INSIDE STORY: Who is the Mother of Jude Law's Baby?
07/31/2009 AT 05:30 PM EDT
But she's now had to put those dreams on hold for a new project: Being mother to Jude Law's fourth child.
Burke, a Florida native from Pensacola, confirmed through her attorney Thursday that she is carrying Law's baby. Burke and Law met last year – and had a brief relationship – while he filmed Sherlock Holmes in New York City.
Burke was in the Big Apple taking acting classes at the New York Studio for Film & Television, according her online profile. "It was a commercial and soap opera based course," she wrote. "I loved it! I wouldn't mind modeling AND acting."
Her stay in New York was short-lived. She returned home to Pensacola – pregnant. She happily shared the news with friends (she's having a girl!), registered at Babies R Us and posted pictures of her baby bump on Facebook.
A longtime neighbor in Pensacola describes Burke, now 24, as outgoing and friendly – an attractive young woman who likes to have a good time.
"Samantha has never gone out of her way to be mean or snobby, she was nice to me all the time," the 23-year-old male tells PEOPLE. "She was simply gorgeous and dated a lot of guys. She was a major-league party girl."
The Pensacola source says Burke left Florida to find more work as a model. She did swimsuit runway shows and other jobs. Burke noted in her profile that she had been modeling for about eight years and did "not want to give it up!"
But her neighbor says Burke recently was having trouble finding work back home with a bulging belly.
"Hardly anyone around here knew about her fling with Jude Law," the neighbor says. "It was a well kept secret."
With reporting by LINDA MARX