Seal praises his and Heidi Klum’s daughter Leni for making him ‘a better person’ in rare post

Seal has spoken about his close relationship with his and his ex-wife Heidi Klum’s 19-year-old daughter, Leni Olum Klum.

The musician, 60, took to Instagram on 4 September to share a snap of him and his daughter in New York City together. In the caption, he described how Leni has ultimately shaped his life, and pointed out how grateful he was for her.

“In NY with the young woman who changed my life for the better 19yrs ago. Thank you Leni for making me a better person,” he wrote, before signing the tribute with: “Love you, – papa.”

In the comments, Leni expressed her love for her father’s post, writing: “So cute! I love you papa,” along with a red heart emoji.

Many fans of the singer went to the comments to praise his sweet relationship with Leni.

“So much love in this photo! Have a wonderful time together!” one wrote, while another added: “Daddy and Daughter. Beautiful!!”

The young model was born in May 2004, right after Klum split from Leni’s biological father, Italian businessman Flavio Briatore. In December 2009, Seal legally adopted Leni when she was five years old, while the singer and supermodel were still married. The former couple went on to have three more children: sons Henry, 17, and Johan, 16; and daughter Lou, 13. Klum filed for divorce in April 2012.

This isn’t the first time that Seal has shown his support for the 19-year-old. During an interview with E! News in March, he spoke out about Leni’s career, as she has followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a model. While he noted that he’s “so proud of everything that Leni has done”, he’s “more proud of everything that she is”.

“She walks through life with this type of humility that allows her to move so gracefully through it all and she has an innate understanding of people in general and people’s feelings,” the singer explained. “So I’m kind of more impressed with everything that she is.”

Seal – whose real name is Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel – also spoke candidly about co-parenting with his ex-wife, adding: “I’d like to think, as a parent, that we have – between her mother and myself – that we’ve instilled some of that in her. But she can do no wrong in my eyes and she’s quite wonderful.”

Earlier this year, Klum applauded her daughter for working on her mode;ling career while studying in college. “I’m very proud of my daughter and her modelling. And she’s studying at the same time, she’s juggling already,” the America’s Got Talent judge said during an interview with People in March.

Meanwhile, Leni has also spoken out about working in the modelling industry as the child of two famous parents. During an interview with  People in October 2022, she acknowledged that she “got a lift into” the modelling world due to her upbringing. “It’s just a fact. My parents are famous,” she said.

However, when she was asked about the infamous “nepotism baby” label given to children of celebrities, Leni said it’s her own work ethic that has helped build her career thus far.

“I did get help starting off, and I know that people would dream to start off with what I had,” the college student explained. “I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to take what was gifted to me by my mom. But I am doing the work and putting in the time. Now I’m working on my own, travelling alone, going to school. My mom and I just have the same love for the same thing.”

Although she said that her own ambition has led her to success in her career, she still credited her parents for instilling a strong work ethic in her at a young age.

“They have both taught me to be myself, and to do what makes me feel comfortable,” she said. “You can tell if you’re not comfortable and then the best of you isn’t brought out. I just think you should be open and honest with what makes you comfortable, be yourself, do what you love.”