The 35-year-old baseball pro has gone through several years of ups and downs, suffering from severe athletic injuries, but says that his relationship with the 26-year-old supermodel has brought him through.
“Who knows, if I’m even here if it wasn’t for her?” Verlander said in a new interview with Bleacher Report. “She was instrumental in me not… like, jumping off a bridge. I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own s**t. F**k, man. She was what I needed.”
Upton also opened up about her husband’s health struggles, adding, “It was so emotional. He was in so much pain, and he was just trying to find the best path back.”
The couple kept things light during a very dark time by playing board games and leaning on one another.
“I don’t like to talk to people about being hurt. As athletes, you’re not supposed to,” Verlander explained. “It’s an excuse… But she was someone I could talk to. I mean, basically a therapist. Somebody I could trust with… worries about my career. Worries about, Can I make it? Worries about what I’m going through to get back. And just the overall s**ttiness of it all.”
They even went through a rough scandal when Verlander’s phone was hacked and nude images of the couple were released online.
“It was an extremely difficult time that we were able to grow stronger from,” Upton said of the incident.
These days, the pair have tied the knot and are expecting their first child together. Verlander was able to pull through with his shoulder injuries, thanks to the work of a different doctor after Upton suggested he seek a second opinion.
“You would never expect that when you get to the major leagues, you’re not receiving the best of the best,” she noted. “As a woman, you learn to always question everything everyone is telling you. My industry? My perspective of things? We can’t depend on anyone. Everything is our responsibility.”
Upton recently opened up to ET about sexual harassment in her industry earlier this year. Watch the clip below for more: