'I was suffering from crippling anxiety and panic attacks': Gisele Bündchen reveals she would drink a bottle of wine a night and chain smoke before doctors warned she would DIE if she didn't change her lifestyle

  • The Brazilian supermodel, 41, detailed her unhealthy habits and mental health struggles in a candid chat
  • Alongside a British Vogue shoot, Gisele said she felt like she had hit 'rock bottom' at the height of her career
  • She also recalled one of the 'most traumatizing moments' of her career at London Fashion Week in 1998
  • Gisele also detailed her relationship with NFL quarterback Tom Brady and their family life 




Gisele Bündchen has revealed that doctors warned her she would die if she didn't make drastic changes to her lifestyle. 

The Brazilian supermodel, 41, was one of the highest-paid supermodels in the world in her 20s and was credited with ending the heroin chic era of modeling due to her curvaceous figure, yet she has now revealed that while she may have looked healthy she was secretly battling several health demons. 

Speaking to British Vogue, Gisele confessed that she'd 'hit rock bottom' as she drank too much and chain smoked while suffering from 'crippling anxiety and panic attacks'. 

She explained: 'From the outside, it looked like I had everything and I was just 22 years old. On the inside, I felt as if I'd hit rock bottom, I was starting my day with a mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and three cigarettes, then drinking a bottle of wine every night. Imagine what that was doing to my mind...

'I was suffering from crippling anxiety': Gisele Bündchen has revealed she would drink a bottle of wine a night and chain smoke in her 20s before doctors warned she would DIE if she didn't change her lifestyle (pictured in 2000 aged 21) 

Gisele recalled how a friend recommended she seek help from a naturopath, who immediately prescribed an all-encompassing detox.  

Removing sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes from her lifestyle came with intense withdrawal symptoms, as the runway star explained.

'I think those were the worst migraines I've ever had in my life. The doctor, he was French, would call me Adrenalina. I remember him saying, "Well, do you want to live?" It was that simple.' 

Three months later, Gisele's debilitating symptoms were as good as gone, with the star rising at 5am daily to meditate and work out.   

Now, in her 40s and happily married with two children, she told how she feels 'like I'm just beginning'.

Cover girl: Speaking to British Vogue , Gisele confessed that she'd 'hit rock bottom' as she drank too much and chain smoked while suffering from 'crippling anxiety and panic attacks'

She revealed: 'I think I feel better in my forties than I did in my twenties and not just physically, because we're all told that life is over at 40 and I feel like I'm just beginning.'

In December 2006, Gisele met her now-husband, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, on a blind date. 

Fast forward three years and two months, the pair tied the knot in a small Santa Monica ceremony and went on to have two children, Benjamin, 12, and nine-year-old Vivian. 

Gisele is also stepmum to Tom's teenage son, John, 14, from her husband's previous relationship. 

The former Victoria's Secret Angel believes the key to a successful partnership is to be 'to be really in sync', yet revealed why raising children with the seven-time Super Bowl champion is not the 'fairy tale' most people imagine it would be. 

Long-lasting love: In December 2006, Gisele met her now-husband, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, on a blind date. They tied the knot three years later (pictured May 2018)

Sharing her wisdom, she said: 'I don't think relationships just happen; it's never the fairy tale people want to believe it is. It takes work to be really in sync with someone, especially after you have kids. 

'His [Tom's] focus is on his career, mine is mostly on the kids. And I'm very grateful that he lets me take the reins when it comes to our family. He trusts my decisions.'

The Brazilian beauty went on to explain how successful relationships 'don't just happen' and recalled times when they didn't always see eye to eye.

'I remember, in the beginning, he wasn’t into the idea of home birth,' she told the magazine. 'He was like, ‘You’re not going to do that, because you’re going to die.'

Eventually after showing him multiple videos on home birthing, she says he got on board.

'I made it clear that this is my body and I’m going to decide how I give birth,' the mother-of-two stated. 

