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Gisele Bündchen Reveals the "Heartbreaking" Truth Behind Her Divorce From Tom Brady

The model just addressed the rumors that they split up because of his NFL career.

When it was announced in October 2022 that Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady had divorced after 13 years of marriage, many outsiders believed that it was because Brady had announced he was retiring from football in February 2022… only to reverse the decision two months later. There was talk that Brady deciding to un-retire was the last straw for Bündchen, who had been supporting the quarterback through his time-consuming and stressful NFL career since they first got together.

Now, in a new interview with Vanity Fair, Bündchen has shared her truth and clarified that the media and fan speculation about the end of their marriage is all wrong. Read 0n to find out what she says is the real reason they called it quits.

READ THIS NEXT: Rhea Perlman Explains Why She and Danny DeVito Separated But Will Never Divorce.

Brady's desire to play another season wasn't to blame.

In her Vanity Fair interview, Bündchen responded to speculation that Brady reversing his decision to leave the NFL was the cause for their split. She called the rumors "very hurtful" and "the craziest thing I've ever heard."

The supermodel also said, "Like, I would give up my dream because of…" and trailed off, leading the interviewer to suggest, "One more season?"

"Wow, people really made it about that," Bündchen said.

Of her support of Brady's career, she explained, "Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever. 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."

Bündchen also dismissed a rumor that politics were behind their divorce, a rumor that spread because a "Make America Great Again" cap was spotted in Brady's locker in 2015.

Bündchen says they "grew apart."

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen at the 2017 Met Gala
Sky Cinema / Shutterstock

Understandably, there was not just one specific reason behind the end of their 13-year marriage.

"What's been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle," Bündchen told Vanity Fair. "It's not so black and white."

She explained that she and Brady are different people from when they first started dating. "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."

She added, "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."

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She has said that football did put a strain on their family, however.

Gisele Bündchen at the 2019 Hollywood for Science Gala
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images

The model has been portrayed in the media as having been desperate for Brady to quit football. In an interview with Elle published in September 2022, before their split, Bündchen said, "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. 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."

She also pointed out that she wanted to focus more on her dreams."I've done my part, which is [to] be there for [Tom]," she said. "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. Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful little humans that they are, seeing him succeed, and being fulfilled in his career—it makes me happy. At this point in my life, I feel like I've done a good job on that … I have a huge list of things that I have to do, that I want to do."

Bündchen and Brady have two children—Benjamin, 13, and Vivian, 10—together. Bündchen is also stepmom to Brady's 15-year-old son Jack with actor Bridget Moynahan.

She is mourning the relationship.

Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady at the 2010 Met Gala
Everett Collection / Shutterstock

To Vanity Fair, Bündchen said that her divorce is "like a death and a rebirth" and also said that she is still mourning "the death of [her] dream."

"It's tough because you imagine your life was going to be a certain way, and you did everything you could, you know?" the 42-year-old explained. "I believed in fairy tales when I was a kid. I think it's beautiful to believe in that. I mean, I'm so grateful I did … You give everything you got to achieve your dream. You give a hundred percent of yourself, 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."

Brady seemed to respond on Instagram.

Tom Brady at the "80 for Brady" premiere in January 2023
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

"Obviously, the good news is it's a very amicable situation, and I'm really focused on two things: taking care of my family, and certainly my children, and secondly doing the best job I can to win football games," Brady said of the split on an episode of his podcast Let's Go! in November (via CBS News). "That's what professionals do."

The 45-year-old athlete added, "You focus at work when it's time to work, and then when you come home, you focus on the priorities that are at home. All you can do is the best you can do. That's what I'll just continue to do as long as I'm working and as long as I'm being a dad."

Brady again announced that he was retiring in February 2023 after 23 seasons in the NFL.

After Bündchen's Vanity Fair interview was published, the quarterback posted to his Instagram story. Per Page Six, he shared a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that begins, "What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends," along with three heart emojis.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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