Gisele Bundchen: I’m ‘so grateful’ to Bridget Moynahan for ‘my bonus child’

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I’ve always been fascinated by the Gisele Bundchen-Tom Brady-Bridget Moynahan triangle. It’s not that I think there’s still a “triangle” in any kind of romantic sense, if there ever was. But back in the day, the triangle was just DRAMA. Bridget learned she was pregnant shortly after she and Tom Brady had split, and he had already begun to date Gisele. Bridget decided to do the single mom thing, and Tom always supported her choice and they worked out some kind of private custody situation where Tom got to spend a lot of time with Jack. All of this meant that Gisele was always Jack’s stepmom. In the early days, Gisele would often talk about Jack effusively, and you could tell that she adored him, but also… it was uncomfortable, because she often called him HER son, her child. It was like The Erasure of Bridget Moynahan. As more years passed, I do believe Bridget and Gisele and Tom all worked out their crap though. They all support each other as parents and while Bridget and Gisele will probably never be close, they are friendly enough to maintain their peace.

Gisele, as we’ve heard, has a memoir coming out about her life and all of that. I was surprised to learn that she included info in the memoir about her boob job and her panic attacks. And now this: she talks a bit about Bridget and Jack and all of the messiness at the beginning of her relationship with Tom:

Gisele Bündchen found her romantic match in 2006, when she was introduced to now-husband Tom Brady by a mutual friend. But just two months into their relationship in 2007, they discovered that his ex-girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant with his first child: son John “Jack” Edward Thomas, now 11.

“It wasn’t the ideal situation for anyone — there’s no manual to prepare you for that,” Bündchen tells PEOPLE in a revealing new interview for this week’s issue. “But I’m so grateful for [Bridget]. I know this was hard, but I couldn’t imagine my life without [Jack]. I call him my bonus child.”

After Jack was born, “He opened my heart in ways I didn’t even know my heart could expand,” says the supermodel and Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life author, 38. “I fell in love with him.” She says feeling such love for her husband’s son made her “want to start a family” with Brady, whom she married in 2009. And though they had previously discussed waiting 10 years to have children, they realized they “wanted Jack to have a brother or sister close in age.”

[From People]

I remember thinking, when all of this was happening, that if I was in Gisele’s position, I would have cut my losses and walked away. Like, it’s just too messy – your new boyfriend is having a baby with his ex-girlfriend, and there was some “overlap” between the start of your relationship and the end of theirs? It’s too much. But she stuck with it and it did sort of work out in the end. It took years, but yeah, it worked out. Props to Bridget though, as Gisele says.

Bridget Moynahan and Tom Brady

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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65 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen: I’m ‘so grateful’ to Bridget Moynahan for ‘my bonus child’”

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  1. Snowslow says:

    Her book is called “My Path to a Meaningful Life”? I can’t. Not even Goop would be that basic.

    • Jegede says:

      It’s also riddled with BS.

      Gisele and Leo broke up cause she wanted to get married and start a family.
      Having reached the heights of her career by 26, she was explicit on how she wanted to move forward on her personal life and start her family.
      No shade there ate all. Many women want to start a family before 30.

      But her now declaring that she and Tom decided not to wait till 2016 to start having a family all cause they “wanted Jack to have a brother or sister close in age.” (!!?) is utter nonsense.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Tom had said through several relationships prior to Giselle (Bridget, Tara Reid) that he did not want kids while he was still an active player because he didn’t think it would be fair to them due to the travel schedule. He’s the one who changed his mind.

      • Jegede says:

        Men and women biological clocks generally tend to tick at different beats.

        Especially famous dudes – actors & athletes

        Plus I’m inclined to believe Gisele makes the primary decisions in this family.

  2. Gaby says:

    She gets on my nerves from time to time, but I will never be mad at her for this. I am sure it was a thousand times more difficult for Bridget, but it’s not like it was paradise for anyone involved in this. And in the end, Jack has three people who love and support him above anything else, so he is one lucky kid.

    • SM says:

      Absolutely! I came here to say the same thing

      • Alissa says:

        I agree. As the step mom of three, I think of them as my kids. They all have a mom, but I’ve always been a parental role to them as well, and I feel awkward saying step kids because it seems weird to make such a distinction when I think of them in the same way that I would any biological kids that I have but I also don’t want to step on their mom’s toes by referring to them as my kids. It’s a really delicate dance and I don’t think that step parents get enough credit for how hard a path it is to navigate, especially when the idea of an evil stepmother is still so prevalent.

      • emma says:

        If she loved him so much she would stop using him to sell books. He’s nine sometimes being kind means being silent especially because of his age.

