In the wake of news that Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen are getting divorced, it reminded us of the time we covered Bundchen when she was at the height of her supermodel fame.
It was 2004 and she was among the most photogenic women in the Western world who, as part of the Victoria’s Secret Angels, stopped in for an autograph session at the lingerie giant’s Lincoln Road store in Miami Beach.
Then-Features reporter Staci Sturrock and photographer Bill Ingram headed south to cover the event.
What they found was what Sturrock described as “the retail equivalent of early voting.”
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A line of ordinary-looking folks “snaked along the building and doubled, tripled, quadrupled back upon itself,” she reported.
“Grown men ditched work. Kids skipped school. An activist group chartered a plane pulling a message of protest, and security took itself, surprise, seriously.
“We’re clear on the roof,” announced one fireplug of a guard as he rushed past a crush of photographers, awaiting the Angels while smushed into an alcove of rhinestone-decorated thongs and comically padded brassieres.
The modeling giants consisted of Bundchen (pre-Brady), Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen, and supporting cast Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.
‘Angels Across America’ tour made stops in New York, Vegas, L.A.
They were there as part of a whirlwind tour of New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami to wave at fans and hand out free “Angels Across America” T-shirts, to anyone buying $50 of VS merchandise.
At the Lincoln Road store, the models fielded hardball questions such as, “What do you want for Christmas?”
“I’m a fragrance girl, I like the fragrances,” said Banks.
“I know Gisele just did that Basic Instinct (fragrance campaign), so I’m going to have her hook me up with some of that.”
A question was asked of Bundchen: Why wasn’t she traveling with her constant companion, Vida? (Vida wasn’t a boyfriend; it was a dog).
“She’s not here because Heidi brought her baby. I thought it’d be better — imagine, baby crying, dog barking — so she stayed home.
“Fans, meanwhile, stayed in the sun,” Staci reported, “some waiting almost three hours to cast glances at the glamourpusses inside.”
Which was odd, at least for Bundchen.
“I think they’re crazy!” Gisele said about the fans. “I don’t know what they’re doing here — I would never stand in line for a model!”
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Superstar QB Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bundchen file for divorce