Heidi Klum has made a name for herself all over the world as the host of Project Runway and a judge on America’s Got Talent. But, of course, it was her career as a model that first catapulted her into the spotlight. While opening up about her upbringing to Forbes in 2012, the German-born multi-talent revealed, “We weren’t poor, but we didn’t have a lot of stuff.” However, that all changed when an 18-year-old Klum entered a TV modeling contest in 1992. Competing against 30,000 other contestants, Klum took the crown, won a $300,000 modeling contract, and eventually settled down roots in New York City. After begging her booker to get her an audition for Victoria’s Secret, Klum would work with the famous brand from 1997 to 2010.
While Klum’s modeling success and subsequent television roles are well-documented, there’s so much more to this star than what meets the eye. From her three marriages and unexpected good luck charms to how she’s dealt with haters like President Donald Trump, Klum’s sense of humor and incredible personality have made her a fan-favorite among the general public. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known facts and juicy tidbits about Heidi Klum’s life.
Heidi Klum: once, twice, three times a wifey
Heidi Klum seems to really love being in love. In July 2019, Page Six reported that a 46-year-old Klum had secretly tied the knot with 29-year-old musician Tom Kaulitz that February. Having previously announced their engagement on Instagram on Christmas Eve of 2018, the pair later celebrated their nuptials with their loved ones in a second ceremony, which was held in Capri, Italy in early August 2019. However, Klum’s marriage to rocker Kaulitz wasn’t her first, as the model had been hitched twice before.
Klum first married celebrity hair stylist Ric Pipino in 1997, after he proposed at the top of the Empire State Building (via People). When the former couple separated in 2002, Klum’s rep simply told Hello! magazine, “The split is mutual and amicable.” Three years later, the former Project Runway host tied the knot with singer Seal. The exes share four children, one of whom – daughter Leni – the “Kiss from a Rose” hitmaker adopted from one of Klum’s previous relationships (but more on this below). Unlike other celeb breakups, Klum and Seal have thankfully remained on good terms ever since announcing their separation in 2012 and finalizing their divorce two years later. In 2015, Klum told Entertainment Tonight, “Co-parenting is very important and he is a great man.”
Klum's four kiddos always come first
When Heidi Klum met ex-husband Seal, she was already pregnant with her first child. E! News reports that she gave birth to daughter Leni, who was conceived during the model’s former relationship with Italian businessman Flavio Briatore, in 2004. Klum subsequently welcomed three more children during her marriage to Seal: son Henry in 2005, son Johan in 2008, and daughter Lou in 2009.
Unsurprisingly, Klum’s four children are her top priority. “My kids have been photographed since the day they were born,” she told The Times in 2015, explaining that she’s a total “worrywart” when it comes to her kiddos, especially whenever they’re followed by the paparazzi. This also means that third husband Tom Kaulitz reportedly had to be kid-approved prior to popping the question. “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,” a source cited by People claimed in January 2019. “They were so excited and happy for their mom.” The insider continued, “Tom went to the kids and asked for Heidi’s hand in marriage and they said ‘yes.'”
Raise your hand if you think this is beyond adorable.
Heidi Klum's dad likes to make home videos
While speaking with The Times in 2015, Heidi Klum revealed something seriously surprising: the model-designer’s father, Günther, was not only present for the births of all four of her children, but he filmed them too. “I want to have a film for my kids,” she told the publication. “If they don’t want to see it, we can throw it away.” As for why her dad held the responsibility of filming the births, Klum explained, “I wanted Seal by my side, not busy filming. And I don’t want to hire someone I don’t know. Like, ‘Hey, can you film that?'”
If anyone’s weirded out by this idea, Klum had this to say: “I had no problem with my dad doing it at all. I’m his kid. He made me! So he can watch my kids being born. To me, that is totally normal.” In fact, Klum is so comfortable with her parents that she’s not afraid of a little nudity, having previously told Tatler (via the Daily Mail), “I grew up in a very easy-going family where my parents were always naked.” However, she went on to clarify, “It’s not like we’re hippies and we run around naked.” We can’t really imagine asking our parents to film us giving birth, but to each their own.
Klum's lucky charm is … a bag of teeth?
If you thought that casual nudity around family was a little much, then Heidi Klum’s good luck charms might freak you out just a little. During a 2003 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Klum was asked about the rumor that she carries a bag of her baby teeth around with her. Noting that she doesn’t “advertise it,” the Project Runway host admitted, “I did show somebody once and it fell under the seat and the flight attendant came over and he’s like, ‘Can I help you?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m just looking for my teeth.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh.’ I had to find it — it’s not good luck if I leave the tooth on the plane.”
Six years later, Klum whipped the bag of teeth out while speaking with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, and explained how this unexpected habit actually began. “We don’t have a tooth fairy [in Germany], so I put them in a little bag,” she told the surprised late-night host (via Stuff), before adding, “I don’t know if it’s good luck, it’s just a crazy thing that I do.” Understandably, Leno had a pretty hilarious response to the reveal, telling the supermodel, “Any fantasy I had is pretty much over now.” And for us too.
Karl Lagerfeld wasn't a Heidi Klum fan
Heidi Klum might have achieved worldwide celebrity, but not everyone warmed to the model when she was starting out. In fact, late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld didn’t necessarily hide his apparent disdain for Klum after she covered GQ Germany in March 2009. Calling her “more bling-bling than current fashion,” Lagerfeld said, “It may be Victoria’s Secret, but it is not my secret” (via Vogue). According to Gawker, he went on to claim in a true slight to the star, “I don’t know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn’t know who she is.”