    • Becks1 says:

      Agreed. And I think it was a difficult thing to navigate in the press, and sometimes she (Gisele) messed it up. Had she called Jack her stepchild, or “Tom’s first child” she would have been ripped apart. I don’t think calling him “her child” or whatever specific language she used back in the day was the best thing either, and even now “bonus child” seems awkward but I can get what she is saying. I find her annoying for a dozen different reasons (including the title of this memoir, lol) but it seems that she, Tom and Bridget have worked it out and Jack has a loving family.

      • Swack says:

        “Bonus child” rubs me the wrong way. Don’t know why. They all have made the best of the situation and that’s what’s important. Jack is loved by all. I’ve see many situations where this is not the case.

      • Veronica S. says:

        It makes the kid sound like an object, that’s why. I get what she was going for, though, so I’m letting it slide.

      • Lex says:

        “Bonus child” is way too Leanne Rhimes

      • jessamine says:

        There’s such a delicate verbal balance in expressing your unconditional love and support of child that isn’t yours biologically without seeming to negate their bio-parent. “Bonus child” is awkward but that isn’t on Gisele — that’s on English for not having adequate kinship terms for non-nuclear families.

      • noway says:

        Gisele is a bit pretentious, but I think her language issues are the reason for a lot of these stories. She’s okay with proper English most of the time, but I do think she misses the subtleties of the language and comes off worse than she means. I give her a pass. Now John has four parents who seem to love him as Bridget is married and happy now too. Took a while for the communication to work out, but they seem to all have made this work. Good for all of them.

      • BCity says:

        Stepmom of three here and I agree it’s such an awkward term! Always sounds to me like, “With your $49 purchase receive a travel-sized bottle of Estée Lauder White Linen, exclusive cosmetics bag, and also a kid!” Someone’s got to come up with a better way to put it, for real!

      • TandemBikeEscapee says:

        Yeah, the “bonus child” feels controlling, and not at all reflective of sharing. I mean, why not simply thank Bridget for her awesome co-parenting. Why catch phrase something that can be takes the wrong way.

    • LA says:

      Exactly. The situation could’ve gone so badly, and they all led with their love for this child, and that deserves credit on all sides.

    • sunshine cookie says:

      Let’s not forget to mention: there is enough money in that family for all the kids: for nannies and toys and clothes and good education and other activities.
      things are different if you are in a different situation financially.
      For example: if your husband’s “oops” baby with his ex actually eat up the money you want for your own kids.

  3. Kittycat says:

    Giselle loves John (or is it Jack) like her own.

    I don’t see that as an erasure of Bridget.

    But I’m glad they all worked it out.

  4. Iknow says:

    Bridget was a saint in the early days. I remember that interview when Giselle was like, “no one can tell me that’s not my child.” Whew! From the outside, I’m glad Giselle looked at Jack as her own. I wish more step parents would feel that way. But I’m sure Giselle bonding with her new baby with the child’s father, while she was absent, was hard as hell for Bridget.

    • Jess says:

      Yeah I have no doubt it was difficult, Giselle saying he was like 100% her child is what made my blood boil for Bridget. I think she had good intentions but because of the messy situation it was insensitive as hell, but I’m glad it all worked out in the end!

      • Molly says:

        I think Gisele amended the “he’s my child!” once she had children of her own. It’s the realization of what it really feels like.
        I’ll forever give these three props for their co-parenting after Tom’s emails came out and you could read how they communicated together when they weren’t performing for the public. It was so mature, sweet, and respectful. Good for everyone.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think she was really out of line in the beginning, at least in how she spoke about him publicly, but it seems like she’s finally gotten it right and they’re all good.

    • Cuppatea says:

      I think perhaps Bridget was happy Giselle was bending over backwards to be nice to Jack. Not like she was trying to do a Leanne Rimes.

  5. KNy says:

    She genuinely seems to love Jack – I think that even though it was a messy situation, the best thing is for any stepchild to really be equally as loved as the other children that come along after a new marriage. It seems like that has been the case, and they are lucky.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Whenever my ex husband’s wife refers to my son and daughter as her kids I still get little territorial and annoyed. I’ve been divorced for 19 years. I keep it to myself though. mostly because kids don’t need to know that AND I don’t want to be lectured to by well meaning folks about how I should be so happy and how lucky I am my kids have “two moms” who love them. I feel the way I feel and that is that. I feel for Bridget.

    • frizz says:

      Yeah, there are boundaries in that situation. It’s tough to navigate.

