March 12, 2008 06:55 PM

The alleged prostitute known as “Kristen” in the New York governor sex scandal is a 22-year-old New Jersey native from a broken home who now worries what people will think of her, according to a newspaper report.

“I just don’t want to be thought of as a monster,” the woman, identified as Ashley Alexandra Dupre, tells The New York Times. “This has been a very difficult time. It is complicated.”

Dupre has not been charged in the case. But she has been subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury investigation, her lawyer, Don D. Buchwald, told a magistrate judge in court on Monday.

According to her MySpace page, her first love is music – the page features one of her own recordings and lists Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Christina Aguilera and Lauryn Hill among her influences.

‘What Destroys Me, Strengthens Me’

Dupre (whose page features the quote, “What destroys me, strengthens me”) writes that she left a “broken family” at age 17, used drugs, was “broke and homeless” and “learned what it was like to have everything and lose it, again and again.”

“[I] learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone,” she writes. “But I made it. I’m still here and I love who I am. If I never went through the hard times, I would not be able to appreciate the good ones. Cliché, yes, but I know it’s true.”

A source confirmed for The Times that Dupre is the “Kristen” identified in a federal affidavit as having a Feb. 13 rendezvous with Gov. Eliot Spitzer at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Her lawyer Buchwald told PEOPLE: “We cannot and do not confirm that Ashley is Kristen.”

“I promise when we are in the position to make a statement we’ll get that to everyone at the same time,” he said.

Spitzer on Wednesday said he was resigning as governor.

Dupre declined to discuss with The Times her alleged work with Emperor’s Club V.I.P. escort agency. She also didn’t comment on Spitzer.

She says she now has trouble sleeping and is worried how she’ll pay her rent; the man she was living with “walked out on me” when she found out he had fathered two children.

Mother Speaks Out

She made a brief court appearance on Monday as a witness in the case against four people charged with operating the prostitution ring.

Her mother, Carolyn Capalbo, 46, tells The Times she was “shell-shocked” when her daughter called last week to say she had been working as an escort and was in trouble with the law.

“She is a very bright girl who can handle someone like the governor,” Capalbo said. “But she also is a 22-year-old not a 32-year-old or a 42-year-old and she obviously got involved in something much larger than her.”

Additional reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS

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