Gisele Bündchen on contemplating suicide amid stress from modeling career: Felt ‘suffocated’

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132 shares, 193 points

Gisele Bündchen gets candid in a new interview about the mental health struggles she experienced at the peak of her modeling career.

The supermodel, 43, shares in an upcoming episode of “CBS News Sunday Morning” that she battled panic attacks at a point in her life due to her stressful work demands.

“You know, I was in tunnels,” she tells journalist Lee Cowan.

“I couldn’t breathe. And then I started being in studios, and I felt, like, suffocated.”

Bündchen recalls living on the ninth floor of a building at the time and having to take the stairs out of fear she’d get stuck in the elevator.

“I’d be hyperventilating. … You know when you can’t breathe even when the windows are open, you feel like, I don’t want to live like this, you know what I mean?”

Cown, 58, then bluntly asks whether the former Victoria’s Secret Angel really thought “about jumping.”

“Yeah. For, like, a second,” Bündchen responds.

Bündchen says she struggled with panic attacks at the peak of her modeling career.
Getty Images

The Brazilian beauty first opened up about her suicide ideations in 2018 ahead of the release of her memoir, “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.”

“I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my roof, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,’” she told People at the time, while promoting her book.

Bündchen also wrote about the incident in her memoir, noting that she once felt like “everything in [her] life was going to kill [her].”

Gisele Bündchen walking a runway in an all-black outfit.
The supermodel reveals in a new interview she once thought about “jumping” to end her life.

“The idea swept over me then: Maybe it will be easier if I just jump. It will be all over,” she wrote. “I can get out of this.”

The fashion model added, “When I think back on that moment, and that 23-year-old girl, I want to cry. I want to tell her that everything will be all right, that she hasn’t even begun to live her life. But in that moment, the only answer seemed to be to jump.”

Bündchen tells “CBS News Sunday Morning” that she is “in a different place” in her life now.

Gisele Bündchen on a beach with CBS journalist Lee Cowan.
Bündchen claims she is now in a better frame of mind.
CBS News/ Sunday Morning

“I’m able to choose more of what I want,” the author says from her home in Costa Rica. “I think before I was more surviving, and now I’m living, which is different.”

Bündchen was once the highest-paid model in the industry — earning around $17.5 million in a single year — but gave up walking the catwalks in 2015.

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Earlier this year, she teased when asked about a return to the runway, “Never say never.”

The 5-foot-11 stunner is still in high demand, landing fashion campaigns with brands like Victoria’s Secret, Iconic and Louis Vuitton.

Gisele Bündchen modeling in a Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Bündchen was once the highest-paid model in the world.
Getty Images

Aside from her professional pursuits, she has recently been in the headlines for her October 2022 divorce from Tom Brady, with whom she shares son Benjamin, 13, and daughter Vivian, 10.

Bündchen is also set to chat about the high-profile split on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” which airs Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on CBS.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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132 shares, 193 points

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