TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Supermodel Gisele Bündchen is reclaiming herself, and in her first extended interview since her split from former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady, she denied rumors that the divorce came after Brady decided to continue his football career in Tampa after previously announcing his retirement from the NFL.

In a new Vanity Fair interview, the 42-year-old said the speculation surrounding her giving 45-year-old Brady an ultimatum was “very hurtful” and “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”

She told the magazine that marriages aren’t built, or even broken overnight, that instead, it “takes years to happen.”

“Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever,” Bündchen told Vanity Fair. “If there’s one person I want to be the happiest in the world, it’s him, believe me. I want him to achieve and to conquer. I want all his dreams to come true. That’s what I want, really, from the bottom of my heart.” 

After 13 years of marriage, Brady and Bündchen finalized their divorce in October 2022. The two share a daughter Vivian, 10, and a son Benjamin, 13. Brady is also father to son Jack, 15, from his previous relationship with actor and model Bridget Moynahan.

Addressing assumptions made by fans and analysts that Bündchen told Brady to quit playing football or it’d be the end of their marriage, she told Vanity Fair that the headlines “made me somebody who is against football.”

“Are you kidding me? I learned about it! I used to joke that I was going to be able to be the ref because I’ve watched so many games. And I loved it!” she said.

During their marriage, Bündchen stepped away from her modeling career, leaving New York City to move to Boston, where Brady played for the New England Patriots. She also followed him to Tampa.

“When we moved to Tampa, I actually had never been there,” Bündchen admitted. “I just arrived and that was my life.” Now, since the divorce, Vanity Fair wrote that the supermodel spends her time between Miami and her home in Costa Rica.

“When I was 26 years old and he was 29 years old, we met, we wanted a family, we wanted things together,” she said. “As time goes by, we realize that we just wanted different things, and now we have a choice to make. That doesn’t mean you don’t love the person.”

In February 2023, Brady announced that he was retiring “for good,” exactly one year after he announced his first brief retirement following the 2021 season.