Gisele Bundchen has heard it all—that she hates football, that Tom Brady’s return to the Bucs last season was the final straw in their marriage. The supermodel of Victoria’s Secret fame addressed those rumors in an interview with Vanity Fair, insisting she never gave Brady an ultimatum and was fully supportive of his ambitions both on and off the field.
“Listen, I have always cheered for him,” said Bundchen, lamenting the media’s “hurtful” insinuation that she wanted Brady to retire. “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.”
Given the timeline, it would be easy to assume Brady’s divorce was facilitated by his decision to come back for the 2022 season, doing so on the heels of a short-lived retirement. However, Bundchen would argue that wasn’t the case, downplaying the notion that Brady’s career put a strain on their marriage.
“[The media] made me somebody who is against football,” said Bundchen. “Are you kidding me? I learned about it! 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.”
Brady’s marital woes became apparent last August when he ditched training camp for an 11-day reset, abandoning the Bucs to sort out his personal life following his separation from Gisele earlier that summer. Brady and Bundchen would announce their divorce shortly after, departing on “amicable” terms with shared custody of their two children.
“People really made it about that,” said Bundchen, continuing to push back on the narrative that football drove a wedge in their relationship. “When you love someone, you don’t put them in a jail and say, ‘You have to live this life.’ You set them free to be who they are, and if you want to fly the same direction, then that’s amazing.”
Being wildly famous while raising a family is a difficult balancing act, with many celebrity couples falling by the wayside, undone by the pressures of fame and having a relationship play out in the public eye. While Brady’s obsessive competitive streak may have accelerated their split, it sounds like he and Bundchen had simply grown apart, reaching the inevitable but no less painful conclusion that their 13-year marriage had run its course. That may not be the sexy, sensationalist headline tabloids are looking for, but, in this instance, it's probably a lot closer to the truth.