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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 19:37 GMT
Spitzer sex scandal woman named
Ashley Alexandra Dupre in undated photo from her MySpace web page
Ms Dupre had hoped to launch a singing career in New York
The prostitute at the centre of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal has been named by US media.

The woman, named in court papers as Kristen, is Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the New York Times reported.

Ms Dupre, 22, told the Times she did not want "to be thought of as a monster", but gave no comments on her alleged relationship with Mr Spitzer.

He resigned after evidence came to light that he was the client of a high-end prostitution ring.

The scandal erupted on Monday when federal investigators revealed that a wiretap had caught the 48-year-old arranging to meet "Kristen" at a Washington hotel on 13 February.

Flanked by his wife, Mr Spitzer told a news conference on Wednesday that he could not allow "private failings" to disrupt public work. He is to hand over power on Monday.

In his first public comments since the scandal, his deputy, Lieutenant-Governor David Paterson, said his priority on taking over would be to put the state's government back on track.

'Difficult time'

Announcing his resignation, Mr Spitzer again apologised for not living up to the standards he demanded of others - but he gave no details of the allegations against him.

2007 Internal Revenue Service reportedly begins investigating Eliot Spitzer, after banks report suspicious transfers
12-13 Feb, 2008 Spitzer allegedly heard on federal wiretap arranging to meet woman at Washington hotel
13 Feb Spitzer allegedly rents room for "Kristen" at Mayflower Hotel and sneaks past his police guard to meet her
6 Mar Four other people charged with operating prostitution ring
10 Mar NY Times breaks story, saying Spitzer has called aides to emergency meeting; Spitzer tells press conference he has let down his family
12 Mar Spitzer announces resignation

Allegations based on law enforcement sources quoted by Associated Press and New York Times

Ms Dupre was born Ashley Youmans. She left home in New Jersey at the age of 17 and moved to New York where she hoped to become a singer, the Times said.

Ms Dupre did not comment when asked by the newspaper when she first met Mr Spitzer and how many times they had met.

"This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated," she told the Times.

It is not clear whether or not Ms Dupre will face charges but she is reported to have hired a lawyer.

Federal investigators have alleged that a wiretap caught Mr Spitzer arranging to meet a $1,000-an-hour prostitute named Kristen who worked for the Emperor's Club VIP prostitution ring.

Mr Spitzer is reported to have paid thousands of dollars over 18 months to the ring.

He could be charged with soliciting and paying for sex, breaking banking laws and with transporting someone across state lines for immoral purposes.

He could also lose his licence to practise law in New York.

It marks a spectacular downfall for the man once known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" for his investigations of organised crime, financial crime and prostitution.

The father of three teenage girls is a leading supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton in her battle against Senator Barack Obama to become the Democratic Party's candidate for president.

'Still inspires me'

Mr Spitzer's deputy, Lieutenant-Governor David Paterson, will become New York's first black governor as well as its first blind governor when he takes over on Monday.

He told a news conference on Thursday: "The message to the people of New York is that New York government is still thriving, and we are still serving the people."

Mr Paterson said he had asked for a delay in the handover so that Mr Spitzer could say goodbye to his staff and the legislature could focus on putting together the state's budget.

He added that he had spoken to Mr Spitzer, saying: "I just told him how sorry I was this happened and how much he still inspires me."

Scandal-hit NY governor resigns
13 Mar 08 |  Americas
Spitzer's dramatic fall from grace
12 Mar 08 |  Americas
Profile: Eliot Spitzer
12 Mar 08 |  Americas
Q&A: The Spitzer scandal
12 Mar 08 |  Americas
Scandal-hit NY governor 'sorry'
10 Mar 08 |  Americas

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