Gisele Bündchen Speaks Out After Split: A Timeline of Her and Tom Brady's Romance
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On Oct. 28, 2022, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen officially announced their marriage was over and, after more than a decade together, they'd finalized their divorce.
From meeting on a blind date, to having two children, to dealing with Deflategate, to a retirement... and an unretirement, and an official retirement -- the pair has had their share of ups and downs over the years.
Although their marriage has come to an end, there is nothing but love between the pair.
"We’re not playing against each other. We are a team…and that’s beautiful," Bündchen said in the April 2023 issue of Vanity Fair, where she spoke out for the first time about their split. "I look back and I have no regrets. I loved every bit of it."
Keep reading for a full rundown of Brady and Bündchen's romance.
A year after Bündchen ended her five year-long romance with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the same year that Brady called it quits with Bridget Moynahan, his girlfriend of three years, the model and NFLer were set up on a blind date by friends.
"I think the one phone call that changed my life was my friend Ed, who called me one day and he said, 'I have this girl and I think you should call her,'" Brady told WSJ. Magazine in September 2021. "I ended up calling her and it ended up being the love of my life."
For Bündchen, going on that blind date was not the easiest decision.
"For some reason, everyone thought they needed to find me a boyfriend, so it was actually my third blind date. The other two were dinners, and I was stuck there for an hour and a half thinking, 'When can I get out? Where's my food?'" she recalled during an October 2018 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. "The third blind date was actually Tom. I was like, 'That's it. I'm not going on anymore blind dates.' And I figured, let's meet for a drink because a drink can take three minutes or two hours."
Immediately after meeting, though, Bündchen was sold on Brady.
"The moment I saw him, he smiled and I was like, 'That is the most beautiful, charismatic smile I’ve ever seen!'" she told Vanity Fair in March 2009. "We sat and talked for three hours. I had to go home for Christmas, but I didn’t want to leave. You know that feeling of, like, you can’t get enough? From the first day we met, we’ve never spent one day without speaking to each other."
Brady was likewise enamored, telling Howard Stern in April 2020, "Obviously, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. [My plans] changed for the better because I found a wife and a woman that I saw myself with for the rest of my life."
Amid the start of Bündchen and Brady's romance, Brady learned that his ex, Moynahan, was pregnant.
"It was definitely a surprise for both of us," Bündchen admitted to Vanity Fair in 2009. "In the beginning you’re living this romantic fantasy; you’re thinking, 'This can’t be true, it’s so good!' And then, Whoops -- wake-up call! We were dating two and a half months when he found out, and it was a very challenging situation. Obviously, in the beginning, it’s not the ideal thing."
Eventually, though, Bündchen came to view the situation as "a blessing."
"Otherwise I don’t think I would have known what he was made of, and he wouldn’t have known what I was made of. I wouldn’t have seen the integrity in him -- the way he was a good person through all the times," she said. "I was like, 'You have the heart in a good place!' It made me feel more in love with him; it made me realize who he was. Our relationship has become so much stronger, and I think I wouldn’t be as certain as I am today if it weren’t for that."
When John Edward Thomas Moynahan arrived later that year, Bündchen was quickly smitten with her eventual stepson.
"He’s a little angel -- the sweetest, most cuddly, loving baby. I feel blessed to have him in my life," she said. "I understand that he has a mom, and I respect that, but to me it’s not like because somebody else delivered him, that’s not my child. I feel it is, 100 percent. I want him to have a great relationship with his mom, because that’s important, but I love him the same way as if he were mine. I already feel like he’s my son, from the first day.”
2008 - 2012
The couple made their red carpet debut at the 2008 Met Gala, which came just eight months before Brady popped the question to Bündchen.
"When he proposed to me he made up this whole story how my apartment was flooding, and I ran over there to fix the situation," Bündchen told Voguein June 2018. "When I got there the whole apartment had candles and rose petals everywhere, and then he went down on his knees to propose."
"I was like, 'Get up!' because he just had surgery and had three staph infections," she added. "I'm like, 'What are you doing?' He's like, 'I gotta go on my knees.' I'm like, 'No, no, no. Get up, please!' So, here we are."
Their wedding followed just two months later, with an intimate ceremony at a Catholic church in Santa Monica with only the couple's parents and Brady's son in attendance.
"We planned it in like ten days, and it was perfect," Brady told GQ in November 2009. "We went back to the house and I barbecued aged New York strips. We had champagne, a cake, some ice cream. It was a great night."
"I think you always have this idea that weddings need to be 200 people and you invite everybody, and I'm all for it if people want to do that, but I think there was really something special about just having our parents there," he added.
Bündchen agreed, telling Vanity Fair, "I don’t like parties. I prefer something more intimate, just for the closest people."
"My idea of that is you have a partner who’s got your back. When I’m weak, you can be strong; when I’m strong, you can be weak. That’s what I believe marriage is," she told the outlet. "Loving someone, you want to grow with them, share with them, share the same values, the same feelings about things, the same beliefs... I feel grateful because I have a lot of love in my life. I found the person I’m sharing my life with. I have a good man."
In April that same year, the couple threw another wedding in Costa Rica. It included 40 people, extended family only.
"The thing about it is, the day's for you," he told GQ. "It's nothing personal against anybody, but it's not about them. It's about what you and your wife need for that day."
Even amid newlywed bliss, though, Brady's career was already impacting how much time he spent with his new wife.
"We find time to spend together, but Gisele understands the job requirements," he said. "I get some time with her on my day off, Tuesday, and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday nights. Probably after wins I'm more with her. After losses, I don't think much of anything other than the game."
The couple's first child, Benjamin, joined the fold in December 2009, followed by their daughter, Vivian, three years later.
Rumblings of marriage issues between the pair seeming first circulated in 2015 when Brady was a part of the Deflategate scandal. At the time, it was alleged that Brady ordered game balls to be deflated and was eventually suspended for four games.
Brady addressed his potential marital woes during an interview with a Boston radio station that year, Us Weekly reported.
"We're in a great place. I'll just say that. I'm a lucky man. I've been very blessed with support from my family and certainly her," he said at the time. "There's no bigger supporter than I have than her and vice versa. I've been very blessed to have an incredible relationship with my life partner. I don't think anything would ever get in the way of that."
2018 - 2021
It was three years later when retirement rumors started to circulate around the quarterback. Bündchen told WSJ. Magazine in April 2018 that she's "entitled to have my concerns because my husband is the father of my children" and "if you don’t have your health, what do you have?"
Even with her apparent worries for Brady's health, Bündchen told the outlet that retirement is totally Brady's decision.
"It wouldn’t be fair any other way. He’s so focused right now. He has a laser focus on just winning and being the best, and I said, 'You know what? This is what you’re doing right now in your life, and you need to feel complete in it, because if I’m the one who comes and says something and then you make a decision based on something that I said... he’d resent it," she said. "I would never in my life, ever [make that decision for him]. I want him to be happy."
The next month, during an appearance at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Brady admitted, according to ESPN, that his wife and kids get "the short end of the stick in my life."
"Football is year-round for me. It's a lot of thought, a lot of energy and emotion put into it, but I need to invest in them, too. My kids are 10, 8 and 5. They're not getting younger, so I need to take time so I can be available to them, too," he said. "I've really spent the last two or three months doing those things, and I think I'm really trying to fill my tank up so that when I do go back, I can go back and I think I'll actually be, in my mind, a better player, a better teammate, because I'll be really rejuvenated."
The next year, Brady told Men's Health that his wife "is not really into sports."
"She’s like a kite flying in the sky, and I’m kind of tethering her," he said. "Sometimes I have to hold on hard. But she knows I’m always there for her."
In an April 2020 interview with Howard Stern, Brady addressed how Bündchen "didn't feel like I was doing my part for the family" when she gave her interview to WSJ. Magazine.
"She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house, and then all of a sudden when the season would end, I'd be like, 'Great, let me get into all of my other business activities. Let me get into my football training,'" Brady said, "and she's sitting there going, 'Well, when are you going to do things for the house? When are you going to take the kids to school and do that?'"
"And that was a big part of our marriage," he continued. "I had to, like, check myself. Because she's like, 'I have goals and dreams too. It's not just doing this and this. You better start taking care of things at the house.'"
It was the next month that Brady announced he was leaving his longtime team, the New England Patriots. Though retirement rumors continued to swirl, he revealed in March 2020 that he wouldn't be leaving the league, but would be joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Brady's Let's Go podcast the next year, he admitted that "it's definitely a challenge" to juggle football and family.
"My wife handles a lot of the responsibilities of the house during football season," he said. "I try to balance them out a little more in the off-season, although a lot of times I still don't think I do a great job of that. She kind of does, honestly, the things that are necessary for the kids, their school, their routines and so forth."
During another episode of his podcast later that month, Brady once again spoke about the sacrifices Bündchen has made since retiring from the runway in 2015.
