The rumor mill went into overdrive this week when it was reported that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, were living separately after more than 13 years of marriage.
A source told CNN that the living arrangement was due to “marital issues,” just days after Elle published an interview with Bündchen in which the former Victoria’s Secret model, 42, seemingly alluded to potential trouble in paradise.
“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,” Bündchen told the publication. “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,” she added. “At 42, I feel more connected with my purpose.”
The specific issue plaguing the couple’s marriage seems to be Brady’s decision to come out of retirement. Just 40 days after announcing that he planned to retire to spend more time with his family, the quarterback reversed that decision and said that he would return to the Buccaneers for the team’s 2022 season. And — for all intents and purposes — things seem to have gone downhill from there.
So with that, let’s take a look back at Brady and Bündchen’s relationship timeline to see where it all went wrong.
December 2006: Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen begin dating
Brady and Bündchen’s relationship immediately became tabloid fodder when they began dating in December of 2006, as their coupling directly coincided with the 45-year-old’s split from actress Bridget Moynahan, whom he had dated for nearly three years. To make matters worse, in February of 2007, Moynahan confirmed that she was more than three months pregnant with Brady’s child — though she claimed to not have known she was pregnant when she and Brady split.
Moynahan later welcomed a son with Brady, John “Jack” Edward Thomas Moynahan, in August 2007.
February 26, 2009: Brady and Bündchen marry
On February 26, 2009, Brady and Bündchen, then 31 and 28, wed in an intimate Catholic ceremony in Santa Monica, California, followed by a small reception at the couple’s Brentwood home. They had only been engaged for a month before getting married. Brady’s son, who was just one and a half at the time, was also present for the festivities.
December 2009 – December 2012: Brady and Bündchen welcome two children
In addition to his son with Moynahan, Brady and Bündchen eventually started their own family. The model gave birth to a son named Benjamin Rein in 2009 and a daughter, Vivian Lake, born in 2012.
“I love my family so much and I love what I do for a living so much [that] I never, ever want to take those things for granted and I really try to treasure every second,” Brady told People in 2019.
November 2016: The couple publicly disagree over support for former President Donald Trump
On the day before Election Day in 2016, Donald Trump, then Republican candidate for president, claimed at a political rally in New Hampshire that he had personally received a phone call from his old pal Brady to wish him luck in the election. The year before, the quarterback had raised eyebrows after photographers had spotted a “Make America Great Again” cap in his locker — so while disappointing, the alleged endorsement was not wholly unexpected.
“Donald, I support you, you’re my friend and I voted for you,” Trump told the cheering crowd, of the phone call that may or may not have occurred.
Though Brady never publicly commented on the supposed conversation, Bündchen was quick to shoot down rumors when a fan asked her on Instagram if she and Tom were backing Trump with a resounding: “NO!”
During a 2020 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Brady revealed that Trump, whom he had known since 2001, had asked him to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention but that he had turned down the president’s offer.
“It was uncomfortable for me because you can’t undo things, not that I would undo a friendship, but political support is totally different than the support of a friend,” he told Stern at the time.
January 2018: Tom Brady goes viral over kissing his 11-year-old son on the lips
In early 2018, Brady was the subject of a six-part documentary, Tom vs. Time, which followed his off-season training regimen and home life with wife Bündchen and their children. One questionable scene that caught the attention of the internet, however, involved a moment in which Brady asked his son Jack to kiss him on the mouth.
Brady was in the middle of getting a massage during the scene in question, when Jack entered the room to ask if he could check on his fantasy football team. “What do I get?” Brady replied, to which Jack came over and gave him a quick smooch on the side of his mouth.
“You know Jack, everything comes with a cost, bud,” joked the massage therapist working on Brady’s shoulder. “That was like a peck,” he added, before Jack came over and gave Brady an uncomfortably long kiss directly on the lips that he evidently found more suitable. As the boy walked away, he was not subtle about wiping his face onto the inside of his T-shirt.
March 2022: Brady announces return to NFL
Brady announced he would return to the Buccaneers for the 2022 season on March 13, 2022, just 40 days after announcing his retirement. On Sept. 11, 2022, he officially became the oldest quarterback to start a game in NFL history when the Buccaneers faced off against the Dallas Cowboys in the season-opening game.
August 2022: Brady takes an 11-day hiatus from training camp
Rumors about the couple’s love life first took off in August of 2022 when Brady uncharacteristically took an 11-day hiatus from training camp ahead of the upcoming season. Upon returning, he gave an eye-popping explanation for his absence at a press junket, which did little to quell the rapt attention of the internet.
“It’s all personal, you know, everyone’s got different situations they’re dealing with. So we all have really unique challenges to our life,” Brady told reporters. “I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of sh*t going on. So, you just gotta try to figure out life the best you can … it’s a continuous process.”
Earlier this week, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Brady spent much of the hiatus in the Bahamas at a private resort with his wife and kids, as part of the first family vacation they had taken in two decades. He had apparently promised the trip to Bündchen during his brief stint in retirement.
“During his time off, the Bucs left him alone to be with his family, fully respectful. There were no football conversations, the source said, no playbooks mailed to the Bahamas. It was his personal situation, and they allowed him to live.”
Evidently, the vacation was not long enough. All we hope is that Bündchen gets to eat, pray, loves the hell out of this next chapter in her life. Lord knows she’s earned it.