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Video: Friends of ‘Kristen’ speak out

By
TODAY contributor
updated 3/13/2008 12:16:43 PM ET 2008-03-13T16:16:43

It had been just three days since the two aspiring hip-hop artists had discovered that the friend and fellow singer they knew as Ashley Alexandra Dupre was also the high-priced escort at the center of the scandal that brought down the governor of New York.

And while they hadn’t been able to contact her since, on Thursday, the men wanted their friend to know, “We’ve got her back.”

The artists, Robert "Mysterious" Cummings and Freddie "Logan" Sagastume, told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira on Thursday that they have known Dupre for three years, but had never suspected that she was a call girl who adopted the name “Kristen” while allegedly employed by the Emperors Club VIP escort service.

“It was a shock to me,” said Mysterious. “But who am I to judge anybody?”

Both men said that the revelation did not change their opinion of the 22-year-old woman.

“She’s a great person,” Mysterious said. “A lot of people are portraying her as this monster, which she definitely isn’t. She has the biggest heart.”

As an example, he told a story about the three friends going out to dinner after a performance. “The leftover food she wanted to take with us just so she could give it to the homeless — the guys who were sleeping out on the street,” he said. “Right there you could tell what kind of person she is.”

“She’s a regular person like everyone else,” added Logan. “A lot of people judge her. At the end of the day, she’s just a human being. People make mistakes, and you gotta learn from them and keep it moving.”

On Wednesday, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned his post and acknowledged again that he made mistakes and was leaving public life to “atone” for his “personal failings.” He did not specifically refer to his alleged tryst in a Washington, D.C., hotel last month that is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation.

Picture coming into focus
Since Spitzer’s resignation, much more has been learned about the escort who called herself “Kristen,” who was identified by the New York Times as Dupre.

Dupre had left her home in Belmar, N.J., at the age of 17 and roamed the country for several years. Born Ashley Youmans, she legally changed her name in 2006 to Ashley Rae Maika DiPietro, taking her stepfather’s surname. But on her MySpace page and in her daily life, she goes by Ashley Alexandra Dupre.

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“My path has not been easy,” she writes on MySpace. “When I was 17, I left home. It was my decision and I never looked back. Left my hometown. Left a broken family. Left abuse. Left and learned what it was like to have everything, and lose it, again and again.”

“We’ve all been through this,” said Mysterious.

“That’s why we’re tight like a family. We can relate to her in a lot of ways. We’re like each other’s crutches. She definitely had a rough life. And she definitely, at the age that she is, is a strong, independent woman. I think people should look at that aspect instead of the way the media is portraying her out to be.”

“She’s thoughtful. She’s a good friend,” added Logan. “The situation is crazy, but all in all, she’s a human being. She’s like our sister.”

The New York Times has reported that Dupre until recently shared an apartment in an upscale building in the Flatiron district of New York City with a boyfriend. But, the newspaper reported, she has been living alone since the boyfriend left after she discovered he had fathered two children by other women. She said she was worried about being able to pay her rent and might move in with friends or return to her New Jersey home.”

Logan said that he and Mysterious, both of whom are from Queens, N.Y., would be there for their friend.

“She’s been there for us in certain situations. It looks like she needs us there right now,” he said.

Mysterious predicted that Dupre would overcome this adversity, as she has so many other trials in her young life.

“She’ll be even stronger,” he said.

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