    • Chaine says:

      I feel for her too. I don’t have kids but I can’t imagine if my partner had had one with someone else that I would intrude on that person’s parentage by declaring her child “mine.” Hopefully she and Bridget have worked through all of this and the book won’t cause hard feelings.

      • Gigi La Moore says:

        I have a son and I don’t mind. As long as he Is treated lovingly, that’s all that matters. My situation is a bit different as my ex and his wife just came into my son’s life a year and a half ago after a 10 year absence. My son talks about them as if they are the coolest people in town. As long as my ex doesn’t desert my son again, I’m happy. The more allies my son has in this life, the better.

  7. Clare says:

    Can Bridget Moynahan really be classed as a ‘single mom’ in this situation?

    I mean, she’s single and a parent, but by all accounts the father (and stepmum) have always been involved in the child’s life in share custody – so I’m not sure she’s a single mom in the way the term is usually used? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought single parents are those who have little/no support from the child’s other parent?

    Either way, as annoying as she is, I’ll take Giselles approach to parenting her step child over a myriad of other options. I’d rather have her saying he’s mine than saying he’s not mine.

    • LA says:

      She was a single parent in a co-parenting situation for several years. Now she’s re-married, so she’s now a married parent in a co-parenting situation.

    • princesspetuniapants says:

      Totally agree. My husband’s ex-wife goes on and on about being a single parent. Girl no. The kids dad is regularly and heavily involved in his children’s lives. You make $300k/year, receive an enormous amount of child support, and have a FT nanny and housekeeper. Don’t spit in the face of real single parents. You’re divorced.

      • Alissa says:

        my stepson’s mom once posted on father’s day “happy father’s day to all the single moms out there.” my husband has literally been as involved as you can possibly be – 50/50 custody, pays for half of all of his stuff, shows up to all his games and school events. it pissed me off because my mom was literally a single mom – she raised both of us entirely by herself, and paid for everything except for the $80/month worth of child support the courts ordered. you don’t get to claim father’s day as a single mom if everything is 50/50, sorry.

    • Veronica S. says:

      She had way more resources than most single parents – and that does need acknowledged – but I’m not going to knock on wealthier parents who have primary custody. There’s a lot of invisible labor with parenting that you don’t really see unless you’re doing it, even if the other parent is sharing custody. I live with two friends and their children – technically, I am a resource many families don’t have because I often help change diapers, put them to bed, play with them, etc. Their parents are still moving around 24/7 caring for them, though.

    • Amelie says:

      I generally view a single parent as when one parent decides to not co-parent after a couple splits up with kids or just flat out abandons their kids (or in a more sad situation, when a parent dies leaving one parent the responsibility of parenting). While I am not a Tom Brady fan, he did the right thing when he learned Bridget was pregnant. He stepped up and became an involved father and has been there for his son from the start. I don’t view Bridget has a single mom who had to do everything on her own. Sure, it sucks she got pregnant right after her breakup with Tom and didn’t have a supportive partner there for her during her pregnancy but she chose to have the baby and Tom chose to help raise the kid. And now Jack (?) seems to be a well-loved happy kid so this story has a happy ending.

    • noway says:

      This is one of my pet peeves as a true single parent since my child was 5 when her father died. I kind of want an extra title. It’s just different than when someone divorces, especially if the other parent has the child some. Just having someone to run things by would have been nice, and we won’t even go to the money part. I also think it’s different if the other parent just walks out and decides not to parent. My child misses a lot not having a father, but I tell her she never has to think he wouldn’t be here if he could. Whereas I know a lot of kids think one parent doesn’t care. I think most consider single parents to be all of the above, and they are all a bit different.

      • Malificent says:

        I describe myself as a “sole parent”. In my observation, it’s a pretty different parenting experience between divorced couples that co-parent and those who parent by entirely themselves. Not necessarily easier or harder, just a different set of issues that are different for each family.

  8. MJ says:

    Well, Tom likes tall women.
    That’s all I have.

    • Beth says:

      I like tall guys

    • Pandy says:

      And he did his patented “hand on ass” move with Bridget as well. That’s all for me too.

      • Nancy says:

        The idiot boy with the freakiest jacket in the world has his hand on Giselle’s ass. Believe me, he wants us all to see his prizes. He’s a freaking weirdo. Go kiss the ground Bridget, who I am a fan of, simply for escaping him.

      • Cuppatea says:

        He’s not very smart, but I feel for these footballers (not soccer players). These contact sports cause serious brain injury – that’s established fact and Giselle has talked about this – and should be shut down but it’s just too profitable. As for personal responsibility, what are you going to do when you’re discovered to be a freakish football talent as a teenager and the potential for fame and fortune is dangled in front of you?

