NEW YORK (CNN) -- The woman at the heart of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal is a 22-year-old would-be singer from New Jersey, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Ashley Alexandra Dupre writes on her MySpace page that she left home at 17.
The newspaper said that Ashley Youmans -- now known as Ashley Alexandra Dupre -- was identified in court documents as Kristen, the high-priced prostitute who met with Spitzer at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on February 13.
Dupre has not been charged with any crime.
She made a brief appearance Monday in U.S. Magistrate Court as a witness against four people charged with operating Emperor's Club VIP, the prostitution ring, the Times said.
Dupre told the Times she's mostly gone without sleep since the case became public.
"I just don't want to be thought of as a monster," Dupre told the newspaper. She revealed little else in the interview, but her MySpace page offered some insight into her background. Watch a report on Dupre »
Dupre writes that she left home and "a broken family" at 17.
"Left and learned what it was like to have everything, and lose it, again and again," Dupre says.
"Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone. I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music."
In her profile, Dupre says she moved to Manhattan to pursue her music career.
"I am all about my music, and my music is all about me," she writes on her MySpace page. "It flows from what I've been through, what I've seen and how I feel."
The page includes a picture of Dupre with the slogan "what destroys me, strengthens me." It also features a song titled "What we want" recorded by Dupre, with lyrics including "I know what you want, you got what I want, I know what you need, can you handle me?"
On the MySpace page, Dupre lists singers Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion, as well as her brother, as her influences.
She also offers some advice for those experiencing hard times.
"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," Dupre writes.
"Cliché, yes, but I know it's true. I have experienced just how hard it can be. I can honestly tell you to never dwell on the past, but build from it and keep moving forward."
Her brother, Kyle Youmans, told CNN he would not comment on the case or how his sister earns money, but he said she is "the best sister you could have."
"I'm sticking by my sister, doing everything so she'll be fine," Youmans said. "She'll make it through."
The family is "holding together" since the Spitzer scandal became public, he added.
Dupre's mother, Carolyn Capalbo, told the Times that she and her daughter were close, adding that "she obviously got involved in something much larger than her." E-mail to a friend
CNN's Allan Chernoff contributed to this report.
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