Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen have apparently taken a massive step toward divorce according to a Page Six report.
Here we go again: the marriage and private lives of public figures, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, are once again under the microscope. This time it seems as though the dirt that many were rubbernecking to see over the summer has finally been unearthed.
According to Page Six and based on information from an unnamed source “close to the family”, Brady and Gisele have hired divorce lawyers.
This comes after a summer of rumors regarding the status of Brady and Gisele’s marriage, something sparked by Brady reneging on his decision to retire from the NFL.
That unfortunately has been the narrative surrounding the rumors of marital discord between the two, even though such an easy simplification is irresponsible among many other things (not the least of which is the casual sexist slant the story has taken regarding public blame being placed squarely on Gisele for the divorce).
People also spoke with sources and reported that Gisele had hired a divorce lawyer while Brady scrambles to figure out what to do next.
“I never actually thought this argument would be the end of them, but it looks like it is,” one source in the know tells Page Six.
“I don’t think there will be any coming back now. They both have lawyers and are looking at what a split will entail, who gets what and what the finances will be.”
In all framings of the divorce drama, subconscious battle lines are being drawn and that’s dangerous.
For what it’s worth, neither Brady nor Gisele
In the glossy world of celebrity obsession, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with real people. This is a sports story insofar as Brady is perhaps the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL and is currently playing what appears to be the final season of his 22-year career. It’s a celebrity story because Brady and Gisele are two of the most famous people in the known universe. But it’s also a story about human beings, even if they happen to be two of the most famous people on the planet.
In his book A Season in the Sun, which detailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers landing Brady and winning the Super Bowl with him, Lars Anderson highlights portions of the quarterback’s personal life that are worth revisiting in light of this rumor and the general discourse around their marital issues.
Anderson wrote about Brady keeping a letter from Gisele in his bedside drawer in which she honestly detailed how he was failing as a father and a partner. This was a story confirmed by Brady during an interview with Howard Stern, and is worth noting because it plainly states how deeply rooted personal matters are. Beyond the obvious vulnerability, that letter was written in 2018 while Brady still had a season left with the New England Patriots and well before his brief retirement from football almost half a decade later.
It’s deeply unfair to see this story as being one in which an aggrieved Gisele decided to divorce her husband for choosing football over her, which is how this story has been presented even if unintentionally so. The entire narrative around the rumors has been white knuckled driven by that oversimplification, which is likely only one piece of a larger story. Football is already a sport where women are treated like second-class citizens on a good day, and sexism is as casual as a dropback pass. Players don’t even stretch as hard as some people are trying to paint Gisele as a villain, and it’s an ugly unnecessary wrinkle. Marriages fall apart, it’s never pleasant but it happens. But to have this story widely posited as a famous football player getting divorced by his angry wife who can’t deal with him playing ball is hot garbage, but it’s also incredibly on point for how these stories are typically slanted in the public eye.
Brady and Gisele are public figures, and discourse about their personal lives was always going to happen. But let’s just call this what it is: a private matter involving extremely public figures in which those spectating do not have enough information or insight to have an opinion on the matter.
The discourse around the matter has been nothing short of disappointing, if not at all surprising.