Christine Ouzounian, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner‘s former nanny who found herself at the center of a cheating scandal this week, sought work caring for celebrity children simply because she believed it paid “good money” – and didn’t care about having intimate access to stars, says a friend.
“She was never obsessed with celebrities and only saw working as a nanny for celebs as a good business opportunity to make good money,” a childhood friend of Ouzounian tells PEOPLE.
Multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE that Ouzounian, 28, told pals she was having an affair with Affleck, 42, and is “in love” with him. Affleck has strongly denied the claim, stating the pair has “a work relationship and a friendship,” but nothing more.
Ouzounian’s friend says she is “shocked about the Ben situation,” in part because she knows the Santa Monica native is close to her family and seemingly grounded.
“Christine still lives in the family house where she grew up with her twin sister. She was always very focused on her studies, work and a very caring, reliable friend. She loves the beach, hiking and is very much a normal Southern Cali girl,” she says.
Ouzounian stepped out in Los Angeles Wednesday, a smile on her face as she was photographed looking chic in blue jeans, a sleeveless white top and carrying a blue leather bag.
Affleck and Ouzounian were photographed visiting each other at Affleck’s L.A. rental house on July 17. Sources say the duo have not seen each other since July 19 after spending the night together there.