Tom Brady could still save his marriage to Gisele Bündchen.
Brady and Bündchen have reportedly hired divorce attorneys, and the NFL star was spotted in a video sans wedding ring, but “no one benefits” from a divorce, brand expert Eric Schiffer explained to Fox News Digital.
The divorce, which is allegedly being “steered” by Bündchen, could harm both of their brands, according to Schiffer.
“She is the one steering the divorce,” a source told People magazine. “She is playing offense, and he is playing defense. He wants to protect himself, protect his interests, but he’s only starting to go the legal route in his defense from her. He doesn’t want this to be ugly, he doesn’t want to fight. If the divorce is happening — and it seems like it is — he wants it to go as smoothly as possible.”
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However, Schiffer told Fox News Digital that he isn’t convinced Brady and Bündchen’s marriage will “end catastrophically.”
“You have two people who are strong, high achievers that have a family. They have children involved and both are aware of that,” he said. “As focused as Brady is on performance, he also is aware of what it means to be a father that performs and a husband that performs. I think Gisele [is] making a boundary and a strong one.”
“But it would not surprise me to see Tom, who over the years has been a master at great comebacks, find[s] a way to make this work and for them to reconcile on behalf of the children in a way that still allows him to do what he does — but perhaps with greater sensitivity to the family and Gisele’s needs.”
Brady and Bündchen married in 2009 after beginning their relationship in December 2006. The start of their journey to love was rocky. Brady’s ex-girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant with the football star’s first child at the time.
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Since then, both have curated their own brands and lead successful careers — Tom Brady as an NFL star and Bündchen as a supermodel. A divorce could affect their brands if things get “ugly,” according to the brand expert.
“For instance, if they decide that one or both couldn’t contain themselves, or they get, you know, ferocious lawyers that decide to throw claims, then all bets are off because things could come out that the public doesn’t know,” Schiffer said. “And that could affect brand relationships and brand alignments. And so, of course, that has a dotted line back to revenue. And it could also turn off those that were fans of either or both based upon a persona and a level of public conduct that obviously is going to now change.”
Schiffer says “no one” benefits in the dissolution of marriage between Brady and Bündchen.
“If they do decide to file for a divorce, no one benefits from this being public. They both have classy brands that are seen as the pinnacle of excellence in terms of what they do, whether it’s modeling or being a football star. And in cases like that, they’ve also built a lot of trust with brands,” Schiffer said. “And when things get messy and there’s a lot of naming verbally or through court action that is dangerous to brand relationships and to a splintering of your audience base.”
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“Most importantly, it’s extremely painful to the children. So, their focus, I’m sure, is going to be to limit negative media headlines for the children’s sake because, you know, they’re going to have it thrown in their faces by their friends and people they go to school with,” he added. “There still is an opportunity for Tom to Band-Aid this at the last minute as he is known to do.”
However, the media coverage has seemingly been focused on what Bündchen thinks about the marriage — with most coverage coming from sources.
“I think Gisele is handling the headlines perhaps better in the short run. And her desire is to have the family that she wants and to have a partner that’s going to be more sensitive behaviorally to her needs at this part, at this point, in her life,” Schiffer said.
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The brand expert noted that Bündchen was likely “whiplashed” by Brady’s decision to un-retire. Brady originally announced that he was retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons on Feb. 1. However, just 40 days later, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback announced he actually was not retiring.
“I think she was whiplashed by Brady’s desire to get back in — in many ways like an addict,” Schiffer said. “But it’s understandable when he’s been given the gifts that he has, and he recognizes as well because he takes care of himself, that he’s got more time, and he could still do and achieve more. And it certainly is an emotional high for him to participate, but he doesn’t want to blow up his family and have it go boom.”
“And so this is really the first serious crisis that he’s had to face. But this is a man who is a master at managing — in a calm way — crisis,” he added. “I expect there will be some reconciliation at some point. It may not look like it initially but at some point to prevent a detonation of what has been a storybook marriage in most cases.”
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