Gisele Bündchen appears on the cover of Vanity Fair’s April issue, which features a candid interview with the Brazilian supermodel, who speaks out for the first time since her October divorce from Tom Brady.
From her home in Costa Rica, Bündchen talks about life after her 13-year marriage to the former quarterback, what the media got wrong about their split, and what life is like for her family today.
Here are 10 things we learned from the extensive interview.
The divorce, for Bündchen, is the ‘death of my dream’
Bündchen tells Vanity Fair reporter Michelle Ruiz that her divorce was “the death of my dream.” She likens the split to “a death and a rebirth,” and Ruiz noted how Bündchen’s voice breaks and her eyes tear.
“You give everything you got to achieve your dream ... and it’s heartbreaking when it doesn’t end up the way you hoped for, and worked for, but you can only do your part,” Bündchen tells the magazine.
She was never against Brady’s U-turn out of retirement
After Bündchen and Brady’s split, the media and the public assumed it was linked to TB12′s decision to retire and then un-retire from the NFL. Many concluded, without evidence, that Gisele gave Brady some sort of ultimatum: If his football career continued, their marriage would not.
Bündchen fiercely denies that narrative in the interview, calling it “very hurtful,” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“It’s not so black and white,” she says. Marriages aren’t built or broken overnight: “That takes years to happen.”
Bündchen tells the magazine if there’s one person she wants 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.”
The supermodel says there was a gradual shift in the marriage that predated the Brady retirement saga.
“Sometimes you grow together; sometimes you grow apart. When I was 26 years old and he was 29 years old, we met, we wanted a family, we wanted things together. As time goes by, we realize that we just wanted different things, and now we have a choice to make,” she says. “That doesn’t mean you don’t love the person. It just means that in order for you to be authentic and truly live the life that you want to live, you have to have somebody who can meet you in the middle, right? It’s a dance. It’s a balance.”
She’d never been to Tampa before moving there
Boston had long been home to Brady and Bündchen, but when the QB signed on with Tampa Bay after 20 years with the Patriots, they packed their bags.
But Bündchen had never set foot in the Florida city before relocating there.
“When we moved to Tampa, I actually had never been there before,” Bündchen tells Vanity Fair. “I just arrived and that was my life.”
It was Bündchen’s choice to step away from her career and raise a family
Bündchen says she was “so ready” to start a family when she met Brady. At that point, she was one of the highest-paid models in the world and was constantly working.
Soon after they met, Brady found out that his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant. Their son, Jack, was born in 2007, and Bündchen embraced him as her “bonus child.” Jack accelerated Bündchen and Brady’s plan for a family, and in 2009 and 2012, respectively, they welcomed Benjamin and Vivian. Both were born via water birth at home in Boston — something Brady was initially opposed to but Bündchen insisted on.
Bündchen and Moynahan bonded in the streets of Boston
While Bündchen and Moynahan always shared a love for Jack, the two women didn’t always have a good relationship. They didn’t meet for more than a year after Jack was born, the supermodel tells Vanity Fair. Eventually, the two women met in New York, where Moynahan is based, and they hugged in the streets of Boston.
“Love conquers all,” Bündchen says.
Bündchen was ‘blindsided’ by the FTX collapse
Both Brady and Bündchen shot advertisements and invested millions in FTX, the recently collapsed cryptocurrency exchange cofounded by Sam Bankman-Fried. Bündchen, who held the title of environmental and social initiatives head, says she was “blindsided” by the company’s collapse. She said she couldn’t discuss specifics, but she had believed FTX to be “a sound and great thing based on what my financial advisers told me.”
“I’m no different than everyone else that trusted the hype,” Bündchen tells Vanity Fair. “I’m so sorry for all of us that this happened, and I just pray that justice gets made.”
Bündchen was cheering for Brady in his final game
The Dallas Cowboys trounced the Bucs in the NFC playoffs, which ended up being Brady’s last game.
“It was tough, but you know what? Let’s just be honest. It’s a team sport and you can’t play alone,” she told Vanity Fair. “I think he did great under the circumstances that he had. I mean, he had no offensive line.”
The family is thriving (and practicing jujitsu)
Bündchen tells Vanity Fair that her family is thriving. Jack plays football and has aspirations to go to his father’s alma mater, the University of Michigan. Ben prefers non-ball sports like surfing and skiing. (Bündchen reveals that the athletic pressure of being Brady’s son led to bullying in Boston after one particular baseball game.) And Vivian looks so much like her mom she can unlock her Face ID.
All of the kids practice jujitsu, and Bündchen herself had practiced kung fu in Boston for seven years, with sword and stick fighting — even into her ninth month of pregnancy. The family has a room in their home dedicated to the martial art, and their jujitsu teachers travel with them.
Bündchen says Miami will be the family’s “main location” going forward. She bought a waterfront home in Surfside, close to Brady’s $17 million mansion in the exclusive Island Creek neighborhood.
“Miami works for me because it’s literally a direct flight to Brazil,” Bündchen says, adding that it’s where her parents and five sisters, including her twin, Patricia, still live.
Don’t believe the dating rumors
While some tabloids have reported that Bündchen was dating her family’s jujitsu teacher, she denies the rumors.
“I think, at this point, unfortunately, because I’m divorced, I’m sure that they’re going to try to attach me to anything,” Bündchen tells Vanity Fair.
And she was right. The Daily Mail recently claimed Bündchen was dating real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer, an Indian Creek resident and Brady buddy.
Bündchen says she was devastated by the story — and wouldn’t date a friend of Brady’s.
“I have zero relationship with him in any way,” Bündchen says of Soffer, in Vanity Fair. “He’s Tom’s friend, not my friend.”
Bündchen has some new plans
Bündchen tells Vanity Fair she has her own dreams, and she wants her children to see her pursue them. One of her dreams is to play a superhero. She clarified that she didn’t want to act-act: “I just want to play a superhero.”
The supermodel is back in front of the camera, but while she fields a million requests, she doesn’t walk in shows anymore. (Although she’ll never say never.) Bündchen admitted she doesn’t know “the It girl catwalkers of today” like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Beiber.
“I was living in Boston for 13 years,” she tells the magazine.
Bündchen is also thinking about launching an activewear line that reflects her minimalist aesthetic, and wants to share her earthy recipes in a forthcoming cookbook.
Bündchen told Vanity Fair she’d live in Costa Rica full-time if she could, and if she never went to another city again, she’d be “perfectly happy.”
Brittany Bowker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.