Happy memories: The couple have two children, Benjamin, 12, and nine-year-old Vivian. Giselle is also stepmum to Tom's teenage son, John, 14, (back left) from his previous relationship (pictured in February)

As well as a print interview with the fashion bible, Gisele sat down for a video chat in which she recalled one of the 'most traumatizing moments' of her career -  being reduced to tears at an Alexander McQueen fashion show in 1998 when she saw the incredibly skimpy, breast-baring outfit she had to model on the catwalk.

Gisele was just 18 when she made her debut at London Fashion Week in the late nineties, an experience that she now admits is one of the darker memories from her decades-long career.

'This was one of the most traumatizing moments,' Gisele recalled, adding: 'I didn't have a fitting so when I showed up at the show, I was like, "So what am I wearing?"

'I could say a few words [in English at the time] but I didn't understand half the things, [so] I just pretended I understood. I had no clue. And I was like, "Is it a T-shirt or something?" No, it was this. So I started crying.'

Flashing flesh: Gisele also recalled one of the 'most traumatizing moments' of her career - being reduced to tears at an Alexander McQueen fashion show in 1998 when she saw the incredibly skimpy, breast-baring outfit she had to model

According to Gisele, her emotional outburst was not only upsetting to her however - but also the makeup artist, who begged her to stop crying lest she ruin the work they had done on her face.

'I had these feathers attached to my lashes so as I was crying they were ungluing and the makeup artist was like, "Please don't cry!"' she recalled. 'I was walking the whole time thinking, "I hope my dad doesn't ever see this picture." That's why I have the memory of this show.'

However, the model insists she has chalked the 'traumatizing' experience up to a learning opportunity, adding: ' All I wanted to do was leave but, you know, it's one of those things that makes you stronger.'

Gisele also shared her shock at earning a spot in the runway lineup, explaining that she went to dozens of castings ahead of London Fashion Week, only for designers and their staff to refuse to look at her book, simply because she didn't fit into the 'heroin chic' aesthetic that was so popular at the time.

'I didn't speak English, it was my first show season in London, I did 42 castings,' she said. 'I remember going to all of these castings and nobody would even look at my book because it was the "heroin chic" time and I didn't look anything like "heroin chic" obviously.

Covering up: The supermodel admitted that she grew increasingly 'uncomfortable' with showing off her rear end on the catwalk and began asking that her bottom be covered up in shows (pictured at the 2005 Victoria's Secret show) 

Gisele - who became a household name after signing as a Victoria's Secret Angel - also admitted that she grew concerned about how much of herself she was baring on the catwalk when modeling for the lingerie giant.

Sharing an image of herself walking in her final Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2005, the supermodel admitted that she had reached a point where she insisted her back be covered at all times because it made her so 'uncomfortable' having her 'butt hanging out' on the catwalk.

'I always made sure that my back was covered because it just made me uncomfortable walking on a runway with my butt hanging out [with people] looking up [at me],' she said.

'I was like, that's not going to happen. But I always had fun on the shows, it was always a production.'

Ultimately, she opted to sign with the lingerie brand because of the enormous amount of money she was offered, revealing that it was the most money she has ever made in her career.

'At that moment in 2000, you either did catalogs, or you did fashion, they really didn't mix' she recalled, while showing off an image of herself wearing a $15 million ruby-encrusted bra for the brand's famous fashion show.

'It's like, if you did Vogue and if you did the shows, you didn't really do catalogs. So when I signed the contract with them, I remember calling my agent and saying, "What are we going to do?" because they were offering me a lot of money.

'I mean, it's more money than I've made in entire career since I was 14 [and] working. And I had to make a decision if I was going to do this contract. But at the same time, it was like, if I did this contract, maybe I would never do fashion again because it was this thing.

'But I was, you know, 19 years old and I was like, I don't know how much I'm going to last here. I'd been in the business since I was 14, I saw so many girls that were working and the next day you never saw them again.

'So I was like, you know what, they're paying me great, they're paying me more money than I could ever imagine. So I think I'm going to say yes to it. But I have to take the risk. So I signed it and... everything worked out!'

See the full feature in the June issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday May 24. 

She's made it: Gisele said that signing with Victoria's Secret was a 'risk' but it paid off as 'everything worked out' in the end 


Gisele Bundchen, 41, reveals she would drink a bottle of wine a night and chain-smoke in her 20s

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