The former NFL player, 45, took to Instagram on Wednesday, March 22, to share a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which read, “What is success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate the beauty; To find the best in others; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!”
Brady’s social media post about “false friends” came hours after his ex-wife, 42, opened up about what led to their split in a rare tell-all.
“What’s been said is one piece of a much bigger puzzle,” Bündchen, who shares son Benjamin, 12, and daughter Vivian, 9, with Brady, told Vanity Fair in Wednesday profile amid speculation that she pulled the plug over the athlete’s career. “It’s not so black and white.”
She continued: “Listen, I have always cheered for him, and I would continue forever. 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.”
The Brazil native previously discussed making sacrifices for Brady’s career shortly before they announced their breakup.
“I’ve done my part, which is [to] be there for [Tom],” Bündchen told Elle in October 2022. “I moved to Boston, and I focused on creating a cocoon and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there supporting him and his dreams. Seeing my children succeed and become the beautiful little humans that they are, seeing him succeed, and being fulfilled in his career — it makes me happy. At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve done a good job on that.”
At the time, Bündchen admitted she had “concerns” about the professional football player returning to the field. (Brady previously made headlines in February 2022 when he announced his retirement from the NFL after 20 years. Six weeks later, he confirmed his plans to return to the game. In February 2023, the California native said he was retiring again.)
“This is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” she added to Elle. “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.”
Later that month, the Buccaneers quarterback and Bündchen announced their divorce amid split rumors.
“In recent days, my wife and I finalized our divorce from one another after 13 years of marriage,” Brady wrote via his Instagram Story. “We arrived at this decision amicably and with gratitude for the time we spent together. We are blessed with beautiful and wonderful children who will continue to be the center of our world in every way. We will continue to work together as parents to always ensure they receive the love and attention they deserve.”
Bündchen, for her part, discussed the pair’s plans to coparent their children in her own statement, writing, “The decision to end a marriage is never easy but we have grown apart and while it is, of course, difficult to go through something like this, I feel blessed for the time we had together and only wish the best for Tom always.”