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What we know about the reported rift between Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen after the Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2021.Ben Liebenberg/Associated Press

The reports over the last year are almost impossible to ignore. “Tension.” “Separation.” “An epic fight.” Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are clearly going through it, as both the NFL star and Brazilian supermodel have acknowledged in recent interviews.

While the pair’s 13-year marriage hasn’t come without its challenges, it wasn’t until Tuesday that the “D” word entered the fray.

Is this really happening?

Here’s everything we know so far about the reported rift that’s been building between Brady and Bündchen.

Bündchen wanted Brady to retire, so he did

Brady noted in multiple past interviews that after he had played 22 seasons in the NFL, Bündchen made it clear that she wanted him to be around the family more.

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“She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house, and then all of the sudden when the season would end, that I’d be like, ‘Great, let me get into all my other business activities. Let me get into my football training.’ 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?’” Brady said in a 2020 interview with Howard Stern.

On his “Let’s Go” podcast in January, following the end of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season, Brady said it pains his wife to see him getting hit on the field, “and she deserves what she needs from me as a husband, and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad.” He addressed the retirement rumors directly: “When I know I’ll know.”

A few days later, Brady seemed to announce he was retiring from the NFL.

“To my wife, Gisele, and my children, Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement,” the quarterback wrote in Instagram.

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“What an incredible ride this has been! You know that we are always here to support you my love. Looking forward to what the future holds. Te amo,” Bündchen enthusiastically replied.

Brady changes his mind: ‘My place is still on the field’

In March, about six weeks after Brady’s announcement, he flipped the script.

“These past two months I have realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. The time will come. But it is not now,” Brady said in an Instagram post. “I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. We have unfinished business.”

Bündchen commented on the post: “Here we go again! Let’s go lovvvey! Let’s go Bucs!”

In an interview with Elle magazine last month, Bündchen said that while she has concerns about football and wants Brady to be around more, ultimately, she wants her husband to be happy.

“Obviously, I have my concerns — this is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” Bündchen 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.”

Report of ‘heated arguments’

As the 2022 season neared, reports started emerging about serious troubles in the couple’s relationship.

On Sept. 1, Page Six reported that Bündchen left their family compound in Tampa for Costa Rica “following a series of heated arguments” over Brady’s decision to return to the NFL. On Sept. 15, CNN also reported that a source close to Bündchen said she and Brady were “living separately.”

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The reports came after Brady took an unusual 11-day absence from training camp in August, citing personal reasons that the quarterback never fully explained.

Gisele rides again

Bündchen is prioritizing herself again, according to the Elle cover story that details how the supermodel is revving up her career. Work had to take a backseat while she raised her family, and she likens that stage of her life to a valley. “Not because it is in any way negative, but because once you’ve been on top of the mountain, there’s nowhere else to go but back down,” Bündchen wrote in her 2018 memoir, “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.”

“Now that her kids are older, however, Bündchen is ready to start climbing mountains again,” the Elle article said.

“I feel very fulfilled in that way, as a mother and as a wife,” Bündchen told Elle. “And now it’s going to be my turn. It’s not like I’m going to be in the valley forever.”

Bündchen continued: “I’ve done my part, which is [to] be there for [Tom]. I moved to Boston, and I focused on creating a cocoon and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there supporting him and his dreams.”

Now, Bündchen is making time for hers.

Reports: Brady and Bündchen hire divorce lawyers

On Tuesday, divorce attorneys reportedly entered the picture, with multiple sources telling outlets like Page Six, People, and CNN that both husband and wife had independently hired lawyers.

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Brady and Bündchen remained mum on all fronts.



Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.