"My wife has held down the house for a long time now. I think there's things that she wants to accomplish. She hasn't worked as much in the last 10, 12 years just raising our family and kind of committing to being in a life in Boston and then moving to Florida," he said. "But that's an issue, and it's a very difficult issue to reconcile without just saying, 'Hey, it's time to retire.' And I think we're coming to the end here too, so I don't want to miss any of the kids' stuff."
February - March 2022
In February 2022, Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL. In a lengthy Instagram post explaining his decision, Brady wrote about his family.
"To my wife, Gisele, and my children Jack, Benny and Vivi, you are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement," he wrote. "I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family."
In a tribute to her husband, Bündchen wrote that she was "so proud" of Brady and "in awe of your dedication, and of everything you have achieved."
"I know how excited you are about the next chapter of your life," she wrote in part. "Watching you work so hard in your football career and seeing the dedication you are now putting into all your new endeavors is incredibly inspiring. There is nothing you can’t achieve. I have always been here for you, you know that, and I’m as excited as you are for what the future holds!"
It turned out that what the future held was an unretirement.
"These past two months I've realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands," Brady tweeted less than two months after announcing he was leaving the league. "That time will come. But it's not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I'm coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa."
At the time, Bündchen supported her husband, commenting on Instagram, "Here we go again! Let's go lovvvey! Let's go Bucs!"
Amid news of Brady's NFL return, the athlete admitted to ET that being "so driven to succeed in football" has "taken me away from other important priorities, which are my kids, my wife."
"She's really held it down for our family," he said. "I'm super grateful that she really committed so much of her time the last 14 years to make sure everything was so stable at home, so I could go live my dream. I look back at my parents, and my dad and mom did the same thing for me."
"I do feel, maybe, some guilt that I haven't been able to do that in the same way for my kids, but I'm doing the best I can do," he added. "I'm trying to be really conscious and aware of that, and then when I do have the time to spend with them, I'm really present."
Bündchen spoke about her relationship with Brady in an interview with British Vogue later that month.
"I don't think relationships just happen; it's never the fairy tale people want to believe it is," she said. "It takes work to be really in sync with someone, especially after you have kids. His focus is on his career, mine is mostly on the kids. And I'm grateful that he lets me take the reins when it comes to our family. He trusts my decisions."
As football season quickly approached, rumors of marriage issues between the couple began to circulate. At the time, Peoplereported that Bündchen "wasn't thrilled" with her husband ending his retirement from professional football, which she was initially "so happy" about, according to the outlet.
Rumors of a rift between the couple ramped up after Brady was excused from practicing with the Bucs to "deal with some personal things."
Brady returned to practice after also missing two preseason games, and addressed his 11-day absence from the team, telling reporters, "Everyone has different situations they're dealing with, and we all have unique challenges to our lives. I'm 45 years old, man."
"There's a lot of s**t going on, so you just have to try and figure out life the best you can," he added. "You know, it's a continuous process."
Bündchen did not attend his first game of the season, but did support him on social media. Shortly thereafter, she told Elle about her "concerns" over Brady's career.
"This is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present," she said. "I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too."
Then, a source told ET that the couple was living separately as they figured out what was next for their relationship.
"Gisele has been telling Tom for a while he needs to spend more time with the family and after he retired, she thought she was getting what she asked for," the source said. "Once Tom decided to go back to the NFL she was devastated. Gisele is very hurt."
"Gisele is upset with Tom and wants some space right now," a second source added. "She is getting pushed to her limit. She has always supported Tom and has been there for him, but she is over it. She doesn't think Tom has been himself lately."
In October, Page Six reported that Brady and Bündchen had each retained divorce lawyers.
"Rumblings of marital issues between Tom and Gisele began towards the end of the summer, and more recently, things have gotten worse and more serious," a source told ET shortly thereafter. "They haven't been in a good place."
"Gisele feels like Tom has chosen his career over his family and she is tired of it," the source added. "She also has her own dreams and aspirations and doesn't want to have to keep putting her goals on hold. They are weighing their options for their future as a family and thinking about what next steps might look like."
Later that month, Bündchen was photographed without her wedding ring.
"Tom isn't taking things well," a source told ET after the photo of a ringless Bündchen surfaced. "He wants to reconcile and was still holding out hope that they could work things out."
"He is extremely hurt and misses Gisele being by his side," the source added. "He feels abandoned in a way. He loves his family, but also wants to continue his career. He feels like he is in a tough spot."
The source added that "Gisele has hired a divorce attorney to discuss her future plans."
"At this point, it's more of her decision to move things forward in this direction," the source told ET. "Things are a bit difficult, both personally within their family, and because they both have huge assets."
Brady then attended a wedding solo and stepped out without his wedding ring. Just over a week later, the couple filed for divorce.
"Gisele and Tom worked on the terms of their settlement with a mediator," a source told ET after the filing. "It has all been worked out and they agreed to joint custody of their children."
Bündchen and Brady each spoke out shortly thereafter, posting similar statements to their Instagram Stories.
"We arrived at this decision amicably with gratitude for the time we spent together," Brady wrote in part. "We are blessed with beautiful and wonderful children who will continue to be the center of our world in every way. We will continue to work together as parents to always ensure they receive the love and attention they deserve."
"My priority has always been and will continue to be our children whom I love with all my heart," Bündchen noted in her statement. "... The decision to end a marriage is never easy but we have grown apart."
A source then told ET that Bündchen felt "she needed to put her and her kids first" and had "had enough."
"Gisele has been working with her healer to stay in a place of peace and come to terms with her marriage ending," the source said. "Tom and Gisele have love for one another, but Gisele knew she had to put herself and her family first over football."
Meanwhile another source close to the couple told ET that "Tom is and always has been a devoted father, he has always put his kids and family first."
"While yes, he is on the road for games and trains in between, no other husband or father gets six months off a year to be totally devoted to their family. He is always with his family in between games and traveling," the second source says. "In this divorce, as per his statement, they arrived at this situation amicably, and the children remain at the center of their world. They will continue to co-parent and work together to ensure they receive the love and support needed."
On Feb.1, Brady announced that he would be retiring from the NFL -- for good. In a message, shared via Instagram, the 45-year-old Super Bowl champion got emotional as he made the announcement for the camera.
"I'll get to the point right away. I'm retiring for good," the father of three said. "I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning, I figured I'd just press record and let you guys know first. I won't be long-winded. You only get one long emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year."
"Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn't change a thing," he concluded.
In addition, Brady shared a set of photos, which included Bündchen, their children, Vivian and Benjamin, and Brady's son, John, from a previous relationship.
In the comments, the model offered her support. “Wishing you only wonderful things in this new chapter of your life,” Bündchen wrote next to the post along with the praying hands emoji.
Bündchen got candid about the many layers of her split from Brady inside of Vanity Fair. In her first interview since their divorce, Bündchen addressed co-parenting, rumors of a new relationship and the reason why she and the retired football star pulled the plug on their marriage.
The model called the divorce the "death of my dream," and shot down the claim that she gave Brady an ultimatum.
"Wow, people really made it about that. What’s been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle," she told the magazine. "It’s not so black and white."
Calling the claims "very hurtful" and "the craziest thing I've ever heard," Bündchen added, "Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever. If there's one person I want to be the happiest in the world, it's him, believe me. I want him to achieve and to conquer. I want all his dreams to come true. That’s what I want, really, from the bottom of my heart."
Bündchen also opened up about co-parenting with Brady and how it was inspired by his ex, Bridget Moynahan -- whom Brady shares a son with and whom Bündchen has built a relationship with.
"I say to Bridget -- you know, I have a great relationship with her -- everything in life comes with work," Bündchen shared. "You have to go through the roller coaster. You have moments where you get to the sticky points and you’ve gotta overcome it."
Bündchen addressed the speculation that she moved on with her jiu-jitsu instructor, Joaquim Valente.
"I think, at this point, unfortunately, because I’m divorced, I’m sure that they’re going to try to attach me to anything,” she told Vanity Fair. “I’m so grateful to know all of them, because not only have they helped me and helped my kids, but they have become great friends, and Joaquim especially."
She added about their relationship, "He’s our teacher and, most importantly, he’s a person that I admire and that I trust. It’s so good to have that kind of energy, to have my kids around that type of energy."
As for the rumors that she was connected to Brady's friend, Jeffrey Soffer, the model shut them down completely.
“I have zero relationship with him in any way,” she said. "I wouldn’t be with his friend. I wouldn’t be with this guy."
And she's not interested in his net worth, either. "They were saying I’m with this guy, he’s old, because he’s got money," she added. "It’s ridiculous."
For more with Bündchen and Brady, check out the links below.
Gisele Bündchen Addresses Romance Rumors About Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
Gisele Bündchen Says Co-Parenting Strategy Came From Tom Brady's Ex
Gisele Bündchen Breaks Silence About Tom Brady Divorce
Gisele Bündchen Looks Unrecognizable Post Tom Brady Divorce
Tom Brady Shares Rare Pics With Exes Bridget Moynahan and Gisele