  9. LT says:

    It sounds like everyone handled this as well as possible. I have a stepmom, I am a stepmom and my kids have a stepmom – it’s just a tough gig all around. I refer to my stepdaughter as my “bonus daughter” – she likes that and it sounds a little cheerier than “stepdaughter.” Her mother also passed away, so we have a little different situation than most blended families.

  10. chrissyms says:

    I feel like we have already talked about this. Good for them for working it out in a positive way for the child but stop bringing it up Gisele. You were in no way the victim in the situation. She is annoying to me. Sorry.

  11. Beth says:

    Gisele had no reason to leave the man she loved, because Bridget and Tom had already officially broken up before they started dating and before they found out about the pregnancy. Jack has a mother and stepmother, father, and half siblings who all love and care about him. Sometimes things like an ex being pregnant with the new boyfriends child can end up messy, but this time it all ended up working out well

    • Lightpurple says:

      He also has adoring grandparents on all sides. It was the grandparents who had to step in and work out the truce because Bridget originally was not going to allow Tom or his parents access to Jack. His parents reached out to her parents and in the early days, there was usually one of the four grandparents around when Jack went to Tom. Bridget’s parents live in MA, Tom’s had to travel in from CA.

      • Mumbles says:

        Given that he was the child’s biological father and courts generally want children to have relationships with their parents, Little Miss Oops-I-Forgot-My-Pills had a lot a nerve asserting this position.

        And Tom couldn’t look less enthused in those old photos of her. He knew he could do better than that c-list actress.

      • Wow, mumbles, yours is most sexist post I’ve seen today. It is still early though.

  12. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Bridget is so pretty. I love that last pic (erase him & it’s perfect.) That’s all I’ve got.

    • Nancy says:

      I think she’s pretty too. I would not be happy with another woman calling my son their bonus child. Is it her English, is that her excuse. It’s good for the child to be loved, but he is a human being and being referred to as a bonus sounds disingenuous. Hope he and Bridget are happy. Obviously Giselle already is and doesn’t need my blessing.

  13. FhMom says:

    I think it’s nice she said that about him, and I hope that’s how she truly feels. BUT, I can’t help thinking that she wishes he never existed. I mean, I know these people have money and so it isn’t an extra financial burden on them like it would be for most people, but it does complicate their lives. I do hope she accepts Jack as an equal to her children with Brady.

  14. Veronica S. says:

    Honestly, as ridiculous as she is sometimes, she’s never said an unkind word about the kid, so I can’t hate on her for that. People can be ridiculously petty in these situations. It’s nice to see the kids valued first.

    • Cuppatea says:

      +1 And yes it’s all first world problems but she seem to be pretty honest in all this. You can buy her book and label her too much Oprah-confessional but she’s honest in all this.

  15. SJhere says:


  16. Gisele has overmouthed her bounderies!

  17. Case says:

    I think it’s sweet that she loves Jack so much. So many stepparents view their spouse’s kids from a previous marriage as a burden or outsiders (which I never understood — if you love the person you’re marrying, how can’t you love the child they helped create?). It’s nice that she has always been so openly accepting of him and treats him like her own.

  18. MCV says:

    So you’ve been dating someone for two months only and turns out he’s having a baby with someone and you decide to stay? There’s no way she wasn’t the side chick way before , no way.

  19. Sleanne says:

    My eldest is not mine biologically but was months old when I entered her life. Although she’s my stepchild, she lives with us full time with no support or visitation with her bio mom and I’ve raised her from infancy. I feel weird being called her mom but stepmom doesn’t feel like enough. Bonus Mom makes me feel like a free gift with purchase. I hate that phrase. She just calls me by my name to adults but says Mom talking to the younger kids. I can relate to Giselle in the sense that it’s a hard role to figure out and in certain circumstances its just easier to say she’s my child.

  20. Melanie says:

    To me, she has a good attitude. But it does make me want to know more about her. There’s got to be more, right?

  21. ladida says:

    Just based on a couple of comments from Moynahan over the years, I am pretty sure she does not appreciate Gisele discussing Jack publicly. It’s not like Gisele is the one “raising” him. She needs to stop.

  22. Anastasia says:

    Bonus child just sounds wrong.

  23. Riley says:

    I’m glad it all worked out and she does seem to have matured, but I remember when this was going on. She was pretty brutal towards Bridget, who was utter class through this whole thing. Giselle came across as really insecure in a LeAnn Rimes kind of way. Glad they all got past it.

  24. Yes Doubtful says:

    “Bonus child” is a weird way of saying it, but props to all of them for being mature and loving in a difficult situation.