Gisele Bundchen‘s Jiu-Jitsu instructor Joaquim Valente has been a source of support for the supermodel during her divorce from Tom Brady.
“They’ve been close for a while and did a photo shoot together last year,” a source tells Life & Style exclusively, continuing, “They did keep in touch, and he was a shoulder to lean on amid the divorce.”
The supermodel, 42, and the Brazilian athlete were photographed together along with the two children she shares with Tom — son Benjamin, 12, and daughter Vivian, 9 — at a restaurant in Costa Rica not far from her longtime home in the tropical country.
While there was speculation that Gisele had already jumped into the dating pool, a source told Life & Style there is nothing romantic between them and they are just “long-time” pals.
The Brazilian beauty has been seen in videos grappling with Joaquim while showing off her Jiu-Jitsu skills. She thanked the brothers, who own three Valente Brother Jiu-Jitsu gyms across South Florida, in a February Instagram post.
“I believe the more tools we have in our toolbox the better. I feel stronger, more confidence and empowered since I started practicing self-defense,” Gisele wrote, adding, “I feel it’s an important skill for all, but specially for us women. Thank you @ValenteBrothers for … making training so much fun. I am looking forward to keep improving. Let’s go!”
Tom, 45, commented on her post by joking, “My days of leaving dishes in the sink are numbered,” about his wife’s impressive martial arts talent.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and the environmental activist confirmed their split after 13 years of marriage on October 28, amid reports that Gisele was furious about Tom’s decision to un-retire from the NFL and return to play for a 23rd season in the league.
“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,” Gisele wrote in her announcement confirming the divorce had already been finalized.
In his statement, also posted to Instagram, Tom wrote, “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.”