Some Locals Call 'Femme by Ashley' Commendable Work, Others Say It's 'Trashy'

RED BANK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The woman at the center of the Eliot Spitzer call girl scandal has undertaken a brand new business venture.

“Femme by Ashley” on Broad Street in Red Bank, New Jersey is the talk of the town. The new lingerie and swimsuit store is owned by Ashley Dupré, who was born and raised in Red Bank.

Dupre is now quietly running the store after refusing television interviews more than 4 years after the whirlwind that was the Gov. Spitzer sex scandal — He was outed as Client Number 9, she as his call girl “Kristen.”

Dupré’s supporters call her brave, alluding to the fact that she is staying and investing in Red Bank when she could have easily moved away to someplace like Miami or Los Angeles.

“She’s not scared. She’s not running away from her past. The past is the past and it’s making her a better person today,” resident Sal DiDonato told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

“It’s really commendable, woman to woman, to see her representing her hometown,” said Lauren Moretti.

Not everyone, however, is impressed.

“It looks a little trashy,” said Julie Prozeller

But even those who criticize Dupre’s history, said her new line of work is her most dignified yet, preferring it to her other post-scandal jobs, including tabloid sex columnist and Playboy model.

Dupré is now 27 years old and calls the store opening a homecoming, having spent most of her childhood in nearby Wall Township.

After Femme’s grand opening on Monday, she told the Red Bank Green newspaper “What am I going to do, live in the past, regretting every mistake I’ve ever made? That’s the sign of a weak person. You need to get over it and move on.”

The only complaint from shoppers seems to be the prices.

“I don’t personally spend $300 on a bathing suit, but for those who can they’re really nice,” said Brianna Amoroso.

As Dupré makes the store her focus and her future, she seems to be hoping the old Ashley can fade in to history.

What do you think of Dupré’s new business venture?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

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