Ready for a break? Since news they separated, football fans wanted to know: why did Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen divorce and what caused their breakup?
Reports of tension and unrest between Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bündchen have been circulating since his decision to un-retire from the NFL. A source confirmed to Us Weekly in September 2022 that there was “tension” between the couple after he reneged on the announcement he was hanging up his cleats for good. “Gisele was not happy when Tom un-retired from the NFL after such a short time,” the insider said. “There is tension between them.” The source added that Tom is “doing everything he can to make it up to” Gisele. “They’re working through things and trying to come out the other side,” the source said. Another source told People that Gisele is “frustrated” with Tom and “has been spending time away from” him. “Going back to Tampa after the retirement put a strain on the personal side of his life,” the source said. “Gisele is frustrated and sick of his career coming before their family, who has always supported him.”
Tom and Gisele met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in 2006. “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,’ ” Tom recalled to WSJ magazine in 2021 about how he was introduced to Gisele. “I ended up calling her and it ended up being the love of my life.” The two started dating soon after but hit a tough patch in February 2007 when Tom’s ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, announced she was pregnant with his son. Gisele told CBS This Morning in 2008 that she considered breaking up with Tom after the news. “It was a challenging thing because here I am, you know, thinking, I’m dating this guy, we met, and we started dating and everything is great and then this happens,” she said. “So, then I felt like I didn’t know what to do. It was kind of one of those moments of like, ‘Do I just run away?’ ”
Tom and Bridget’s son, John “Jack” Edward Thomas Moynahan, was born in August 2007. Gisele later revealed in an interview with People in 2018 that she “fell in love” with Jack and his birth made her and Tom closer. “I’m so grateful for [Bridget],” she said. “I know this was hard, but I couldn’t imagine my life without [Jack]. I call him my bonus child.” She added, “He opened my heart in ways I didn’t even know my heart could expand.” Tom and Gisele got engaged in January 2009 and married a month later in February. They welcomed their first child together, son Benjamin Rein, in 2009. Their second child, daughter Vivian Lake, was born in 2012.
So why did Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen divorce? Read on for the real reason for Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s divorce and why they ended their marriage after 13 years.
When did Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen divorce? People confirmed on October 28, 2022, that Tom and Gisele filed for divorce in Florida, where Tom plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “The settlement is all worked out,” the insider said. “They’ve been working on the terms this whole time.” The source continued: “They agreed to joint custody of the kids.” The ex-couple also revealed the news on their social media accounts, respectively.
Tom confirmed the divorce in a post on his Instagram Story at the time. He wrote, “In recent days, my wife and I finalized our divorce from one another after 13 years of marriage. We arrived at this decision amicably and with gratitude for the time we spent together. We are blessed with beautiful and wonderful children who will continue to be the center of our world in every way. We will continue to work together as parents to always ensure they receive the love and attention they deserve. “We arrived at this decision to end our marriage after much consideration. Doing so is, of course painful, and difficult, like it is for so many people who go through the same thing everyday around the world. However, we wish only the best for each other as we pursue whatever new chapters in our lives that are yet to be written. And we kindly ask for privacy and respect as we navigate in what comes in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you.”
Gisele shared a similar post on her Instagram story. She wrote, “With much gratitude for our time together, Tom and I have amicably finalized our divorce. My priority has always been and will continue to be my children whom I love with all my heart. We will continue co-parenting to give them love, care and attention they need. The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have grown apart and while it is, of course, difficult to go through something like this, I feel blessed for the time we had together and only wish the best for Tom always.”
A source confirmed to Page Six on October 4, 2022, that the couple had hired lawyers to prepare for their divorce . A source told the outlet, “I never actually thought this argument would be the end of them, but it looks like it is. I don’t think there will be any coming back now. They both have lawyers and are looking at what a split will entail, who gets what and what the finances will be.” Another source told People that Tom is “trying to figure out what to do” after Gisele hired her own divorce lawyer and is finding one for himself.
Page Six reported that Gisele hired Tom Sasser, the managing partner of the law firm of Sasser, Cestero & Roy. The law firm is best known for representing Tiger Woods in his divorce from Elin Nordegren. An insider also told the outlet, “Things are very nasty between Tom and Gisele because of the lawyers. They are ready for a fight.” The outlet also disclosed that Tom and Gisele would have joint custody of their children: Benjamin Rein, 12, and Vivian Lake, 9. The quarterback also has one child with ex-Bridget Moynihan: John “Jack” Edward, 15, for whom Gisele acts as a stepmom. Another source claimed that they are looking at dividing their assets, which includes a $26 million property portfolio. A source also told Us Weekly at the time that Gisele—who was “living apart” from Tom when she hired her divorce lawyer and had been “at odds” with her husband for months—was waiting for him to make a “big gesture” after he learned her thoughts about divorce were serious. “Gisele is waiting for Tom to make a big gesture of support to her,” the insider said. Another source told the outlet on the day they announced their divorce that they tried very hard to “save” their marriage. “They both decided to end their marriage around a month ago. They both tried hard to save their marriage, but in the end it didn’t work out.”
