Their friendship turned into more 10 months ago —and now supermodel Gisele Bündchen and jiujitsu instructor Joaquim Valente are finally going public.

Looks can be deceiving. A year ago in March 2023 – almost six months after finalizing her split from NFL legend Tom Brady — Gisele addressed rumors that she was secretly dating Joaquim, the jiujitsu expert who’d been training her and her children. “I think, at this point, unfortunately, because I’m divorced, I’m sure that they’re going to try to attach me to anything,” she told Vanity Fair, denying a romance. “I’m so grateful to know [Joaquim and his brothers],” she added, “because not only have they helped me and helped my kids, but they have become great friends, and Joaquim especially.”

Then everything changed. On February 14, the supermodel and the martial artist were photographed kissing in Miami — and it was soon confirmed that last summer, their friendship quietly evolved into more. Now, 10 months later, “Gisele’s in love and she’s not looking back. She and Joaquim are so happy together that they refuse to hide it anymore,” a source exclusively tells Life & Style, noting that the couple’s chemistry “is off the charts. And they no longer care who knows about it.”

Natural Attraction

Perhaps it was inevitable. Gisele, 43, and Joaquim — who she’s said started training her in December 2021 — are both natives of Brazil. They’ve spent an extraordinary amount of time together in Florida as well as Costa Rica and Brazil, where they’ve been spotted doing everything from paddleboarding and walking on the beach to jogging, riding horses and hitting the gym. “Aside from their super-steamy physical attraction, Gisele and Joaquim connect on many different levels,” the source shares with Life & Style. “Their Brazilian culture is probably No. 1, but their love of fitness and health and their shared sense of humor give them even more in common.”

Joaquim’s also on board with Gisele’s lifestyle choices, which include daily meditation and rising at 5 a.m. Last year, she revealed she gave up booze, too. “I haven’t drank alcohol in over two years, and it’s amazing how much more clear [I feel],” she said. That clarity helped her face the end of her 13-year marriage to Tom. Following years of ups-and-downs that the now-retired quarterback, 46, has admitted often centered on his commitment to football over family, the pair’s union crumbled in 2022. “Gisele was in a rut,” the source admits to Life & Style, explaining that friends believe sobriety and the love and patience of a new partner “helped save her life — Joaquim’s been really supportive and is a great influence.”

Sharing Their Secret

They’ve cherished their privacy. “They didn’t publicly reveal they’re a couple for so long to protect Gisele’s kids [Benjamin, 14, and Vivian, 11] and, in a way, Tom as well,” says the source, pointing out that Gisele did make sure to privately sit her children down once her relationship status with Joaquim changed. “She also didn’t want it to look like Joaquim was the reason she
and Tom broke up, even though those rumors still persist.”

Indeed, a February 21 report suggested that the duo started seeing each other as early as 2021. “Tom himself had questions,” the source reveals to Life & Style. “He straight out asked her if she cheated and Gisele denied it and that was that.”

The pictures of her and Joaquim kissing, however, “were still hard for Tom to see,” adds the source, “despite the fact that he’s also dating people again,” including model Irina Shayk, 38.

It’s a happy time for Gisele, though. “She doesn’t want anything or anyone getting in the way of her relationship with Joaquim. She sees a future that could include marriage and possibly even more children,” says the source. “Tom is getting used to it, the kids are fine with it, and that’s all that matters.”