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How Heidi Klum Dealt With A Difficult Divorce By Putting Her Children First
Heidi Klum
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Christian Siriano)

How Heidi Klum Dealt With A Difficult Divorce By Putting Her Children First

Heidi Klum's divorce from Seal came as a shock and it certainly was not easy for the supermodel, especially when children are involved.

It’s never been hard to love Heidi Klum. Throughout her career as a supermodel, the German-American beauty has wowed fans with her sweet demeanour and positive attitude just as much as her drop-dead looks.

It’s no wonder that her fans want to know all they can about Heidi, especially considering her past relationships, and her latest love story. At 47 years old, this enduring beauty has four kids, is now married for the third time, and couldn’t be happier.

She married German Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz, 16 years her junior, back in 2019. Her kids adore him, and really, they’re a modern day Brady bunch. But those who know her may be aware that it hasn’t always been a smooth road for the blonde beauty. Heidi went through a really rough, high profile divorce with singer Seal a few years back, and yet still she managed to bounce back stronger. 

So—what’s her trick? What’s the key to boldly stepping out of the wreckage of one relationship and into another, with one’s beautiful children by one’s side? What’s the key to blissfully parenting a blended family without a hitch? What’s the key to staying young at heart, starting over with a younger man, and not caving to the stereotypes that box so many women in? What gives Heidi Klum such panache?

Heidi’s complicated romantic history

Tom Kaulitz is Klum's third husband. She has opened up about how she feels about him, saying, “He enjoys life and is very generous. He’s super kind. I just found my partner finally, you know?” But before Heidi found the love of her life, she had a bevy of other relationships. 

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Heidi Klum and Ric Pipino (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Heidi was first married to stylist Ric Pipino back in 1997. Unfortunately, their marriage was not forever material, and they got a divorce in 2002. Heidi was about 29 at the time. 

Roughly a year after her first divorce, Heidi started dating Italian formula one manager Flavio Briatore. They went public in 2003, and by the end of that year, she was pregnant with her first child. But while she was pregnant, she and Flavio split up after he cheated on her. 

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Heidi Klum and Flavio Briatore (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Heidi’s most famous relationship by far was with British singer Seal (born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel), who she began dating in 2004. In fact, when she gave birth to her daughter, Seal was by her side, quickly becoming an adoptive father to Helene ‘Leni’ Boshoven Samuel (now 16).

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The couple married less than a year later, and welcomed three children over the next five years: Henry Günther Ademola Dashtu Samuel, 15, Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel, 14, and Lou Sulola Samuel, now 11. Although their marriage was magic for several years, sadly their story did not end happily, and they filed for divorce in 2012. 

After Seal, Heidi immediately rebounded with her bodyguard Martin Kirsten, dating him from 2012-2014, and then she dated art gallery owner Vito Schnabel from 2014-2017. 

Which bring us to her current love, Tom Kaulitz. While working with Germany’s Next Top Model, she had a friend working on the show who also happened to be a friend of Tom’s. Since Heidi and Tom were both German, and both recently divorced, their mutual friend introduced them. Well…suffice it to say, that was just the beginning! In May 2018, the couple went public with their romance.

But before love, a difficult divorce

But let’s go back to that difficult divorce, shall we? It might be easy to overlook what with the immediate rebound and the relationships that followed. But just because Heidi has been undeterred in her romantic life does not mean she didn’t have some healing to do. 

When Heidi Klum and Seal filed for divorce after seven years of marriage, fans were stunned. They had seemed like the very definition of #relationshipgoals. But as is the case with any relationship, no one on the outside ever fully knows how things are. “Obviously things have changed,”  she said, “but they haven’t changed drastically. [Seal] was never your typical dad who left for work in the morning with his briefcase and would be home by dinner time every night. He traveled a lot. The kids knew it was part of his job. I’m a mom and a dad at the same time.” 

Seal also reportedly had an anger issues, which was another reason for their split. Heidi had become concerned about his temper, which scared her at times, and she worried about the effect it was having on their children.

Heidi filed for divorce in 2012, but it wasn’t till 2014 that their divorce was finalized after two straight years of hammering out the details. Although they initially agreed to the terms and conditions of a confidential custody and co-parenting agreement, there was a bit of drama back in the summer when Heidi wanted to travel to Germany with the children to film the next season of Germany’s Next Top Model during the pandemic. Although Seal initially resisted the idea, they finally came to an agreement which enabled Heidi and the children to visit her home country.

How Heidi dealt with the end of an era 

While a 7-year marriage may not qualify as “an era,” those who’ve been divorced know that time is often relative. Heidi and Seal had a profound relationship that began when she was pregnant with another man's child. What followed were many beautiful years of family and togetherness. But although Heidi had no choice but to process difficult feelings as things came to an end with Seal, she has never closed herself off to love in the wake of their divorce. 

Rather than giving up on relationships or, worse yet, entering into a new relationship and making  the same mistakes, Heidi saw the divorce as a learning opportunity—so when she was ready to tie the knot again, things were quite different.

Why? Because she did the work. She had observed the weak areas and incompatibility issues in her past relationships, and the next time around she chose someone who was just as open to her kids as he was to her. No matter what anyone tells you, even the most deeply ingrained toxic relationship patterns can be broken with a little self-reflection and some emotional work.

Her priority remains her children

Heidi has talked about raising her children in the spotlight, revealing that they are all pursuing separate paths. “I’m not putting any seeds in my kids’ heads of what they should do. I want them to come up with their own things. For example, my oldest son…I think he has his dad’s voice. It has that husky, sexy kind of voice that Seal has. I’m always like Henry, you have such a beautiful voice, but he doesn’t want to. He loves sports.” 

Her oldest daughter Leni wants to explore both dancing and modeling, and is the only one in the family who has expressed an interest in following in her mother’s footsteps. One thing’s for sure, all four of Heidi Klum’s children are just as keen about being fashionable as their mother is. 

There’s truly nothing Heidi wouldn’t do for her children, and for now this includes protectively keeping them out of the spotlight and largely off social media.

The right man will love your children too

“He’s really game for anything. We’re very similar that way,” Heidi has said of Tom. Although their age gap comes up regularly, she doesn’t think about it much. “You have to just live a happy life without worrying too much about what people think because worrying is only going to give you more wrinkles,” she has wisely said.

Indeed, Heidi Klum’s love story with Tom Kaulitz seems one for the books, beyond all questions of age difference: before popping the question on Christmas eve of 2018, Tom first asked Heidi’s children for their blessing.

According to a friend of Heidi’s, “They went to Mexico before their engagement, around Thanksgiving, and that’s when he started talking to the kids about his plans in secret and it was so hard for them to not tell anyone. They were so excited and happy for their mom.” 

Tom Kaulitz not only gets along with Heidi Klum’s children, but they often travel together as a family. In 2019 for instance, the couple vacationed in their native Germany and brought the kids along, visiting Berlin before going to see Tom’s band perform in concert. Tom has also been teaching the kids how to play guitar.

Theirs is a happy family dynamic. While it’s true that ‘family’ isn’t always so straightforward when a parent marries a new partner, this family has made it look easy, natural, and oh-so-fun. Let that be an inspiration never to remain in a bad relationship ‘for your children.’ There is always the possibility of a new love when old patterns are broken and new ones are created.

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