After 13 years of marriage, two children and a portfolio of real estate and other business ventures worth millions, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen officially announced their divorce. The couple had been plagued with divorce rumors for months following Brady’s return to the NFL after retiring last February. A source close to the couple said they had been dealing with “marital issues” for a few months and had each recently hired divorce attorneys. They officially filed on Oct. 28, with the court declaring their marriage as dissolved and irretrievably broken that same day.
Brady and Bündchen had a fiery, whirlwind romance lasting 16 years. Although the couple had their ups and downs, it seemed they were bound to make it through anything. So, how did we get to divorce? VALLEY is taking a look back at the couple’s long love story, highlighting some of the best moments from their relationship and what moments could have led to their eventual divorce.
History of their Relationship
Brady and Bündchen first met in December 2006 after a blind date set up by mutual friends. They immediately hit it off, with both saying in later magazine interviews that they immediately knew the other person was the one for them. They officially announced that they were dating in January 2007 after rumors started circulating that Bündchen was spotted waiting for Brady outside the New England Patriots locker room. People sources confirmed that the two had started dating right before Christmas.
It wasn’t smooth sailing, though, as the couple faced their first relationship test in February of that year when news broke that Brady was expecting a child with his ex Bridget Moynahan — who he had dated from 2004 to 2006 before meeting Bündchen. Although the couple stayed together, Bündchen revealed years later that she had considered leaving the star football player, saying the pregnancy was one of the most difficult moments of her life. John “Jack” Edward Thomas Moynahan was born on Aug. 22, 2007, and the couple only grew stronger from there, with Bündchen saying in her memoir that Jack’s birth “opened my heart in ways I didn’t even know my heart could expand.”
In January 2009, the couple got engaged! Following a brief engagement (only one month), Brady and Bündchen tied the knot in February 2009 with an intimate ceremony at a church in California. Two months later, the couple held a second, more lavish wedding at Bündchen’s home in Costa Rica. In December of that year, Brady and Bündchen welcomed their first child, a son named Benjamin Rein Brady. Three years later, the Brady family added one more member with the birth of their daughter, Vivian Lake Brady, in December 2012.
The couple had smooth sailing for several years after the birth of their second child. Things changed, however, in 2015 following the “Deflategate” controversy, in which Brady was accused of tampering with game balls during the AFC championship game in the 2014-2015 NFL playoffs. Sources said things were “tense” between the couple after the NFL slapped a four-game suspension on Brady for his role in the controversy. Rumors spread that the couple was headed for divorce, with an insider saying Bündchen had even consulted with a divorce attorney. Brady, however, denied the rumors, telling a Boston radio station later that month that the couple was in a great place.
In 2018, Bündchen released her memoir, “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.” During the press tour, she revealed that she and Brady had faced difficulties after the birth of their first child. During an appearance on the Howard Stern show in 2020, Brady echoed these statements. He talked more about some of the many struggles the couple had faced during their marriage, revealing to Stern a moment in 2018 when Bündchen admitted she “wasn’t satisfied” with Brady or their marriage. Brady said this moment convinced him that he needed to make a change and save his marriage. Luckily, the couple seemed to get over their struggles soon enough. They celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in February of 2019, sharing heartfelt Instagram posts featuring never-before-seen photos of the pair.
The couple seemed to be in a great place in the following years, sharing heartfelt posts for their birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and their kids’ accomplishments. Bündchen was also spotted at many of Brady’s games, cheering him on from the sidelines and celebrating his wins on Twitter and Instagram. After Brady announced his departure from the New England Patriots in March 2020, Bündchen shared her excitement on Instagram, posting a picture of Brady in his new uniform. After just one year with the Buccaneers, Brady won the Super Bowl again in February 2021. Bündchen and their kids were in the stands and joined him on the field after the win.
A year later, in February 2022, Brady announced his retirement from football. In his announcement, Brady paid tribute to Bündchen and made a direct statement about Bündchens sacrifices during his football career. He also stated that he was ready to focus “his time and energy on other things that require my attention,” and called his family his greatest achievement. Only one month later, though, Brady unretired and announced his return to the Buccaneers. Although it seemed like he had Bündchen’s support, his decision reportedly led to a lot of tension for the couple. Sources told People that his decision to postpone his retirement had caused problems between the couple, as Bündchen was upset about how he handled his retirement and coming back to football. Things weren’t looking great; Bündchen, a usual mainstay in the crowd at Brady’s games, didn’t attend the season opener. In an interview with Elle magazine, released a month later, Bündchen specifically voiced her concerns about Brady’s decision. While the couple tried to save their marriage — with Brady even granted an 11-day break during training camp so he could work on “personal matters” — things had just gotten too bad.
The couple took to Instagram on Oct. 28 to confirm they had finalized their divorce. Court records showed that Bündchen filed in Florida, and the petition had been uncontested. According to a source, a settlement was worked out on the same day, with the pair agreeing to share joint custody of their children. In the posts on their Instagram stories, Brady and Bündchen posted confirmations of their divorce, saying that they had come to the decision amicably and with gratitude, for the time they spent together.
What’s in the future for two of the biggest and richest people in Hollywood? Only time will tell. Share your thoughts about the couple’s relationship timeline by tweeting us @VALLEYMag on Twitter!