Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have finalized their divorce, they announced Friday, ending the 13-year marriage between two superstars who have reached the pinnacle of fashion and football respectively.
Brady and Bundchen posted a statement late Friday morning on Instagram saying they had come to the decision “amicably”.
“The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have grown apart and while it is of course difficult to go through something like that, I feel blessed for the time we have had together and always wish Tom the best .” Bundchen wrote.
Both said their priorities were with their children and asked for privacy.
“After much thought, we have come to this decision to end our marriage,” Brady wrote. “This is, of course, painful and difficult, as it is for many people who experience the same thing every day around the world.”
The divorce came in the middle of Brady’s 23rd NFL season and just months after the seven-time Super Bowl champion ended his short-lived retirement. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback — who had long expressed an interest in spending more time with Bundchen and his three children — announced his departure from the game in February, only to change his mind 40 days later.
“What else do you have to prove?” Bundchen told her husband on the sidelines after his latest, record-breaking Super Bowl win, as Brady himself recounted shortly after the win.
Despite Brady initially saying his retirement was an opportunity to focus his “time and energy on other things that require my attention,” part of his motivation was to get back into what he called “unfinished business” with the Buccaneers. The team failed to make it to the Super Bowl last season in their bid to repeat as champions.
Bundchen told “CBS This Morning” in 2017 that she was concerned about her husband after he suffered a concussion last year. Brady’s then-team, the New England Patriots, and agent declined to comment on her comments at the time, and an NFL spokesperson said there was no record of him sustaining a head injury. Brady later said he preferred to keep his medical history private.
“I mean, we’re not talking about it,” Bundchen said during the interview. “But he does have a concussion. I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to keep going.’
‘This is a very violent sport’
More recently, she claimed that the characterization in reports that she desperately wanted her husband to retire had sexist undertones.
“Of course I have my concerns. This is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” the supermodel told Elle magazine in September. “I’ve definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But in the end I feel like everyone has to make a decision that works for [them]. He must also follow his joy.”
Bundchen and Brady were introduced by a mutual friend and married – twice – just over two years later. They said their first “I dos” in early 2009 at a Catholic church in Santa Monica, California, in front of family and close friends, followed by an equally minor second wedding at her home in Costa Rica nearly two months later.
Their son Benjamin was born later that year, followed by a daughter, Vivian, in 2012. Brady also has a 15-year-old son, Jack Moynahan, from a previous relationship with actor Bridget Moynahan.
Discovered by a modeling scout in Brazil at age 13, Bundchen secured her place as one of the industry’s highest-paid models in the 2000s and became a tabloid chapter fueled by a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio. In addition to walking the catwalks of top designers, appearing in campaigns for both high street and high fashion brands, she signed as a Victoria’s Secret Angel and took on small film roles, including in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’.
She took a step back from modeling in 2015, stopped working on the catwalk and limited herself to a few advertising campaigns and magazine covers a year. She made one big exception: She wore a glittering dress and a big smile in 2016 when she crossed a 120-meter runway during the Olympic Games in Rio, while compatriot Daniel Jobim performed ‘The Girl from Ipanema’.
Since scaling back her modeling career, she has devoted herself to environmental activism, particularly with regard to the conservation of the Amazon rainforest, and business ventures such as eco-friendly skincare and a lingerie line. She has also spoken out about mental health, revealing debilitating panic attacks that she said had contemplated suicide and criticizing unrealistic beauty standards.
‘I’ve done my part’
Above all, Bundchen told Elle, her family was the top priority.
“I’ve done my part, namely… [to] be for it [Tom]. I moved to Boston and focused on creating a cocoon and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there and support him and his dreams,” she said. “Seeing my kids succeed and the beautiful becoming little people that they are, seeing him succeed and fulfilled in his career makes me happy. At this point in my life I feel like I’ve done a good job.”
After years in Boston — where Brady played for the Patriots — and then moved back to Tampa with him in 2020, she said she had plans of her own: “I’ve got a huge list of things to do, things I want to do. my 42nd I feel more connected to my goal.”
Brady turned 45 in August when he left the Buccaneers for 11 days for unspecified personal reasons. The team supported the leave, calling it a pre-planned break agreed before the start of the training camp in July.
A three-time NFL MVP and the league’s all-time leader in yards passing and touchdowns, Brady signed a 10-year $375 million US contract to become the chief football analyst for Fox Sports as soon as he hangs his cleats. When that will be is still uncertain – while Brady had expressed an interest in extending his playing career beyond the age of 40 if he remained healthy, his now ex-wife had a different idea in 2017.
“Always that kind of aggression, that can’t be healthy for you,” she said during the CBS interview. “I plan to keep him healthy and do lots of fun things when we’re 100, I hope.”