Star NFL quarterback Tom Brady and model Gisele Bündchen ended their marriage of more than 13 years on Friday, going their separate ways after years of fan and tabloid intrigue and more recent speculation about Brady’s long playing career and its effect on their relationship.
Brady said in his post that he and Bündchen had finalized their divorce in recent days.
“We came to this decision amicably and with gratitude for the time we spent together,” Brady said. “We have come to this decision to end our marriage after careful consideration. This is, of course, painful and difficult, as it is for many people who go through the same thing every day around the world. However, we only wish the best for each other as we pursue the new chapters of our lives that are yet to be written.
Bündchen said in an Instagram post that she and Brady would continue to co-parent their children “to give them the love, care and attention they so sorely deserve.”
“The decision to end a marriage is never easy, but we have separated and while of course it is difficult to go through something like this, I feel blessed for the time we have spent together and I Always wish Tom the best.”
Brady, 45, has been playing professional football for more than two decades, and his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, slipped at the start of this season in part due to a decline in his game. The Buccaneers lost a game Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, falling to 3-5 and giving Brady his first three-game losing streak since 2002.
Bündchen, 42, has publicly said he wants him to retire and spend more time with his family. Brady retired after last season, then reversed his decision and opted to return to the Buccaneers, the team he led to the Super Bowl in the 2020 season.
The divorce was filed Friday by Bündchen in Glades County, Florida. According to court documents, Bündchen and Brady reached a marital settlement agreement, which included a parenting plan, earlier this week. The terms of this agreement were filed with the court confidentially.
Brady and Bündchen also took four-hour parenting and family stabilization classes, which are mandatory in Florida when a divorcing couple have minor children, earlier this week.
Bündchen and Brady have two children together – a son, Benjamin, 12, and a daughter, Vivian, 9. Brady also has a son, Jack, 15, from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Brady did not contest the divorce, waived a trial and any waiting period required by law, and the divorce was approved by a judge on Friday.
Chris Melcher, divorce lawyer and partner at Walzer Melcher & Yoda, said “the couple handled things in an exemplary manner by working things out quickly and quietly”.
“It was important that Tom and Gisele settle down to avoid damaging their reputations by airing a messy divorce in public,” Melcher said. “It would have been a distraction that could have damaged their reputation.”
Since they met, Brady, a star quarterback, and Bündchen, a supermodel, have been a high-profile couple, constantly in the public eye. By the time they met, Brady had already won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Bündchen was one of the most famous people in the world, a staple on magazine covers and one of the figures of fashion industry figurehead. In 2016, she would have been the highest paid (and richest) model in the world.
While together, Brady won four more championships, including one with the Buccaneers, with Bündchen often supporting him in games and at trophy celebrations.
Brady and Bündchen tied the knot in 2009, after meeting through a friend and going on their first date in 2006.
“As soon as I saw him, he smiled and I thought, ‘That’s the most beautiful, charismatic smile I’ve ever seen!'” Bündchen told Vanity Fair in 2009. “We sat and talked for three hours. I was supposed to be home for Christmas, but I didn’t want to leave. You know that feeling of, like, you can’t get enough? From the first day we we met, we never spent a single day without talking to each other.
They had two ceremonies, one at a Catholic church in Santa Monica, California, and another with friends in Costa Rica.
“Sometimes I tell people my husband and I love each other so much we got married twice,” Bündchen wrote in “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.”
After 22 seasons in the NFL, Brady announced his retirement in February, but then announced in March that he would return for another season. Since then, there has been much speculation as to whether Brady and Bündchen argued over his decision to return to football. It also led to questions about whether their marital struggles affected Brady on the pitch.
Prior to the start of the season, Brady missed several practices, as well as two preseason games. Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles told reporters in August that Brady was excused when he was “going to take care of some personal things.”
Bowles told reporters on Friday he was unsure of the impact of the divorce on Brady’s professional life.
“He does his job when he’s here and he smiles a lot, and that’s really all you can believe,” Bowles said. “I think everyone – regardless of profession – you go through certain things, it’s how you deal with them and come out of them. I’m sure he has something hanging over him when he leaves work and all – I don’t know how much, I guess that’s a question for him.
Jenny Vrentas contributed report.
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