Heidi Samuel (born June 1, 1973) in
Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, better known by her birth name
Heidi Klum, is a German American model, actress, television host, business
woman, fashion designer, television producer, artist, and occasional
singer. She is married to singer Seal.
Heidi was raised by her parents: GŁnther, a cosmetics-company executive;
and Erna, a hairdresser; in Bergisch Gladbach, West Germany, a city
outside Cologne. A friend persuaded her to enroll in a national modeling
contest called "Model 92". Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the
winner on April 29, 1992 and offered a modeling contract worth US$300,000
by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. As the winner, she
appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top German television show
with host Thomas Gottschalk. She accepted the contract a few months later
after graduating from school and decided not to try for an apprentice
position at a fashion design school.[
Klum has been on the cover of fashion magazines, including Vogue, ELLE and
Marie Claire. She became known after appearing on the cover of the Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for her work with Victoria's Secret as an
"Angel." Klum hosted the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2009.
In addition to working with world class photographers on her Sports
Illustrated shoots, she was the object and subject of Joanne Gair body
painting works in several editions from 1999 to 2006. She wrote the
foreword to Gair's book of body paint work. She was a spokesmodel for
McDonald's, Braun, H & M, and Liz Claiborne, among others. She is
currently a celebrity spokesmodel for Jordache and Volkswagen. In addition
to modeling, she has appeared in several TV shows, including Spin City,
Sex and the City, Yes, Dear, and How I Met Your Mother. She had a role as
an ill-tempered hair model in the movie Blow Dry, played a giantess in the
movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death
of Peter Sellers. She had cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada and
In July 2007, having earned $8 million in the previous 12 months, Klum was
named by Forbes as third on the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning
Supermodels.[ In 2008, Forbes estimated her income at $14 million, putting
Klum in second place. For 2009, Forbes estimated her income at $16
million. Klum is signed to IMG Models in New York City.
Germany's Next Topmodel is a German reality television show, which pits
contestants against each other in a variety of competitions to determine
who will win a modeling contract with IMG. Klum is the host, a judge, and
co-producer of the show (along with model Tyra Banks). Season winners are
Lena Gercke, Barbara Meier, Jennifer Hof and Sara Nuru. All four seasons
aired on the German TV station ProSieben.
Klum married stylist Ric Pipino in 1997; the couple divorced in 2002.
Following the divorce, she dated Flavio Briatore. In the autumn of 2003,
Klum announced she was pregnant by Briatore. The same day she made this
announcement, Briatore was photographed kissing Fiona Swarovski, a jewelry
heiress. Klum and Briatore split shortly thereafter.
Klum gave birth to her first child, Helene "Leni" Boshoven Klum (now
Samuel) on May 4, 2004 in New York City. According to Klum, Briatore,
Leni's biological father, is not involved in the child's life; she has
stated emphatically that "Seal is Leni's father."
In early 2004, while still pregnant, Klum began a relationship with
musician Seal. Klum and Seal married on May 10, 2005, on a beach in
Mexico. They have three biological children together: sons Henry Gunther
Ademola Dashtu Samuel (born September 15, 2005) and Johan Riley Fyodor
Taiwo Samuel (born November 22, 2006) and daughter Lou Sulola Samuel (born
October 9, 2009). In 2009, Seal officially adopted Leni, and her last name
was changed to Samuel.
On hearing her family referred to as a "patchwork family" in a German
newspaper, Klum said, "I was, like, Hmm, is this an insult or is this
positive? I talked to Seal about it, and weíre, like, itís actually kind
of greatóweíre all different shades and we came together and we all love
each other. They may call it black and white, but Iím not white, Iím a
shade of brown and so is our daughter, Leni. Sheís the lightest, then itís
me, then itís our son, and then itís Seal. So I think, Hey, itís actually
kind of nice to have a 'patchwork family.'"
In 2008, Klum became a naturalized American citizen.
On November 21, 2009, she officially adopted the surname of her husband,
Seal, and is now legally known as Heidi Samuel. However, she has not yet
officially announced whether she will use that name professionally or will
continue using "Klum" as her stage name. As of January 2010, her official
web site, heidiklum.com, still uses "Klum" as her professional name.