After the divorce, Tom went on his podcast, Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray to talk about his work-life balance with his family. “I think there’s a lot of professionals in life that go through things that they deal with at work and they deal with at home,” he said. “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.” He continued, “So, that’s what professionals do. 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 could 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.”
Speaking about family, Tom gushed about his daughter being his “No. 1 Cheerleader” in another episode of Let’s Go! after his divorce. “My daughter always says, ‘Daddy, you did not have a happy face out there.’ And I’m trying! I wish I would have more awareness of what the scowl looks like, but I’m doing my best to try to get to a better place and better peace of mind,” he recalled.
Why did Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen divorce? In a cover story for Vanity Fair in March 2023, Gisele gave the true reason why the two divorced. “Sometimes you grow together; sometimes you grow apart,” she says. “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 continued, “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.”
She also clarified that the divorce wasn’t because of an ultimatum but because they simply grew apart. “That takes years to happen.” She called the characterizations that the media portrayed for her “very hurtful” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.” She told the outlet that “everything” the media speculated about the marriage wasn’t true. Like how football impacted her marriage. “Wow, people really made it about that. “What’s been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle,” Bündchen said. “It’s not so black and white.”
“Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever,” she 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.”
A day after Gisele’s Vanity Fair cover story was released, Tom took to Instagram to share somewhat of a cryptic message, though we’re not sure it’s in response to his ex-wife’s statements on their relationship. “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,” the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson began. “To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded.”
A day before they filed for divorce, a source told Us Weekly on October 27, 2022, that Gisele gave Tom an ultimatum to choose their family or his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Gisele told Tom either he leaves football to spend time with the family or she is gone for good,” the insider said. The source continued, “She doesn’t want him to continue to get injured and not be able to enjoy life in the future. She is doing it for her family.”
A week before the report, Tom confirmed at a press conference for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he doesn’t plan to retire from the NFL any time soon. “I love the sport, I love the teammates, and I want to go do a good job for this team like I always have,” he said. “So, no retirement in my future,” he said at the time. Tom also discussed how his NFL career has affected his personal life in an episode on the Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray podcast at the time. “The reality is, you can really only be authentic to yourself,” he said. “I almost look at like a football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military. And it’s like, ‘Man, here I go again. There’s only one way to do it.’” He continued, “Whenever you may say, ‘Oh man, I want to make sure I spend a little more time doing this,’ your competitiveness takes over. And as much as you want to have this playful balance with the work balance, you’re going to end up doing exactly what you’ve always done. Which is why you are who you are. You’re going to go, ‘How do I get it done?’ You know, ‘What do I got to do to get it done?’”
He also confirmed in another episode of the podcast at the time that he doesn’t plan to quit the NFL after the 2022 season. “I’ve never quit on anything in my life,” Tom said. “I made a commitment to this team and I love this team and I love this organization.” Tom acknowledged there “was a retirement in the past,” however, “there’s no immediate retirement” in his future. “I’ve had nothing but a great experience here,” he said. “I want to keep fighting as hard as I can and I’m always trying to do better. I’m always trying to work hard and I’m always trying to commit more to the things that are important to me. And this team is very important to me and I certainly want to be the best I can be for them.”
According to a report by TMZ on October 7, 2022, Gisele had threatened to divorce Tom for years before their official separation. The insider claimed that all the arguments were over the same topic: football. Another source told People on October 7, 2022, “[The problems] are 10 years old,” the insider said of the couple. “This has been going on forever. This is nothing new to either of them.” Another source also told People at the time that Gisele is “done” with Tom and doesn’t think their relationship can be “repaired.” “She is done with their marriage,” an insider close to the model said. “She was upset about it for a long time and it’s still difficult, but she feels like she needs to move on. She doesn’t believe that her marriage can be repaired.” The source continued, “She is just trying to figure out her life. She doesn’t have much contact with Tom.” Other sources told Page Six that the two have separated before and that Gisele consulted a divorce attorney in 2015. One source said, “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.”
