New York Stories

In August 2004, NATALIE McLENNAN was working for and dating now-convicted pimp Jason Itzler when he auditioned and recruited a 19-year-old named Ashley Dupre into his high-end prostitution ring, New York Confidential. In her forthcoming book, “The Price: My Rise and Fall as Natalia, New York’s #1 Escort,” McLennan recalls how she befriended and groomed Ashley – a New Jersey girl with dreams of being the next Mariah Carey – into one of the city’s hottest call girls. In this excerpt, McLennan reveals Dupre’s sex- and drug-fueled days and nights – raking in piles of cash, dancing in clubs and sidling up to celebrities – before she ended up in bed with Gov. Eliot Spitzer and became famous the wrong way.

‘NATALIA, get in a cab,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “I’ve just met the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Typical Jason Itzler tact.

He was my pimp, and I was an escort, and, yes, I know that for most people we were living in some sort of beyond-good-andevil, bizarro world where normal morality and feelings don’t apply, but just suspend your disbelief for a minute.

I feigned enthusiasm, “Really? That’s so cool.”

When I arrived, Jason brought me into the lobby of a hotel and told me to check out a girl working behind the desk.

He had just given this girl, Ashley he said her name was, one of his metal business cards – silver, razor-thin and reading “New York Confidential: Rocket Fuel for Winners.”

I had to hand it to him: She was hot.

“OK, let’s go,” he said. “I just wanted you to see her. I’m hungry.”

We arrived home at our loft, and then who should call?

The little lamb from the hotel.

If this girl was going to work out, Jason wouldn’t need to sell her on the idea; she’d have to come to us. An hour later, she arrived at the loft.

Her face was adorable. She was tanned, with shiny, flowing brown hair. I could tell she was young, and I could sense that I was more street smart than she was, but she had that hungry glimmer in her eye that told me she was game for anything.

Every other girl who had come to work for the agency had either worked as an escort before or, like most of our girls, was new but had to be sold on the idea and have her hand held at every step. Ashley appeared to be happier to have found us than we were to have her.

“Ashley, I’m going to have to see you naked,” Jason interjected.

“That’s normal, right?” she asked.

She looked to me.

“I got naked for him. I’ve never worked anywhere else, so I can’t really say, but it’s normal here,” I said.

“It’s OK. I don’t mind taking my clothes off,” she chirped.

In two minutes, they were back.

I got back to business.

“Every girl starts at $800 an hour. If and when that changes is dependent on the reviews you earn. Reviews are posted by clients on a site called TheErotic-Review.com, and they have a huge impact on your success.”

I asked her what she wanted her name to be. She was drawing a blank. She had Dior sunglasses on her head and had a sort of well-bred, suburban look to her. Her curves were extreme, her body screamed sexy, and her voice was a little throaty and cute.

I had the perfect name: “Victoria.”

JUST hours after he’d laid eyes on Ashley, Jason wanted to send us straight to work. He had a great client lined up for us, a regular.

He wanted Ashley’s reviews up and working for her right away.

Ashley and I were amazing together. She wasn’t skinny at all, you’d never feel like you could break her, but she didn’t have any fat on her body.

The only thing I didn’t love were her breasts. She had implants, and I didn’t think they were the greatest. She told me she got them when she was 16.

I was going to have to deliver my report to Jason: This girl could be our next superstar.

So Ashley officially became Victoria. Not long after, Ashley was lying on my bed. I was on my laptop. I pulled up a new review for Ashley.

She jumped up and read it over my shoulder. It was a 10/10; I gave her a big hug.

The review started by talking about Ashley’s personality (sweet) and her goals in life (aspiring singer). “Wait, you’re a singer?” “Yeah, you didn’t know that? I thought I told you.”

“That’s so cool,” I said.

“I’ve never met any of your friends. Do they know what you’re doing?” I asked. “No, they don’t,” Ashley said.

“And I’m planning on keeping it that way. It might really f- – – me when I get my record deal.”

MEL SACHS, who I later learned was something of a legal legend, had come by the loft while Ashley and I were out and invited us to the opening of uber-promoter Noel Ashman’s new club, NA. Jason called for our stretch Escalade, his chariot of choice.

I downed a glass of champagne, did an enormous line and offered one to Ashley. She shook her head, and I offered it to her again. She leaned forward and did it. She was only 19 and couldn’t even drink legally!

Her faced scrunched up as the powder shot through her sinuses. We dashed out the door, giggling as we burst onto the sidewalk. We jumped in the limo, and Ashley screamed, “Pump this bitch up!”

The doormen showed us right through. I jumped up on the banquette and started dancing, helping Ashley do the same. I played bartender with a bottle of Grey Goose. She shook her head, again. I put it in her hand, and we drank up. She was beginning to learn the drill.

Ashley was glowing. I mean literally. I loaned her some shimmery lotion, which we rubbed all over her arms, legs, cleavage, you name it.

Remember the Versace dress J.Lo wore to the Grammys a few years ago? Green, flowy and cut down to her belly button and up to her crotch?

