Gisele Bundchen: ‘When you love someone, you don’t put them in a jail’

I’ve been waiting for this for a while – Gisele Bundchen, the post-divorce magazine interview. Gisele covers the new issue of Vanity Fair and this is very much a classic of the Post-Divorce genre. Gisele is brave, fearless, warm, sad, resilient, honest. She suffered in her marriage to Tom Brady, she suffered during her modeling career, but now she is a phoenix rising from the ashes. Gisele fits into the genre perfectly, to be honest. It helps that she seems genuinely warm and effusive, and she acknowledges that she is a witch (a good witch). She also talks about her stepson Jack and how much she loves him and hopes to still be in his life, and her relationship with Bridget Moynahan and so much more. Some highlights:

How she feels post-divorce: “It’s like a death and a rebirth. Bündchen is mourning “the death of my dream. It’s tough because you imagine your life was going to be a certain way, and you did everything you could, you know? 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.”

When Tom began playing with Tampa Bay: “When we moved to Tampa, I actually had never been there before. I just arrived and that was my life.”

On her kids: “Jack came into our lives and I felt so blessed and it kind of awakened in me this desire of being a mom. I’ve always dreamed of being a mom, but I think that happened a little faster than I thought, because now I have this beautiful little angel that I get to care for and love. My world was them. Do you know how grateful I am that I got that time for myself? I breastfed my kids until they were almost two years old. I was taking them to school every day. I was making them breakfast, lunch… I was there.”

On her involvement with FTX: “I was blindsided. I’m no different than everyone else that trusted the hype.” She says she is legally unable to discuss specifics, but says she had believed FTX to be “a sound and great thing based on what my financial advisers told me. It’s just…terrible. I’m so sorry for all of us that this happened, and I just pray that justice gets made.”

She never gave Tom an ultimatum about retiring: No such thing ever happened. She calls those characterizations “very hurtful” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. 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.”

She would never divorce Tom just because he wanted to play one more season: “Wow, people really made it about that. What’s been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle…It’s not so black and white.” Bündchen also dismisses digital murmurs that politics—namely, the MAGA hat spotted in Brady’s locker in 2015—drove a wedge. “Never,” she tells me.

Her summary on the marriage: “Sometimes you grow together; sometimes you grow apart. 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. 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.”

On Jack & Bridget: Fifteen years of co-parenting Jack with Moynahan is helping inform how Bündchen navigates custody with Brady and sibling time for all three kids. “I say to Bridget—you know, I have a great relationship with her…Everything in life comes with work. You have to go through the roller coaster. You have moments where you get to the sticky points and you’ve gotta overcome it…. Love conquers all,” Bündchen says of her experience with Jack and his mom. “My life became so much richer because I got to learn so much from that.” The primary lesson: “Nothing is worth fighting [over].” With Moynahan, “my goal was always, how can I be the most helpful? How can I make it the easiest I possibly can?” Bündchen reflects. “I put myself in her shoes and I was like, ‘How can I support her?’ Because in the end of the day, we are team players in ‘How are we going to do this so [Jack] can have the best life?’ ”

On Brady’s last (terrible) season: “It was tough, but you know what? Let’s just be honest. It’s a team sport and you can’t play alone. I think he did great under the circumstances that he had. I mean, he had no offensive line.”

She’s a witch: “If you want to call me a witch because I love astrology, I love crystals, I pray, I believe in the power of nature, then go ahead.”

On fairy tales: “No one is going to come save you. Never give your power away to nobody. This is your life. This is your movie. You are the director on it.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Years ago, I went from thinking Gisele was being way too extra about Jack to actually appreciating how much she’s always tried to support Bridget. It’s actually clear, nowadays, that Gisele and Bridget are pretty close and that Gisele flat-out adores Jack and wants to be in his life no matter what. That moves me, as does her all of her talk about how she shifted her life and priorities around to move to Boston, support her husband and raise her children. Tom really let a good woman go, damn it. Anyway, I never expected to have this turnaround on Gisele. I really love her now.

Cover courtesy of VF, additional photos courtesy of Instagram and Backgrid.

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23 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen: ‘When you love someone, you don’t put them in a jail’”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    If I am to believe G about the ending of their marriage not being about football or MAGA then I do get that they just grew apart. I also think that Tom isn’t that bright right? Like he has no depth as a person, or a person who is sharing his life with someone else. He expects the world to turn around him because it has his entire life, which isn’t totally his fault because as the youngest boy of a large family and as an athlete his reality is of a spoiled human.

    I really do respect her in a way that I didn’t before, but I didn’t really think of them all that much even though he was my quarterback for years and years. I love that she’s found her place in this world and refuses to settle for less.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    There’s more the the FTX story. Otherwise, she could say quite a bit more. If she hid and/or lost a good chunk of change, no wonder she’s got to get her behind back in a bathing suit to make up what she “lost.”

