Brigitte Daguerre says she “liked the friendship” she had with Jesse James and found him much different from many biker enthusiasts – no chauvinist, he respected her interest in motorcycles and cars.
But in the end, she tells PEOPLE, “I wish it never happened, to be honest All this attention is what I really don’t like.”
Since James’s marriage scandal exploded, the attention has been hard to avoid. Daguerre emerged as the third woman alleged to have had an affair with Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock‘s husband, and the coverage has made Daguerre bristle.
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“I … made a mistake in thinking that there was a possibility with Jesse, when there wasn’t,” says Daguerre, 42, a former model and now a vintage clothing store owner. “But I didn’t do anything that bad, because as soon as I felt that something wasn’t right, I stayed home. That is why I get mad when people call me a home wrecker: I had no idea of what the full story was with him.”
Don’t Call Me Mistress
But despite lucrative offers from the tabloids, she won’t get into specifics about their relationship. “I am a tomboy. I like motorcycles and cars, and we bonded over that,” she says. “I get really upset when I read the headline ‘mistress.’ I was not his mistress. Jesse was never my boyfriend. There was no love. It was mostly friendship, or at least that is how it started: palling around and talking motorcycles.”
Their relationship started around the end of 2008, and, “Whatever happened between us, happened, and it should remain private,” she says, adding that it ended at the latter part of last year. “This is just a series of unfortunate events. I don’t have any grudge against Jesse. I have never been angry or pissed off or anything. I don’t know how I ended up here. I don’t regret his friendship.”
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But Daguerre does make clear what they had involved more than just talking about motorcycles.
“When you first meet someone and are attracted to them, you obviously hope that either something will change about how you feel, or you will grow into something, or maybe there is an opportunity for something,” she says. “You just try to feel it out, and try to get a vibe and feel it out. That was us. I only went down to his shop a few times and it didn t take me long to realize that something didn t feel right to me and that it was time to stop hanging out with this guy.”
During this time, she says, “He never mentioned his wife to me. We weren’t in a quote unquote relationship. I wasn t in love with him.”
She says his marriage is “his responsibility,” but adds, “I honestly wasn t sure [if he was married]. I didn t know. If I had known, things would have been very different. There was disappointment when I found out. That’s all.”