Ashley Dupree Q & A on Famous Food
By: Judith Wallace
After finding herself at the center of one of the biggest sex scandals ever, Ashley Dupree is determined to relinquish her negative image and show people her positive side, and let them know that there is a lot more to her than what they perceive her to be. So when the opportunity came about to do the show Famous Foods Ashley thought it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase her personality, creativity as well as her expertise in the restaurant industry. Premier Guide Media’s Judith Wallace caught up with Ashley who revealed that one of the things she hope this show does for her, is to give people a chance to get to know who Ashley Dupree really is. Although her past will always be a part of who she is, she does not want that particular part of her life to be the sole thing that defines who she is. She spoke about the challenges that she faced while doing the show, her love life, her dogs and the things that she enjoys doing.
What made you want to do Famous Restaurant?
Ashley Dupree: Actually in the beginning an email was sent to me with the description of the show and I did not think that it was real. I thought is was a joke because it sounded too good to be true so I brushed it off. But the overall concept of the show is what drew me to the show. You take seven of us and give us six weeks to open a restaurant. I grew up in the restaurant industry. When I was younger I worked for many years as a hostess, server, and a manager in a restaurant that was owned by a family friend. So I was always interested in the restaurant industry and when this came up I just thought that it was a great opportunity because how often does someone come up to you and say “hey here is this money and we want you to open up a restaurant.” I am also passionate about food, and I love going out to restaurants so I just felt like it was a great opportunity for me to put myself out there in a positive way and I was really excited about the project.
What was your biggest challenge doing this show?
Ashley Dupree: The biggest challenge was working with seven different personalities (laughs) and all agreeing on anything. That was definitely the most challenging part of the entire show.
Did you feel judged by any of your fellow cast mates because of your background?
Ashley Dupree: I did a little bit. I ran off– I kind of quit, then I turned around and digested everything for a couple of days. I later returned and I just wanted to talk to them because I was not on the show to be called names or to be disrespected. I was on the show to just show people for once who Ashley is. Everyone had preconceived notions of who I am, so it was just a way to show people who I am rather than who they think I am. That was my main thing as you will see on the show. I told my cast mates that “ listen I don’t have to be here, if this is how you want to treat me or act towards me.” But they wanted me to stay and I am glad that I did, it was really challenging, I did not get along with a couple people on the show. It was really really challenging but in the end I am glad that I stayed and put my foot down because there is people out there who judge me everyday. Had I run away, what am I going to– do run away for the rest of my life?
You Know that being on TV it is going to put your past in the forefront again, are you prepared for that?
Ashley Dupree: I don’t know. I am a little afraid I don’t know how everything is gonna turn out. It’s scary anytime you put yourself out there; people are going to judge you. Even thought the show has nothing to do with my past that is just the way society is, people are going to judge. Hopefully this will be good for me but who knows you never know. I will just have to wait and see. You can’t be afraid to try because if you never try then you will never get anywhere. It’s not that I want to put my past behind me and pretend that it never happen– I mean I can’t expunge the internet that’s never gonna happen its always gonna be there it’s part of who I am. But I also need to continue to just keep living my life, and the more that I can show people who I am and they can get a feel of my personality and everything, then maybe I won’t be called “that girl”. Instead it could be oh I really like her or she is really nice, funny whatever.
What can people expect to see from Ashley on this show?
Ashley Dupree: Although it was a challenge to work with different people, what you will see is that I am very funny and I don’t take myself too seriously. Like really I am a goof ball so you will see that. You will also see a creative side of me where that is really what I brought to the table as far as the concept of the show, and ideas and stuff like that. I am a really creative person and that is where I thrive.
I spoke to Vinney a few days ago and he had nothing but nice things to say about you. What is your thoughts on him?
Ashley Dupree: I love Vinney, he is like a teddy bear. He is like my dad (laughs). He always looks out for me on the show, and he continues to do so after the show. So I am really glad that he was on there and Heidi as well, she is like one of my closest friends. Her and I just really clicked on the show — she is another person that the public always judges so I did not know what to expect being on a show with her. I was preparing for the worst and she totally blew me away. She is a sweetheart and has such a great heart. I am just really glad that she was on the show with me too. Her and Vinney I just love them they are awesome.
Its been a couple years since you became a public figure because of the infamous Spitzer Scandal, how would you describe your life at present? Are you in a better place?
Ashley Dupree: I am in a much better place, it’s definitely been really difficult and a hard road. I feel like everybody makes mistakes. I was really young and the only difference between me and everyone is because mine was public, on the front pages of every news paper. Everyone has skeletons in their closets, they are all different levels if you take a microscope and crawl into their lives you will find something. So to overcome that and deal with that it was very traumatic and very difficult for my family and myself. But as far as where I am today I am so happy I don’t let things get to me, I brush it off– I have a great sense of humor to the people that are around me and love me. I am at the best place that I ever been in my entire life. So I am really happy where I am.
Have your past affected your dating life at all?
Ashley Dupree: Well I have been in a relationship for over a year now and I am super happy. He is my best friend. I mean I don’t know what I would do without him. I love him to pieces.
I know that you were pursuing a singing career, how is that going?
Ashley Dupree: Well I have always wanted to do music– that is what I was doing before everything happened to me. Because everything happened it changed my whole life and people did not take me seriously. I am still pursing it– it’s just something that I love doing. I have two songs on Itunes right now. I am never going to stop doing that like who knows what is going to happen. It’s just a passion of mine and I will continue to do it.
What is one misconception that you think people have of you that you would love to clear up?
Ashley Dupree: People think that I am this crazy hardcore, out of control party girl. And I am like the most down to earth, funny person. I love being home with my three dogs (I recently got an English Bull Dog) and I have a cocker spaniel and a French bulldog. I love staying home and cooking and being with my boyfriend and my dogs. I just love doing those things and think that it would surprise people.