Ashley Alexandre Dupré drops suit, Joe Francis to take his cut

Well after the Eliot Spitzer scandal has subsided and bronzed call girl Ashley Dupré no longer makes headlines, she's dropped her case against Girls Gone Wild's entrepreneurial ex-con Joe Francis over the online release of a video characteristic of Francis's oeuvre. We can only hope the young Dupré, pictured here in her high school yearbook, walked away with not just a settlement up front but points on the back end. Sadly, the market cap on her performance can have only been diminished by the wait — I can imagine a band manager-type, buoyed by well-bankrolled rap videos, holding out for mainstream money.

Not to mention the lawyers along the way happy to take 40 percent, knowing all along that at best a confidential deal would be struck so that Francis could get on with the business of spooning out the dozens of hours of Dupré footage to horny Web gossips. But then maybe waiting to settle was the smart economic move — the GGW site no longer features Dupré as a come-on, and if I were Francis I'd sign whatever it took to restore my sagging search rank.