For years, it seemed Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen were the golden couple.
The public was regaled with tales of their picture-perfect life with their three kids: the luxe properties around the world, the uber-healthy diet (no sugar, no caffeine, no inflammation-causing tomatoes), their vision for “eco-conscious” living. And then there were the displays of affection, including cuddled-up photos — on vacations, red carpets and football fields — and love notes.
“I couldn’t have imagined a better wife and partner than you @gisele when I said ‘I do’ 12 years ago,” Brady tweeted on the couple’s 12th wedding anniversary in February 2021. “I have had so much fun, happiness and joy seeing our family grow! You are the sweetest, most loving and determined person I know. You always do what’s right, and you are the best example for our kids of what a supportive loving partner is! How blessed am I?? Te amo.”
Bündchen replied: “We have gone trough so much and have grown so much together. There nothing that I love more then you and our family and there is no one that I rather share my life with then you! Te amo.”
As an insider told Page Six, “They normally can’t keep their hands off each other. They’re always kissing and touching each other. Gisele is the kind of person who would tell her girlfriends to keep it hot with their man.
“Even when they were away for Tom’s birthday in July, on a yacht in Italy, Tom couldn’t stop pawing Gisele.”
But it hasn’t all been as happy and lovey as it looked.
Multiple sources told Page Six that the seven-time Superbowl champ, 45, and the Brazilian supermodel, 42, had, in fact, split a few times over the years before the “epic fight” in August that led to their latest separation — and what looks like, the end of their 13-year marriage.
One source in the know claimed Bündchen even consulted a divorce lawyer back in 2015, saying, “Tom and Gisele have separated before. Every couple of years they have a big fight and she has left Tom before, but she always came back.
“They always worked through things, and Tom was hopeful they would do it again this time.”
The last time they had a big blow out is believed to be two years ago, the source said, but they worked through things.
However, as Page Six exclusively revealed this week, it looks like the end of the road for the couple: Both have hired well-established divorce lawyers in Florida, where they live and where they would most likely file for divorce.
Reps for Brady and Bündchen declined to comment.
The couple is now believed to be working out their finances: Brady is worth a reported $250 million, while former Victoria’s Secret star Bündchen was the world’s highest-paid model from 2002-2016. They also share a string of multi-million dollar homes. Reps for the pair declined to comment.
When Page Six broke the story of their fight in August, it was made clear by many who know the couple that Bündchen — who told British Vogue their marriage was no “fairytale” — had struggled with Brady’s return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after just six weeks of retirement.
In October 2021, Brady admitted his career had taken its toll on his wife, saying she had been forced to put her career on hold to manage their family. The two share son Benjamin, 12, and daughter Vivian, 9, and Brady is also the father of son Jack, 15, with ex Bridget Moynahan.
“I think my wife has, you know, held down the house for a long time now, and I think there’s things that she wants to accomplish,” he said on the “Let’s Go” podcast. “You know, she hasn’t worked as much in the last 10, 12 years just raising our family and kind of committing to being in a life in Boston and then moving to Florida” [following his March 2020 move to the Bucs after leaving the New England Patriots].
When Brady finally announced his retirement after weeks of speculation in February of this year, he wrote on Instagram: “I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
He even addressed Bündchen and their kids, writing, “Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally, and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family.”
At first, it seemed that Brady — who is the highest paid NFL player and has a string of endorsement deals with brands including FTX and Hertz — would turn to the sidelines. In 2013, he had co-founded TB12, a company that sells workout supplements and equipment. And last year, he co-founded Autograph, a sports and entertainment NFT collectibles website, which raised $170 million in funding from investors. He also signed a massive 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox Sports.
But then in March the retiree tweeted: “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands.
“That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”
Bündchen was not happy, according to sources who know her. She had publicly talked of her fears that her husband would develop CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated trauma to the head that has affected and contributed to the deaths of countless former players including Bubba Smith, Demaryius Thomas and Frank Gifford.
Appearing on the cover of Elle magazine last month, Bundchen did not hold back over her “concerns” over Brady’s ongoing NFL career.
“This is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” she said.
The former Victoria’s Secret Angel noted that she has “definitely had those conversations with him over and over again.”
There was also a hint that Bünchen felt it was her time to shine again: “I’ve done my part, which is [to] be there for [my husband],” she told Elle. “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.”
Despite this, sources close to the couple told Page Six earlier this month that it was “sexist” to blame the couple’s marriage woes solely on Brady’s ambitions. One insisted: “The problems are not due to his decision to play football again — sometimes things are complicated.”
Any rumors of cheating on either side have been dismissed.
Several sources confirmed this week that Bündchen was unhappy with Brady’s return to football — and the upheaval his continual travel put on the family.
But, as one insider who has worked with them said: “You can’t blame one thing on the end of a 13-year marriage. There’s a lot of issues that have built up over time.”
Brady took an 11-day break from the Bucs in August due to “personal matters”. He missed the team’s first two preseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans before returning to the team on Aug. 21.
Bündchen has removed her wedding ring, and was spotted this week getting her car “cleansed” of bad vibes. Dr. Ewa, “a dedicated Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine” of over 35 years, burned a Palo Santo incense stick and appeared to be blessing the exterior and interior of the supermodel’s white SUV in Miami.
Those who know Bündchen say she is keen to get her own career on track.
“I have a huge list of things that I have to do, that I want to do. At 42, I feel more connected with my purpose,” she told Elle.
The model launched her own lingerie company in partnership with the Brazilian version of Victoria’s Secret in 2011, and founded an eco-friendly cosmetics company in 2010. Along with other celebrities like Rihanna and Beyoncé, she invested in French fashion brand Destree earlier this year.
For now, construction on the dream home the couple was building on Miami’s Indian Creek Island, known as “Billionaires Bunker,” is on hold. The total cost is set to be near $30 million, as they paid $17 million for a house they demolished and an additional $10.12 million in construction costs.
“She is the one steering the divorce,” one source told People this week of Bündchen. “She is playing offense and [Brady] is playing defense. He wants to protect himself, protect his interests, but he’s only starting to go the legal route in his defense from her. He doesn’t want this to be ugly, he doesn’t want to fight. If the divorce is happening — and it seems like it is — he wants it to go as smoothly as possible.”
Friends of the couple are upset as they say that Brady truly loves his wife.
“I think the one phone call that changed my life was my friend Ed, who called me one day and he said, ‘I have this girl and I think you should call her,’” he told WSJ Magazine in September 2021. “I ended up calling her and it ended up being the love of my life.”