ABC News' Felicia Patinkin and Suzan Clarke report:
Heidi Klum is speaking out for the first time since her split from her musician husband, Seal, acknowledging to Elle magazine that the situation is hard, but keeping mum about the details behind the split and vowing to protect her children from the media glare.
Asked about how she explains the media attention to her children, Klum says:
"I'm a lioness. I have four cubs. I'm a mom. I want to take care of my kids and protect them. I don't want to talk about them, or him, or me.
Klum and Seal haven't revealed the reason for the separation.
Robbie Myers, editor in chief of Elle, said Klum seemed reserved when she sat down for the interview and photo shoot for the cover story of the magazine's annual Brilliant Careers issue, set to hit newsstands in April.
"She's known for having a big personality and being fun … in the interview she was quite measured and subdued, but also she was honest that right now she feels it's sad and it's hard, but she is a very determined woman," Myers told "Good Morning America."
Klum first gained fame as a supermodel. She now has fragrance and jewelry lines, and is well-known for her popular reality show "Project Runway," which is seen in 55 countries. Klum is co-creator and executive producer of the show.
The entertainment industry and the couple's friends were stunned when the pair announced their separation on Jan. 23.
They married in 2005 and had appeared to have a loving relationship, in which they renewed their wedding vows every year in lavish ceremonies. Seal adopted Klum's child from a previous relationship, and the two had three more children together.
In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan following the split, Seal said he and Klum had had problems but that he still loved her.
The British Grammy Award-winner told Ellen DeGeneres in an appearance on her show that he and Klum had grown apart, but warned people not to expect a typical nasty Hollywood divorce.
"I think our priority was to remain civil and do this thing with dignity. We still very much love each other," he said.
In the Elle interview, Klum seems to echo that sentiment.
"People don't need to know who did what," she said. "I don't want to talk positively or negatively about the ups and downs that we had. