The coverage of Tom Brady’s celebrity personal life is not relenting. And it just may get more expansive from this point forward.
In a continuation of nearly weekly updates focused on Brady’s marriage to supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the New York Post reported on Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and his wife have hired divorce attorneys. (Yahoo Entertainment later confirmed the Bündchen report.) Citing multiple anonymous sources, the Post reported that the move to retain attorneys is aimed at sorting out the couple’s ample financial assets and real estate holdings that have been accrued since the two wed in early 2009. The Post and various other outlets had recently reported that Brady and his wife had been living in separate Florida residences since the summer, including during the landfall of Hurricane Ian last week. Bündchen had also been uncharacteristically absent from Brady’s home games this season.
Brady’s relationship became a more significant topic of sports discussion in the offseason, when the quarterback briefly retired and then reversed course and returned to the Buccaneers for the 2022 campaign, despite having a lucrative broadcast job waiting for him with Fox Sports. His training camp appeared to be on a normal track until he suddenly took an unprecedented 11-day leave of absence to tend to what the Buccaneers described as “personal matters.”
At that point, various tabloid outlets began speculating on the state of Brady’s relationship with Bündchen and whether his break from the Buccaneers was an attempt to salvage their marriage. The Post was in front of several of the reports, which has remained a notable curiosity, given that it’s owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox Sports and is expected to be the man cutting Brady’s post-career broadcasting checks.
Following Brady’s stint away from the Buccaneers in August — which was reportedly utilized to spend time with Bündchen and their children — he returned and delivered a uniquely unvarnished news conference after resuming practices with the team.
“It’s all personal,” Brady told reporters following his return to the team in late August. “Everyone has different situations they are dealing with. We all have really unique challenges to our life. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of s*** going on. Just have to figure out life the best you can. It is a continuous process.”
Roughly two weeks later, Bündchen opened up about the couple’s marriage and Brady’s return to the Buccaneers while sitting for an interview in Elle magazine’s October issue. Bündchen noted the occasional stress placed on their marriage by Brady’s decision to continue playing in the NFL into his mid-40s.
"Obviously, I have my concerns — this is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” Bündchen said. “I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too.”
The recent spate of reports is certainly not the first time Brady and Bündchen's marriage has drawn significant and dedicated attention. Beyond just the sports or NFL spotlight, their A-list power couple status has delivered both the peaks and pitfalls of celebrity, as entertainment outlets chronicled seemingly every move they made. That microscope also became a significant subplot in Seth Wickersham’s recent book, “It’s Better To Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness.”
In that book, Wickersham chronicled Brady’s dogged mental pursuit of perfection in the NFL and the toll it had sometimes taken on his marriage to Bündchen. Portions of Wickersham’s book also foreshadowed possible issues moving forward as Brady attempted to grapple with his exit from professional football and what would ultimately fill the void left behind.
For his part, Brady has said on several occasions that he understands the tradeoff that comes with being in a high-profile marriage and the coverage that comes along with it. He also addressed the fascination with reporters in September, as reports swirled that he and Bündchen had separated.
“I think it’s just part of our life,” Brady said. “We’re in front of the cameras all day, so it’s a natural thing I’ve been dealing with for a long time. … I just deal with it the best way I can.”