Sandra Bullock "waited so long to find true love" before wedding Jesse James in 2005 at age 40, her longtime costumer Joel Voorhies tells UsMagazine.com.
Voorhies worked with Bullock, now 45, on 23 of her films, and says the low-maintenance star "would often grab the needle and thread for me!" Voorhies spoke to Us' Deputy News Editor Natalie Thomas for an exclusive interview about Bullock, who hasn't been seen in public since last week's reports of James' affair with tattoo model/stripper Michelle McGee. He praises his pal as "loyal to a fault. [She] believed that people are honest and true."
When Bullock began dating James in 2004, "there was something new about her," Voorhies observes. "She got a little more girly. One of the things she's known for is being one of the guys-- and he's a guy's guy."
Pre-James, Bullock dated such actors as Tate Donovan and Ryan Gosling but "wasn't a serial dater," Voorhies says. Monster Garage star James "was a breath of fresh air. He had his own thing going on and they didn't step on each other's heels. They were such a nice couple."
He adds, "for her to marry someone at 40, it's a big deal...She was head-over-heels. He was the one. And maybe he still is."
Voorhies attended the "lovely" July 2005 wedding. "There was fried chicken, she wore Angel Sanchez and cowboy boots. It was this down home, normal thing. She danced with the little kids. Everyone knew everyone -- no Hollywood types. It was about sharing this relationship with everyone else."
These days, the Oscar-winning star has gone into deep seclusion and is "completely sealed off," another friend tells Us; on Wednesday, unconfirmed reports claimed she had returned to Los Angeles following a retreat in Austin, Tex.
"This is probably one of the most devastating pieces of information she's ever gotten," Voorhies says. "I don't think she's sitting around balling her eyes out. She's probably trying to be proactive. I would hope she gave him a good smack upside the head, at least!"
Should she opt to divorce, Bullock has another thing to consider: her three stepchildren, including little girl Sunny, 6, with whom she's particularly close. "She's not going to walk away from those kids," Voorhies says. "That's who she is. She will not divorce everyone in the family. She would maintain a relationship on whatever level that was best for the kids."
"Don't feel sorry for Sandy," he says. "Sandy is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, strong women. Everybody gets hurt. She will rise above it. She will make a decision that will work for her. This moment in time does not define who she is."
For more - including how Bullock remains "completely sealed off," the cruel way James demeaned his marriage to Bullock while wooing McGee, whether Bullock will take him back and shocking details on James' disturbing Nazi connection - pick up the new Us Weekly today!