The supermodel opens up about her divorce from Tom Brady and how she's doing today.
Gisele Bündchen had always been the picture of perfection, gracing magazine covers, strutting down runways, and captivating the world with her beauty. She was the quintessential supermodel, but behind that flawless facade lay a world of anxiety and turmoil that the public had never seen. In a candid interview with CBS News Sunday Morning's Lee Cowan, Gisele reveals the truth about her life in the spotlight, her divorce from football legend Tom Brady, and her journey toward self-discovery.
Perched at her part-time home in Costa Rica, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sounds of nature, Gisele opens up about the transformation her life has undergone. "I'm in a different place in my life. I'm able to choose more of what I want," she confesses. "I think before I was more surviving, and now I'm living, which is different." At 43, Gisele is ready to show the world her true self, a departure from the persona she had created to navigate the cutthroat world of modeling, a world that had once caused her crippling panic attacks.
"You know, I was in tunnels. I couldn't breathe," Gisele recalls, her eyes reflecting the past. "And then I started being in studios, and I felt, like, suffocated. I lived on the 9th floor, and I had to go up the stairs because I was afraid I would be stuck on the elevator, and I'd be hyperventilating… You know when you can't breathe even when the windows are open, you feel like, I don't want to live like this, you know what I mean?"
When Cowan, empathetic and probing, asks the question lingering in the air, "Did you really think about jumping?" Gisele pauses, her expression somber, "Yeah. For, like, a second."
Her revelation hangs heavy in the air, a stark reminder that even the most seemingly perfect lives can hide deep struggles. Gisele's journey toward healing and self-discovery was not an easy one, but it was one she has embraced wholeheartedly.
As the interview continues, Gisele delves into the most public aspect of her life -- her marriage to Tom. Together for 16 years, their divorce made headlines around the world. "I mean, it's not what I dreamed of and what I hoped for," she admits. "My parents have been married for 50 years, and I really wanted that to happen. But I think you have to accept, you know, sometimes that the way you are in your 20s, it's sometimes you grow together, sometimes you grow apart. I mean, he's the father of my kids, you know? So, I always wish him the best, and I'm so grateful that he gave me wonderful children."
It is a poignant moment, as Gisele gracefully acknowledges the complexities of life and love. Her marriage, though it has ended, has given her beautiful children and invaluable experiences.
Gisele also shares insights into her childhood, her family, and her new life away from the spotlight. She reveals how embracing a healthier lifestyle has not only transformed her but has also saved her life. Her role as a wellness ambassador for Gaia Herbs has given her a new sense of purpose, a platform to be herself.
"I just think now I'm allowing myself to come out as Gisele versus as 'her,'" she says with a smile. "I don't have to play a character. I can be me. And that's liberating."
Gisele and Tom announced the "amicable" end of their 13-year marriage in October 2022. At the time, Gisele said in a statement, "The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have grown apart."
Gisele's interview with Lee Cowan for CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING airs Sunday, Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. ET on CBS and streams on Paramount+.