cushions of your couch."
Francis said at that point, his offer was off the table: "We actually had been dealing with her rep," he said. "Our (offer) was the real deal. We just never made the connection."
He said his employees got to work on pulling the footage and planned to offer it on the Web site by Tuesday evening, with a free sampling on the front page and the rest available with a $29.95 monthly subscription.
Dupre's attorney Don D. Buchwald declined comment.
According to a "Girls Gone Wild" press release, Dupre visited Miami in 2003 to celebrate her 18th birthday. After fighting with a friend and getting thrown out of her hotel, Dupre found a nearby "Girls Gone Wild" bus, the company said.
She signed legal papers and spent a full week on the bus, filming seven full-length tapes which included nudity and same-sex encounters, according to the company.
"I personally ended up buying her a Greyhound bus ticket back home to North Carolina," Francis told the AP.
Francis returned to California last week after being sentenced to time served and fines in Florida in a case involving filming underage girls. He still faces trial on federal tax evasion charges that carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
That hasn't stopped him from sending the Girls Gone Wild bus to Florida to tape more college students on spring break. According to the company's Web site, the bus was in Fort Myers, Fla. Tuesday looking for "hot young coeds" and will tour college student vacation spots in Texas and Florida over the next few weeks.
Dupre's public profile has skyrocketed since Spitzer resigned earlier this week amid the prostitution scandal. He was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes, including a February tryst with a call girl named "Kristen," since identified as Dupre.
Dupre's MySpace page was hit more than 5 million times in the days immediately after the scandal broke. Her musical efforts, including two songs posted at the music sharing site Aime Street, was listened to hundreds of thousands of times and was played on national airwaves.
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt told The AP last Friday that he e-mailed Dupre offering her $1 million to appear nude in his magazine, but didn't sound optimistic that she would settle for that amount. Flynt suggested that by the time Dupre starts talking, she may be too big a media phenomenon for a simple magazine spread.
"She is no doubt going to do a book. There will probably be a movie," he said. "I think she is going to have so many offers coming in that it will probably be wishful thinking just to get in the door."
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