News of issues in Tom and Gisele’s relationship started in September 2022 when Page Six reported the couple was in a “fight” over the NFL player’s decision to unretire from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March 2022. (Tom announced his retirement from the NFL after 22 years in February 2022 before reversing that decision less than two months later.) “Tom and Gisele are in a fight right now,” a source told Page Six in September 2022. The insider added that there have been a “series of heated arguments” since Tom’s unretirement. A second source explained that Gisele’s issue with Tom’s decision to unretire is the lack of time he’ll spend with their children: son Benjamin and daughter Vivian. Tom also shares son Jack with ex Bridget Moynahan. “There’s been trouble in the marriage over his decision to un-retire. Gisele has always been the one with the kids. They had agreed he would retire to focus on the family, then he changed his mind,” the insider said. A third source added, “They have a fiery relationship. Gisele is a bit hot-headed — she has that Brazilian heat!” The insider, however, added that Tom has always been a “family man,” regardless of if he’s in the NFL or not. “He’s such a doting dad, and very much a family man,” the source said.
The publication’s second source also claimed that Gisele has been working more—she’s currently the face of a new Burberry campaign—since Tom’s decision to unretire. “It’s almost like Gisele was like, ‘Well, if you’re going to keep playing, so will I,’” the insider said. “She’s resentful that Tom is still the football superstar.” A source also told People in September 2022 that Gisele was “frustrated” with Tom and had “been spending time away from” him. “Going back to Tampa after the retirement put a strain on the personal side of his life,” the source said. “Gisele is frustrated and sick of his career coming before their family, who has always supported him.” The magazine also reported that Tom and Gisele spending time apart from each other “has happened before” and that the two are “trying” to make their relationship work. “There is a point Gisele believes that enough is enough,” a second source said. “[She has] always been an amazing wife, totally supporting Tom and his career and bringing the kids aboard.
A third source told People that Gisele is “not a stay-at-home mom.” The insider continued, “She has been working all along. She’s in N.Y.C. right now working, and the kids are enrolled in school in Florida.” The source also reported that Tom and Gisele had a “happy summer together” before NFL season and Gisele threw Tom “a big birthday party in Italy.” “He already announced his return to football this spring, so friends don’t understand why she’s upset now,” the insider said. “They’ve been very private about what’s really going on,” the source added. A fourth source also claimed to People that Gisele’s opinion on Tom’s unretirement had changed closer to NFL season. “It feels very different this year than last year,” the insider said. “She was excited to be here, we saw her around.” A source also confirmed to Us Weekly in September 2022 that there was “tension” between Tom and Gisele after he unretired from the NFL. “Gisele was not happy when Tom un-retired from the NFL after such a short time,” the insider said. “There is tension between them.” The source added that Tom is “doing everything he can to make it up to” Gisele. “They’re working through things and trying to come out the other side,” the source said.
Page Six also reported in September 2022 that Gisele had moved out of her and Tom’s home in Tampa, Florida, and relocated to Costa Rica since their marital issues. “He’s very sad at the moment. Friends know they’ve had a serious disagreement this time,” a source said. “It seems that Gisele gets mad and says things like she’s leaving him, but in the past, they’ve always made up. But maybe this time it is more serious. He’s with the kids, and is just trying to be super dad.” Another source also told Page Six a week later that Gisele had returned to Florida, but hadn’t moved back in with Tom yet. “Gisele isn’t back with Tom,” the insider said. “She flew back to Florida to be with her kids but hasn’t been to their home in Tampa.” The source continued, “Tom is still hoping they can reconcile. Gisele has told him she’s leaving him before, and they always made up when she cooled down.”
What was Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s divorce settlement? Page Six confirmed on November 2, 2022, that Tom and Gisele had an “ironclad prenup” before their divorce. “There was an ironclad prenup set down before they married in 2009. They both have their own separate business entities, so the separation of their wealth wasn’t that complicated in the end. The only other major factor was dividing up their massive property portfolio,” a source said. The publication also reported that purchases a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Miami Beach, Florida, months before she filed for divorce, which she plans to use as an office.
Attorney Sue Moss with Chemtob Moss Forman & Beyda LLP, who is not connected to the couple, also told People in October 2022 that Gisele and Tom’s different incomes could make their divorce complicated. “The big challenge for him is everything will be determined at the height of his income, because to get him to come back, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to come up with a lot of cash — and that is the baseline for determining the support in this case,” Moss said. “At the beginning, Gisele was earning more than him, and he kept on winning and his income got more and more substantial and it outgrew hers. And because of the timing, the case will be determined based upon the height of earnings.”
Divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman of Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, who is also not connected to the couple, also speculated to People that Gisele and Tom signed a prenuptial agreement because of their high net worths. “People of this magnitude of wealth don’t generally get married without a document that’s going to dictate what’s going to happen if it doesn’t run its course,” Newman said. “My guess is that a lot of this is already worked out. So, there’s probably a prenuptial agreement that’s going to dictate a lot of this, but if there are some properties that were purchased while they were married — marital residences — there may be fights about that.” Newman continued, “There probably were assets that were acquired during the marriage, so there may be squabbles about that to say the least. That said, I think they are going to settle this, assuming they go forward with it — outside of the press.” When the news broke of the divorce, Newman explained to People why it was settled so fast. “They had already entered into a settlement agreement, which typically includes both financial and custodial issues. By the time it was filed, they already had custody, child support, alimony figured out.”
