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  • What's Behind Heidi Klum and Seal's Heartbreak...
What's Behind Heidi Klum and Seal's Heartbreak...
Written by
Jill Johnson
January 2012
Written by
Jill Johnson
January 2012

As I pondered whether I should blog about Heidi and Seal’s separation, I got input from my eight-year-old: “No mom, that’s mean,” and from my husband, “Only if it would be insightful.” Hmmm. Well, I happened to have just finished reading an article in the New York Times Magazine about the novel and how many current novelists—even great ones—”delight” but fail to “instruct,” which means their art won’t “endure.” Fortunately this blog post only must endure a few days of prime placement; a few weeks and it will be knocked into the obscurity of the “See More Posts” page. So, I’ll attempt to be insightful but if I merely delight people with some non-mean-spirited gossip, I think it will be okay.

Seal and Heidi

That being said, obviously there is nothing delightful about the parents of four children splitting up. For a while there, it seemed like two famous people had overcome the odds and were going to live happily ever after in Hollywood. Then, crash, the perfect picture cracked. I can’t say I’m really surprised.

First, Heidi hasn’t had the best track record with men. Her first marriage to the reputedly super sweet hairdresser Ric Pipino didn’t last.

Heidi and First Husband Ric Pipino

It seemed she’d picked him for all the right reasons—nice, low-key, good guy (not conventionally good looking)—but when I saw her working an Elite party without him by her side, I could imagine him getting left behind.  "He hates this PR stuff,” she told me, and clearly she loved it and could smile and chat with a fashion crowd for hours. When they did split up (fortunately with no kids to complicate matters), Heidi took up with Flavio Briatore, a multi-millionaire Italian playboy 23 years her senior. Six months later, she announced she was pregnant, right around the same time he started smooching on another young beauty in public. (How does he get these women? Is money really so alluring? A few years ago, at age 58, he married a 28-year-old model. Maybe she didn’t catch the news back in 2004, cuz the message seemed loud and clear to me: cad!)

Flavio Briatore, Biological Father of Leni

Enter Seal, also an older man, but not an old man at least. Even the boyfriend Heidi had in Miami 18 years ago was older—a mediocre producer with medicore looks—so I don’t know if there’s some father figure thing going on, but I always thought she should find herself a nice guy her own age (or a few years younger, like I did).

Second, Seal dated supermodel Tatjana Patitz before Heidi, which like Briatore before him (who dated Naomi Campbell), makes him look like a modelizer. Or worse, a supermodelizer. Did he marry Heidi for Heidi, or because she’d been dubbed “The Body”? Considering Heidi had a bump infringing on her flat abs when Seal rescued her, I couldn’t help but hope he fell in love with the former. But, then again, I’d met Seal and had reason to be skeptical. My best friend, Sophie, is Tatjana’s sister. Pre-Heidi, Seal attended Sophie’s intimate wedding in Provence as Tatjana’s date. He was very reserved—the strong, silent type. When they connected, I couldn’t envision him with warm and bubbly Heidi. Also, I’d heard that Seal and Tatjana’s relationship wasn’t so quiet behind closed doors, and I don’t think that had to do with just one of them being difficult. Seal has revealed that he was abused by his father as a child, which no doubt plays a role in the “volcanic temper” Heidi has mentioned lately. This is just gossip, though. Seal has his redeeming qualities. He adopted little Helene (“Leni”) as his own (Briatore is not involved in her life). Perhaps Heidi and Seal’s only mistake was having another baby a year later, and another baby a year after that, then one more a few years later (two years ago). That pace is enough to do in the strongest of couples, let alone one whose honeymoon was a babymoon and whose lives are under a media microscope.

The couple released this statement:

“While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate. We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition. We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children’s sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy.”

With that, I’ll stop dishing and just say, from a fellow mom of four, best of luck to Heidi in finding happiness for herself and her children.

Read my interview with Heidi from back when life was less complicated: modelingmentor.com

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