  3. Barbiem says:

    Never felt either way about Gisele but post divorce Gisele is earning a lot of respect. She seems very grounded for a rich beautiful super model.

  4. Flower says:

    Good for her – she can walk away from this marriage knowing she gave it her all.

    Sadly Tom’s behavior is common amongst some men who believe their families needs revolve around their own and as time goes by that selfishness just gets worse.

  5. Kirsten says:

    The thing in the split that I most side-eye is that they both seem to be using social media to show the other just how much the kids love being with one or the other. It seems a little competitive and not like it’s really about the kids.

    • girl_ninja says:

      Except that they both always shared their love for their kids on social before their separation since they were very, very little.

    • Rackel says:

      I question this whole interview. Gisela is pr. Every step she takes us right. It’s obvious she ran off with the martial arts teacher. Yet they spun the narrative that she left because he unretired. Anytime something happens her team spins a story about gisela being blindsided. It’s been going on for decades, it’s just most of her issues happen in nob-english speaking countries. Her blips are also taking care of quickly.

  6. Paige says:

    I will never love Gisele but honestly her PR game is GREAT post Brady

  7. Diana says:

    Yeah I believe her. I always thought there was more to this then he just decided to play football for 1 more year.

  8. Lurker25 says:

    She’s been consistent from the beginning about Jack. Including him in all the photos, mentioning him when taking about the kids as three – not her two and that other one, but three siblings, being affectionate… She didn’t delineate between bio kids and step, and she clearly did ALL the co-parenting work with Bridget.

    Tom did his football thing and took having a f-cking global supermodel at home to breastfeed his kids, deal with his ex gracefully, take care of his life, be in his corner, totally for granted.

    I don’t think the realization the he had a unicorn women and lost her has sunk in yet. He needs to go through a half dozen skanks. If he’s a good man at all, he’ll see how they treat his kids and what they expect etc and beg her to come back. But I think she’s moved on BECAUSE she realized he’s not a good man. At least, not the kind with the depth to value her fully.

  9. TIFFANY says:

    Gisele and Bridget get along because they both know Tom. That quote about her speaking with Bridget and asking what she (Gisele) can do is pretty telling. Tom and Jack’s relationship is where it is, is because of Gisele. I think Bridget was ready to he a single parent and just work and go about life.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It’s a good PR piece.

  11. Josephine says:

    She’s rewriting history, but I guess we all do that as we age and feel crappy about who we were. She was absolutely the “I won him” woman and did not start out as a support to Bridget. It’s nice that they all figured it out but I hate when people don’t own up. I would have a lot more respect for her if she was honest and talked about growth and change.

    • Arizona says:

      y’know, as a stepmom, there’s a balancing act. my youngest stepson was 2 when I started seeing my husband, and his mom struggled with seeing someone help take care of her child when she wasn’t with him. I understood it – when she found out she was pregnant she didn’t plan on another woman being in the picture, and it’s a hard adjustment. now, we have a really good relationship and I think she prefers dealing with me than my husband lol. but it took a long time to get there. I’m sure there are people who would have said similar things about me that you said about Gisele, but the truth is that his mom had to reach the point where she was able to accept my support, if that makes sense. and it was also hard for her to see my husband move on before she did, even though she left him. I’m sure Bridget struggled with similar, very human emotions. it’s a challenging situation for both the bio mom and the stepmom.

      • Josephine says:

        Definitely a difficult situation but not into automatically blaming the bio-mom and assuming Gisele was a saint. She wasn’t, and she really did not hide it at the time. Great that everyone figured it out, just not buying the rewrite but fine if others do.

  12. Elsa says:

    I never liked her, but she is coming out looking really good. But that was cold about the offensive line!

  13. manda says:

    It’s like in clueless: you divorce spouses, not children. That is really nice

  14. detritus says:

    She’s saying all the right things.

    I hope behind the scenes is as serene as it seems. For everyone’s sake. And I’m excited to see what Gisele does next.

  15. Eyeroll says:

    I came here to see if you wrote about her interview. Specifically about this part:

    As for the other romance rumors, including those suggesting she’s been dating billionaire developer (and reportedly Tom’s neighbor) Jeffrey Soffer? Gisele says that assertion is nothing short of “absurd.”
    “I have zero relationship with him in any way,” she shared. “He’s Tom’s friend, not my friend.”
    Driving her point home, Gisele added, “I wouldn’t be with his friend. I wouldn’t be with this guy. I mean, puh-leeze. They were saying I’m with this guy, he’s old, because he’s got money—it’s ridiculous.””

    Lmao. The part about Tom’s friend being old. She seems so real throughout the article though so good for her.