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Jon Gosselin's Mystery Woman Breaks Her Silence

05/04/2009 at 07:00 PM EDT

Jon Gosselin's Mystery Woman Breaks Her Silence
The Gosselin family
Karen Alquist/TLC
The woman who set blogs ablaze last week for stepping out with Jon Gosselin has come forward to say that there's absolutely nothing romantic going on between her and the married reality star of TLC's Jon & Kate Plus 8.

"We're just friends," Deanna Hummel, 23, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It's absurd that anyone would think otherwise."

According to Hummel, she met Gosselin through a mutual pal a couple of months ago. Since then, the two have been hanging out – as part of a group of friends, not as couple. The social outings have included visits to each other's houses and nights out on the town, but always with others there, and it's always all innocent, according to Hummel.

"We just talk and socialize, the normal things you do when you see friends," says Hummel.

Hummel admits that the two did show up at Legends Bar in Reading, Pa., recently, but says a published photo of her driving Gosselin's car has been misinterpreted. "He just got this new car and I wanted to drive it. I'm into cars," she says. "We all have guy and girl friends. Because of who he is, it gets portrayed the wrong way, and it's unfair to him and his family."

She also adamantly denies that Gosselin called her "babe" while heading to his car. "He did not by any means call me 'babe,' " she says. "Nobody calls me babe. That made me laugh."

What she doesn't find funny, though, is being linked to a married man. "He's a very nice guy, don't get me wrong. But he's married with eight children," says Hummel, who is single. She adds that Gosselin "has a great family life. I would never ever think to pursue anything."

After reports broke last week that Gosselin had been spotted out late at night with a woman who is not his wife, he released a statement saying he'd shown "poor judgment."

"My family is the most important thing in my life and it kills me that these allegations have hurt them," he added.

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