An as-yet unnamed documentary about disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend. It features titillating new details about Spitzer's liaisons with hookers—and may also give him the wiggle room to stage a comeback.
Director and narrator Alex Gibney interviewed Spitzer, probed his career highlights busting up Wall Street, and interviewed two call girls from Emperor's Club VIP, the high-end hooking service that employed Ashley Dupre. The New York Observer's Azi Paybarah reviewed the film, and describes one call girl's description of prosecutors' questions about Spitzer:
One call girl who met frequently with Mr. Spitzer claims that prosecutors asked her if she and this client used any sex toys. The woman, identified in the film as "Angelina" says she took umbrage with the questions and declined to provide such details. […] Angelina said an FBI agent that interviewed her "wanted to get some kind of information about some kinky sex stuff," about her famous client. There was none, she said.
Improbably enough, the hooker's outrage is something of a turning point to clearing Spitzer's name: "Federal prosecutors may have been aided by Mr. Spitzer's powerful enemies on Wall Street, Mr. Gibney speculates." Another call girl bristles at the claim that the limelight friendly Ashley Dupre was Spitzer's favorite girl:
A former co-worked of Ms. Dupree, Cecil Suwal, dismissed the idea that Ms. Dupre was Mr. Spitzer's favorite call girl, calling their trysts a "one night stand," (several night stands, as we understand it). There are a few cuts one of Ms. Dupre's opportunistic media appearances, with is footage of Giraldo [sic] Rivera's show on Fox News where he describes her as an aspiring singer and hands her a microphone, after which she belts out a few tunes. (Apparently Ms. Dupre is talented in other ways. In one of the more tawdry moments of the film, a former co-worker, Ms. Suwal, says Ms. Dupre was a popular girl in the agency, speculating that the young lady from New Jersey may just indeed have "perfect coochie." OK!)
(Emphasis mine.) Spitzer "stutters" through his interviews, speaking elliptically about how he "caved in to temptations." Of course, the biggest question lurking in the background at the moment is whether the increasingly telegenic Spitzer is preparing for a serious return to public life with a career in media (his recent MSNBC hosting gig, his Slate column) or even—is it really possible?—public service. If the last scene of Gibney's movie is an indicator—"Mr. Spitzer is last seen, in Mr. Gibney's film, walking down an unspecified street in Manhattan, blending into the crowd"—then the possibility is cautiously (improbably!) open.
If socks-on Spitzer succeeds, it will be a PR coup for the ages. [Observer, image via Getty]