SI Swimsuit model Camille Kostek broke this NFL rule for hunk Rob Gronkowski


Camille Kostek was willing to bend the rules to be with the man she loved.  The former New England Patriots cheerleader was photographed by Ben Watts in Portugal for the 2024 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The outlet is celebrating its 60th anniversary. To ring in the festivities, the model has been spotted celebrating with her longtime love, ex-NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Kostek was first linked to Gronkowski in 2015. They previously met in 2013 when the pinup was a cheerleader and Gronkowski was in his third season with the team.  “There is that rule where [you] cannot date the players,” Kostek told Fox News Digital. “I broke that one, but I kept it a secret for a little while. It was worth it in the end.”

Kostek said the secret behind their lasting romance is surprisingly simple.  “We read our calendars to each other,” she chuckled. “We don’t spend every waking moment together, so it’s exciting for us to get on the phone. It’s a common thing weekly to get on the phone together when we’re in different states and put out our calendars.”

camilla robRob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek attend the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Kick Off Party, May 9, 2019, in Miami Beach, Florida. (John Parra/Getty Images)

“It was my sister’s wedding in St. Thomas, and we had our calendars together. We were down on the beach, and I said, ‘I have the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch. It’s a big one, it’s the Legends issue. So, I’m going to be in New York for the first half of the week and then the second half of the week in Miami. And he’s like, ‘Perfect, I have a podcast to record in New York. I’ll be there for your event.’ And I’m like, ‘Perfect.’”

“It’s exciting when we can line up our schedules,” Kostek said. “We have our press week, but then we squeeze in a dinner together or even just a bagel together on a park bench and make it a romantic movie, even if it’s 30 minutes. But I think that’s what keeps it alive; we both are just so supportive of each other, whether we’re afar or together.”

“We get so excited even just going to a charity event,” she continued. “We did a gala recently where we both dressed up. We looked at each other, and we were like, ‘When was the last time we got dressed up together?’ And he was like, ‘I guess this is a date.’ And I said, ‘It’s a date.’

“We always look forward to our schedules [matching]. Whenever we both find time in our schedule where we have a week off, we book a trip. We’re thinking about going to Greece later in July. Now we’re just so excited about that. It will be our romantic time. In the meantime, we’re having fun being a dog mom and dad and being on the go.”

The 32-year-old was the co-winner of the SI Swim Search in 2018. She landed the SI Swimsuit cover the following year and has appeared on the pages of every issue since. The Connecticut native said it was her childhood dream to be a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.  “The magazine helped me embrace the body that I was growing into as a young woman,” said Kostek. “It helped me embrace the freckles I had, the little insecurities I had growing up. … The magazine helped me embrace those parts of me that I wasn’t fully loving. Self-love has been such a journey for me.”

“Some people might have laughed that this was such a far-fetched dream,” Kostek said. “Even going to modeling agencies in New York City, I was told, ‘You’re not tall enough’ or ‘You’re not thin enough.’ It was pretty much implied that I should choose a different career path. But modeling is not what drew me to this brand specifically. It allowed me to celebrate myself. Still get nervous and excited every year when I get that call, I still feel like I’m in rookie mode.”

Kostek pointed out that when she met SI Swimsuit’s editor in chief, MJ Day, she didn’t have an agent to back her up. The idea of being in the magazine seemed like a pipe dream for the hopeful model.  “It was tough for me to get signed as a model at the time,” said Kostek. “And yet here was someone who believed in me. It was MJ who said, ‘I see something in you. I’m going to give you a shot.’ That changed the trajectory of my life. This brand changed me. It changed my life and my career path. And it’s truly a sisterhood. … These are friends that I will have for life.”

“Although this is a bikini magazine – us modeling in bikinis – essentially what drew me to this brand specifically is how it made me feel,” said Kostek. “The bikinis were the cherry on top.”  Kostek said she still faces body insecurities. However, she doesn’t let that stop her from making a splash. And she encourages everyone to step out in a bikini this summer. Since her success with SI Swimsuit, Kostek has curated her swimwear collections that aim to celebrate all body types.

“This journey of working is never-ending,” she said. “I find myself struggling sometimes when it’s time for a boat day, or to go to a beach, or even do a photo shoot. I still struggle with insecurities. But life is short. Let’s be blessed that we’re here, that we have a body, and that there are so many endless bikinis to choose from.”  “There are swimsuits for all body types that help you feel confident and sexy and just allow you to embrace who you are,” said Kostek. “I tend to be more on the minimalistic side, so that you can expose those hips, your booty and just all of you. Some people like to be a little bit more covered up.

“I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone … you’re meant to embrace all of you. Also, everyone is so worried about themselves. Just have fun and put on your bikini. Own it. I know it can be hard sometimes, but it’s harder to be hard on yourself, to just let go, be free and love yourself.”


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