Madonna told a screaming crowd in the Philippines that her former personal trainer had sex with the singer’s boyfriend. This led to speculation that the trainer was celebrity fitness guru Nicole Winhoffer. During a mid-concert sit down, Madonna is 57 after all, the singer told her Manila audience, “I just wanted to share this little story with you. Once I had a Filipino trainer, this beautiful, beautiful girl. She was gorgeous and very talented as a trainer…She f**ked my boyfriend. So I fired her. I just wanted to share that with you.” Winhoffer worked for Madonna until 2014 when the “Like a Virgin” singer was dating Brahim Zaibat.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Despite the Alleged Affair, Winhoffer Is Still a Model for Madonna’s Bestie Stella McCartney
According to her Instagram page, Winhoffer is still a “Global Ambassador” for Stella McCartney’s line of Adidas workout gear. In the above video you can see Madonna and McCartney demonstrating their closeness. At a show in London in December 2015, Madonna invited the designer on to the stage. The singer then bent over on all fours and invited McCartney to spank her. Indeed.
2. She’s an NYC Native, Where She Was Born to a Filipino Mother
On her website, Winhoffer describes her upbringing. She was born in New York City to a Filipino mother and a German father. It’s her Filipino heritage that’s led to the speculation that she’s the personal trainer that Madonna was referencing in her onstage rant. She has three younger brothers, who were all soccer players in their youth, while she was a track and field athlete. It’s through those endeavors that she discovered her love of fitness. She writes on her site, “I discovered that it was the only athletic workout that allowed me to express myself, release emotions, and keep me fit.”
3. She’s Worked as a Dancer for Shakira as Well as on 3 Broadway Shows
Winhoffer says on her website that she “booked [her] first Broadway show, appearing in 42nd Street, Bombay Dreams and Wicked. In an interview with Shape.com, it says that Winhoffer has danced with Shakira and is a representative for Maybelline, Mattel, and Walmart. During that piece, Winhoffer also spoke about how she came to work for Madonna saying:
[Madonna’s] previous trainer was recruiting professional dancers for the dance cardio portion of her fitness training. I was brought on board to assist her on her last tour.
When the tour ended, I immersed myself in understanding anatomy, physiology, and the latest fitness trends while continuing my dance training. I continued to train Madonna and now I’m her primary trainer.
Then, in July 2015, she told Snob Essentials about meeting Madonna:
During the 2009 Sticky/Sweet tour, I trained her dancers. In the fall of 2009, I became her full-time trainer. I was the creative director for Hard Candy Fitness, Madonna’s global fitness brand, from 2010-2014, but I am now focusing on my own brand full-time. When I was there, however, I created workouts based on Madonna’s workouts, chose head trainers in each city and directly communicated with them, and gave them new workout material every three months.
Since then, she’s gone on to found her own fitness regime known as The NW Method. Winhoffer told the Huffington Post in February 2013, in article that was based around Brahim Zaibat’s new departure as a male model, about how much she loved working for Madonna, saying:
To work with Madonna, a woman that is so dedicated, that is so persistent and is so detailed oriented and is so hardworking is something that is inspiring.
I get to learn every single day. She always asks questions, I have to know the answers and find solutions.
She has taught that anything is possible and you learn so much about yourself working for her. She wants the best from everyone around her. She’s always looking for new things and always thinking outside the box.
As an aside you can read about what Winhoffer keeps in her gym bag here.
4. She Escaped the Blizzard in NYC in February 2016 for a Weekend in Miami
More recently, in February 2016, Winhoffer found her self part of the focus of a W Magazine feature. The article dealt with swanky New Yorkers who were avoiding the blizzard in the Big Apple and heading to South Beach for the weekend. She apparently told her friends during that sojourn, “You are so much more than your limits. You are not your thoughts!” The author of the piece, Mike Albo, notes that he was “blown away” by Winhoffer’s wisdom.
5. Brahim Zaibat Danced With Madonna at Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, the Couple Met in 2010
Madonna had been dating French dancer Brahim Zaibat since September 2010 when he danced in a show promoting her Material Girl clothing line for Macy’s. He also accompanied her in her 2012 Super Bowl halftime performance in Indianapolis. Zaibat then followed her on her MDNA World Tour. Tabloid reports indicated that the couple’s romance came to an end in December 2013.