For her part, Klum seemingly hit back at the fashion icon years later while speaking with Allure in 2012. “I never did fashion shows — not in Paris or Berlin or even in New York City,” the supermodel revealed. As for the reason why she wasn’t strictly a fashion show model, Klum continued, “I tried, but no one would book me.” Still, she seems to have done pretty well regardless, don’t you think?
Heidi Klum would love to give Simon Cowell a makeover
Having served as a judge on America’s Got Talent for six years, Heidi Klum decided to leave the show in February 2019. But after spending so long working alongside fellow judge Simon Cowell, the model-turned-television personality unsurprisingly had some pretty strong thoughts about the music mogul. “Since the day I met him, everyone was always like, ‘Simon’s coming!’ Very afraid of him,” Klum told Elle in 2018, while discussing the world’s fascination with Cowell. However, it seems as though there’s one thing Klum has always wanted to change about the former American Idol judge: “I just went up to him and said, ‘So, Simon, when are we going to do a makeover?'”
Bold words to share with the man best known as reality TV’s resident meanie. During the same interview, Klum was shown a photo of Cowell which required her approval. “What belt is he wearing with this? I’m sorry,” she replied, as she apparently couldn’t help commenting on Cowell’s dress sense. “You don’t wear that kind of belt with that outfit,” Klum added. “I would have made that dark.”
Basically, if Simon Cowell is ever in need of an updated wardrobe, it sounds like Heidi Klum is ready and willing to lend to hand.
Klum had the best response to Donald Trump's diss
While future President of the United States Donald Trump was probably meant to be talking about politics in a 2015 interview with The New York Times, he instead randomly decided to rate Heidi Klum’s appearance: “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.” Ouch. However, the supermodel quickly clapped back by sharing an epic video on Twitter, which featured a man in a Trump mask ripping the number 10 from the Klum’s t-shirt, only to reveal a 9.99 underneath. Proving that she has the best sense of humor, Klum perfected the tweet with a series of hashtags: “#TrumpHasSpoken #sadly #9.99 #NoLongerA10 #IHadAGoodRun #donaldtrump #HeidiTrumpsTrump #BeautyIsInTheEyeOfTheBeheld.”
To make this Trump diss even weirder, Klum later told Elle that she was just as bemused as anyone by the comment. “I went to his wedding with Melania at Mar-a-Lago,” she revealed in 2018. “He was always actually very nice to me. So then it was very strange. I was like, ‘Why am I being brought into any of this?’ I wouldn’t even think I would be on his mind.” Luckily, it seems as though Klum wasn’t affected by Trump’s rating … nor should she be.
Heidi Klum's legs are insured for a lot of dough
As an internationally famous supermodel, it’s not too surprising that Heidi Klum’s legs are insured. However, the amount of money these body parts are worth is still staggering. “I didn’t personally have them insured, but a client of mine did,” the model told Extra in 2011. “Basically, I was in London, and I had to go to this place where they check out your legs,” Klum continued, before explaining why her legs are actually worth different amounts: “They would look at them and I had one scar here from when I fell on a glass, so this [left leg] isn’t as pricey and this [right] one.”
According to People, Klum’s legs were insured for a total of $2.2 million: the model’s right leg is worth $1.2 million, while her left is only insured for $1 million. “I always enjoyed, and I still do, wearing super short miniskirts showing off my legs,” Klum, who’s seemingly well aware of her impressive assets, told the magazine in 2017. Considering that her legs are literally worth millions of dollars, Klum’s attitude toward them makes a lot of sense, as she went on to say, “I think legs are sexy. I do like to put a focus on my legs when I go out or when I get onto the red carpet. I do.” As the old saying goes, if you’ve got it, monetize and flaunt it.
Wait, Klum once ghosted Drake?
During a 2018 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Heidi Klum joined the titular host in a game of “Who’d You Rather?” — in which she repeatedly chose Drake over some of the world’s most desirable celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Harry Styles, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Well, it seems as though Klum’s segment caught Drake’s attention, as the rapper allegedly decided to reach out to the America’s Got Talent judge.
When Klum returned to DeGeneres’ show that September, she claimed that Drake had actually asked her out following that fateful talk show game. “Someone who I know knows him and I guess he asked to have my number and then he texted me,” Klum explained. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so weird!’ But then I never texted him back, because I found the love of my life … Drake, I’m sorry I didn’t text you back.”
Klum was, of course, referring to her future husband, Tom Kaulitz, whom she met the very same day she initially appeared on DeGeneres’ show. As for Drake apparently asking her out, Klum quipped, “You snooze, you lose … He was basically, like, a week too late.” Sadly, Heidi Klum and Drake are a dream celeb pairing that very nearly happened, but didn’t.
Heidi Klum meets Barbie
Heidi Klum crossed an item off of her bucket list in 2009 when she had a Barbie doll modeled after her in the Blonde Ambition collection. “I am so into Barbie,” she said of the special moment to People. “It has been a dream come true.” In addition to being made a brand ambassador in honor of Barbie’s 50th anniversary — a role which the model took seriously — Klum already began setting her sights on joining the Bob Mackie collection: “I want to be a princess [with] the fluffiest, biggest dress with feathers, glitter, fairy dust, and glass ballet slippers.”
As of this writing, Klum’s hopeful collaboration with the Bob Mackie collection has yet to come into fruition. However, her special Blonde Ambition Barbie doll notably recreated the outfit she wore at the 2007 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where she took the stage alongside then-husband Seal. Donning a short sparkly dress covered in sequins, Klum completed the iconic look with cute gold pumps and long blonde hair, which she decided was perfect for her Barbie doll. “I thought this would be something that [my daughter] Leni would really like,” she explained. “And it was a really great moment for me.”
Once again, Heidi Klum’s family was at the very center of an exciting personal and professional move, which is beyond heartwarming.
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