The 46-year-old German model and Tokio Hotel musician, 29, first sparked dating rumours back in March 2018 when they were spotted kissing on the set of America's Got Talent. Two months later, they made their first public appearance together at the Cannes amfAR Gala. Although the mum to daughters Lou, 10, and Leni, 15, and sons Johan, 12, and Henry, 14 looked happier than ever, she received criticism for dating a man 17 years her junior.
“Lately, I’m being reminded more about my age by people other than myself,” she told InStyle in July 2018, hitting back at people who had an issue with the age gap. “My boyfriend is many years younger than me, and lots of people are questioning that and asking about it. That’s really the only time when age seems to be shoved in my face and I have to give an answer for it.”'
“I don’t really think about it that much otherwise. 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."
Ahead of popping the question to the America's Got Talent judge on December 24, Tom got the blessing of Heidi's four children.
“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,” a source close to the couple told PEOPLE. “Tom went to the kids and asked for Heidi’s hand in marriage and they said ‘yes'.
The friend continued: "So Tom and the kids together worked on making a breakfast tray for Heidi that had coffee, flowers, and a ring box,” said the friend. “It was important for Tom to have the kids included in the whole thing, so they all brought the tray up to Heidi’s room and surprised her with breakfast in bed and then he proposed.”
Heidi's commitment to Tom marks her third marriage. The former Project Runway host was married to celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino from 1997 to 2002 and singer Seal from 2005 to 2014.