When Michelle “Bombshell” McGee posed for photos for Tattoo Revue magazine, she lobbied the publication’s founder Casey Exton for the cover, telling him, “I’m going to be hot real soon.”
Three months later, she did just that. She made headlines with claims that she had a months-long affair with Sandra Bullock‘s husband Jesse James. And she made Exton one happy editor: He had decided to put her on the cover of his month’s edition, which went on sale last week.
“It’s a lucky hit,” Exton, 70, tells PEOPLE. “I’m going back to print more issues.”
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McGee, who had lived on the outer fringes of show business – her resume includes stripper, cybersex chat girl and nude tattoo model – has now burst into the media mainstream. One friend tells PEOPLE it’s what she had always wanted, describing her as “the kind of woman who would do anything if she thought it would make her famous.”
“I would not surprised if she went after Jesse James because she thought it would bring her fame,” the friend says. (McGee has been unavailable for comment since the story broke).
Already, some modest spoils of her notoriety have come. She was reportedly paid tens of thousands of dollars for her story. Also, organizers of next weekend’s Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention are trying to track down McGee, 32, to offer her a paid opportunity as the Queen of the Convention, Exton said.
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Whatever McGee’s motivations, Exton says that the mother of two made a good impression on him.
“To tell you the truth, I really liked her,” he said. “She wasn’t a wise ass at all. She was sweet.”
• Reporting by JESSICA HERNDON and OLIVER JONES