For months, there has been speculation that Gisele Bündchen gave Tom Brady an ultimatum that their marriage would end if he did not stop playing football.
Brady briefly retired, came back for the 2022 season, and has since retired again. Their divorce was finalized during his final season in the NFL.
Bündchen addressed rumors in an interview with Vanity Fair published Wednesday.
She called the speculation “very hurtful” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“When you love someone, you don’t put them in a jail and say, ‘You have to live this life,’” Bündchen said. “You set them free to be who they are, and if you want to fly the same direction, then that’s amazing.”
Brady and Bündchen realized they were heading in different directions over time, she said, adding that it takes years to build a marriage, and years for one to fall apart.
“Sometimes you grow together; sometimes you grow apart,” Bündchen said. “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.
“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.”
Bündchen said that tabloids portrayed her as someone who is against football, despite her presence at Brady’s games over the years.
“Are you kidding me? I learned about it!” Bündchen said. “I used to joke that I was going to be able to be the ref because I’ve watched so many games. And I loved it.”
She cheered Brady on during his final game, which she said was tough to watch. He played well under the circumstances, she said, despite not having much protection from the offensive line.
“Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever,” Bündchen said. “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.”