Gisele Bundchen, one of the world’s highest-paid models, has defended fellow model Doutzen Kroes after she said she wouldn’t be forced to get a COVID vaccine.
Writing on Instagram, Kroes said: “Other people have given me hope and strength with their courage to stand up for our rights.
“They touched my heart and inspired me to do the same. So although my hands are shaking while writing this, I feel it is time to choose courage over comfort and speak my truth:
“I will not be forced to take the shot. I will not be forced to prove my health to participate in society. I will not accept exclusion of people based on their medical status.
“Freedom of speech is a right worth fighting for but we can only solve this united in peace and love!
“Pass on the torch of hope and love and speak your truth.”
The Dutch model received both messages of support and opposition.
Some said she was risking lives by admitting she would not take the vaccine, while others praised her defence of free speech.
COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously studied and shown to be overwhelmingly safe and effective.
Brazilian model Bundchen replied to Kroes and criticised the people who were abusing her on social media.
“I know Doutzen and she is a kind and loving person. I can’t believe the hate being directed at her because she expressed her feelings,” said Bundchen.
“It saddens me to see all the judgment and the lack of empathy in so many peoples hearts. Hate is not the answer.
“The only way we can create a better world is through compassion and acceptance.
“I invite you to silence your mind and go deep within to find love in your heart so we can all unite in peace and create harmony in our lives and in our world. We need it more than ever.”
Some people expressed disappointment at Bundchen’s defence of Kroes – with some even wishing COVID on her.
Bundchen’s husband, NFL star Tom Brady, revealed earlier this year that he contracted the virus while celebrating his team’s Super Bowl win, despite being fully vaccinated.
Kroes is the latest celebrity to say they will not get a vaccine, or are sceptical of it, joining the likes of rapper Nicki Minaj, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and actor Rob Schneider.