A source also told Us Weekly about how swiftly the divorce was. “They worked out settlement details and once everything was agreed upon there was no reason to wait. They’re both ready to move on and move ahead. They agreed on joint custody and dividing their assets. They plan to co-parent and keep things drama free for the kids.” The source also added, “It’s a sad day but it’s also a relief to have the settlement wrapped up. They’ve known this was coming and it’s time to move on.”
At the time they hired divorce lawyers, Tom and Gisele owned at least four properties: a house at the Yellowstone Resort in Montana, a $3.5 million apartment in New York City, a home in Costa Rica; and the $17 million mansion tin Miami’s Indian Creek Island. While Tom and Gisele’s finances are complicated, Newman speculated at the time that custody of their children could be more if an issue. “It really does seem that [Gisele] has dedicated her life to these children,” Newman said. “I’m sure he is dedicated to the children, but he travels a lot. He’s not involved as much in the day to day. She may want more stability for them.” Newman continued, “The worst thing they could do is pull their kids through a custody battle.”
Gisele revealed how she felt about Tom’s decision to un-retire in an Elle interview, while upholding her supportive position for her husband. “I’ve done my part, which is [to] be there for [Tom]. 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,” she explained. “Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful little humans that they are, seeing [Tom] succeed, and being fulfilled in his career—it makes me happy,” she continued. “At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve done a good job on that.” However, Gisele still wants Tom to be more available to her family. “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,” she said of her husband. “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.”
A source told Us Weekly on October 26, 2022, that Gisele was reportedly angry at Tom and gave him an ultimatum. “Gisele told Tom either he leaves football to spend time with the family or she is gone for good,” the source disclosed. “She doesn’t want him to continue to get injured and not be able to enjoy life in the future. She is doing it for her family.”
A source told Entertainment Tonight about how Gisele was dealing with the impending divorce. “She needed to put her and her kids first … Gisele had enough,” the source said. “Gisele has been working with her healer to stay in a place of peace and come to terms with her marriage ending. Tom and Gisele have love for one another, but Gisele knew she had to put herself and her family first over football.”
On his Sirius XM show Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, Jim Gray asked the Superbowl champion if the only time he had “peace and quiet” is when “some 320-pound guys are chasing you on the field.” Tom responded, “I hope that’s not the only place I find it because that’s a brutal way to go. But there is a simplicity to life when you’re in football season because there’s a rhythm to it. You know, we play every week, the schedule’s pretty much set.” He continued, “But, you know, I’m finding peace in other ways of life and just loving, you know, the time when my kids are getting a little bit older. And football and family has always been the most important thing to me so it’s a good time of year.”
After 20 years with the Patriots, Brady announced in March 2020 that he had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Pro Football Network, Brady signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers at the time for $50 million. The site also reports that Brady will receive another $9 million in incentives, though there was no signing bonus. As for how Brady’s contract breaks down, Pro Football Network reports that Brady will earn $15 million salary for each season, with $10 million roster bonuses. According to the site, Brady’s salary counts for 14.1 percent of the Buccaneers’ salary cap, which is estimated at more than $30 million for 2021. For his famous retirement-unretirement move, he moved on to a $25 million salary when he re-signed with the Bucs in 2022.
Tom announced his retirement from the NFL after playing for 22 years in February 2022 before reversing that decision less than two months later to rejoin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He already has plans to work as a correspondent for Fox Sports whenever he retires. The spousal fights come after Tom took a short break during training in August 2022 to be with his family. Tom announced his second and final retirement from the NFL in January 2023.
In January 2023, Brady announced that his second retirement from football and confirmed he was leaving the sport “for good.” “I’m retiring. For good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record, and let you guys know first,” he said in an Instagram video. “It won’t be long-winded, you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year, so. I…really thank you guys…so much. To every single one of you, for supporting me, my family, my friends, teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There’s too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all.”
For more about Tom Brady, read his book, The TB12 Method. The New York Times bestseller, which has been described as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers player’s “athlete’s bible,” takes readers through Brady’s revolutionary training, conditioning and wellness system that kept him at the top of the NFL for more than two decades. The book dives into Brady’s TB12 Method, a performance lifestyle brand he co-founded in 2013, that focuses on a more natural, healthier way of exercising, training and living and how to maintain one’s own peak performance while decreasing injury risks.
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