Ashley’s dress was kind of like that but sleeveless. She looked stunning.

Ashley started dancing with me, and I pulled her in close, and we started making out. Our session started to draw a crowd, entirely male. Jason stepped in like P.T. Barnum, introducing each of us to the throng as he helped us down off the banquette. The guys swarmed around Ashley.

She really knew how to get guys into a frenzy.

ASHLEY and I were right at the height of our mutual success. We were inseparable. We even found that we had a lot of friends in common. I could feel a lot of them start to wonder where our newfound riches were coming from.

Ashley’s dreams of being the next diva meant she was not at all into anyone knowing how she was paying her rent.

I messed up a few times and called her “Victoria” in front of her friends. I would always recover by joking it was my nickname for her, because she was posh like Victoria Beckham. Everyone bought it, but I could tell it still unnerved her.

One night, Victoria – sorry, Ashley – and I found ourselves alone in the loft. Ashley jumped up on the couch with the empty bottle of Taittinger we’d just polished off in two minutes flat and started singing along to Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama.”

All of a sudden, she froze. “Oh, my God, it’s Nas’ birthday! I almost forgot!”

She grabbed my hand and pulled me into my closet, “Come on, get dressed. We have to go to Select.”

She always talked about how Mariah Carey had swept hair at a salon and checked coats before Tommy Mottola discovered her working as a waitress in a cheesy Upper East Side bar.

Ashley, then just a year younger than Mariah when she was catapulted into super-stardom, had way more connections than a random waitress, and she sure as hell had the drive.

She pulled out her phone and dialed, “Hey, is he still there? Cool, I’ll be there in 15 minutes.”

She hung up and looked at me. “Nas is still there. We have to hurry.”

We jumped in a cab and were at Select in two minutes. Ashley gave the magic word to the 500-pound doorman, and the velvet ropes parted like the Red Sea.

The owner came over and set us up at the table next to Nas and his then-girlfriend, Kellis. Wow, so there was Nas. I was excited, but Ashley was absolutely giddy. For her, this was how I would feel sitting next to DiCaprio or De Niro.

“Ash, let’s buy Nas a bottle of champagne for his birthday.”

The waitress delivered our birthday present to Nas’ table with our best wishes. Nas looked up, and then motioned for us to come over to his table.

Ashley put on her game face.

I GOT a voice mail from Katie, another escort. Apparently, Ashley had been arrested. Then I got an e-mail that read, “Law enforcement infiltrated NY Confidential on 12/1. An undercover police officer paid $990 for a provider via credit card. They booked another girl on 12/20 for $990 on a credit card. They booked two girls on 12/31. Each time they had full service and supposedly all the sessions were taped. The 12/20 session was at the W hotel and was with Victoria. This session was booked with Victoria after looking at reviews of her by the TER handle ‘Poller.’ Is this really true? If it is, I would be concerned that she is being used by [law enforcement].”

Allegedly, it all started when a client known as Big Dan found an unauthorized $28,000 charge on his credit card put there by New York Confidential. He allegedly contacted law-enforcement friends, and the die was cast.

Ashley, apparently, was never charged and went back to work at New York Confidential as if nothing had happened.

As far as I know, the agency never found out Ashley had been taken in, and I didn’t tell

Jason. I was only tangentially connected to the agency at that point. After Christmas that year, I was in Marquee. Someone grabbed me before I could take two steps.


She stumbled, and we almost fell in a

heap on the floor.


She kissed me on the mouth and said how much she missed me. We hadn’t seen each other in . . . wow, six months, right around the time she’d allegedly been busted.

Ashley’s face looked bloated. Had she had her lips done? She could barely keep her eyes open.

She was obviously really high and drunk. I felt guilty. I was the one who turned her out, as they say, and introduced her to this whole world.

“I have to talk to you,” she said.

Uh-oh, what could she want?

Either she was being her social-climber self, angling to be next to the tabloid sensation du jour, or she just wanted to get back into the action and work with me again – make some of those serious stacks we used to bring in. It didn’t even cross my mind that maybe she just missed me and wanted to be my friend again.

She said she had to go, but managed to punch my number into her cell.

“I’m going to call you,” she slurred.

WHEN Gov. Eliot Spitzer went down in a ball of flames for booking a $4,300 session with an escort named “Kristen,” I confess I laughed my head off. He was allegedly the driving force behind the crackdown on high-end escorting.

Turns out Mr. Morality had allegedly spent over $80,000 (that they could trace) on escorts over an eight-year period – basically the entire time he was the state’s top law-enforcement and elected official.

As I watched the scandal unfold on CNN, I got an e-mail from Jason (who touched base with me about once a month) titled “Don’t you know this girl?”

Oh. My. God.

There was a photo of my little Ashley in a white bikini sitting on a yacht docked in what looked like the French Riviera, but what I knew better to be off the coast of Miami.

Kristen was Ashley. Ashley was Kristen. She had finally gotten her wish: She was famous. And then some.

Printed with the permission of Phoenix Books Inc. Source: The New York Post.


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