Everyone knows that Tom Brady is a winner on the football field — and off it, he’s not doing too bad either. The New England Patriots quarterback is on a quest to win his sixth Super Bowl on Sunday, and he’ll have his famous family, including his wife, Gisele Bündchen, cheering him on in the stands (er, suite).
The GOAT and the supermodel have been married for nearly nine years and have two children together, Benjamin, 8, and Vivian Lake, 5. Brady also has a 10-year-old son, Jack, with actress Bridget Moynahan.
Gisele and Brady’s love story wasn’t without some drama in the beginning.
Brady and Moynahan split in late 2006 after three years together, and months later, she revealed that she was pregnant. By then, the football star was already dating Gisele.
When Brady and Gisele met in 2006, it was love at first sight, the model has said. “I knew right way — the first time I saw him,” she told Vanity Fair in May 2009. “We met through a friend. The moment I saw him, he smiled and I was like, That is the most beautiful, charismatic smile I’ve ever seen! We sat and talked for three hours. I had to go 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 met, we’ve never spent one day without speaking to each other.”
They had been dating for only two and a half months when Brady found out that Moynahan was pregnant.
“It was definitely a surprise for both of us,” Gisele told the magazine. “In the beginning you’re living this romantic fantasy; you’re thinking, This can’t be true, it’s so good! And then, whoops — wake-up call!” She said it was “a very challenging situation. Obviously, in the beginning, it’s not the ideal thing.”
Gisele wondered if she should encourage Brady to work it out with his ex-girlfriend. “You question at times — ‘Should I stay here? Maybe you should work this out,’” she admitted. “But when people break up, it’s for a reason.”
She added, “I think it was a blessing, because otherwise I don’t think I would have known what he was made of, and he wouldn’t have known what I was made of. I wouldn’t have seen the integrity in him — the way he was a good person through all the times. I was like, You have the heart in a good place! It made me feel more in love with him; it made me realize who he was. Our relationship has become so much stronger, and I think I wouldn’t be as certain as I am today if it weren’t for that.”
In that 2009 interview, the supermodel also said that she felt like a mom to Jack — comments for which she received a backlash. “I understand that he has a mom, and I respect that, but to me it’s not like because somebody else delivered him, that’s not my child. I feel it is, 100 percent,” Gisele said. “I want him to have a great relationship with his mom, because that’s important, but I love him the same way as if he were mine. I already feel like he’s my son, from the first day.”
While Moynahan refused to speak poorly of Brady in the press, she did discuss the challenges of being a single mother.
“I’m not sure anyone — and I could be wrong in this — grows up thinking, I want to be a single mom,” Moynahan told Harper’s Bazaar in 2008. “When you’re suddenly pregnant and no one is standing by your side, even if you’re in your 30s, it’s a hard conversation. I’m a traditional girl, and I believe in marriage, and I just always thought that’s the way I’d be doing this. For a moment, it was hard for me to accept that this was the way I was going to have a family.”
After a rocky start, Gisele, Brady, and Moynahan — who married Andrew Frankel in 2015 — figured out how to co-parent. “I think it was very challenging for everyone involved,” Gisele acknowledged on CBS This Morning in 2015. “I think, you know, eight years later, we have a great relationship. … It all worked out in the end, but it was a tough time.”
After three years together, Brady and Gisele tied the knot (twice!) in 2009 and went on to have two children of their own. They welcomed Benjamin in December 2009 and Vivian in December 2012.
But even the power couple isn’t immune to challenges in their relationship. In 2015, the pair reportedly hit a rough patch amid the Deflategate scandal. Brady even got wrapped up in the Nannygate drama of his pal Ben Affleck. Rumors of marital strife plagued Brady and Gisele, who were not photographed together for two months. However, they ultimately persevered.
Gisele admitted that the two had endured a “few tough times together” in that CBS interview, when talking about Deflategate. “My father always says the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships,” she said. “And I think no matter how challenging it was, we were always being supportive of one another. And you know, that’s the most important thing you can have in your life … a support system and love.”
Brady also acknowledged facing challenges in their relationship but said it only made them stronger. “I’m blessed to find this life partner that we all kind of seek at different times in our life,” he told Access Hollywood in 2016. “We found each other at the right time. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs together, and in so many ways, that’s kind of built our relationship so strong.”
He added, “We all have our challenges that we face in our life. And it’s great to have that rock that you can always lean on that can support you in different ways that you need to.”
Team Brady will surely be well supported on Sunday.
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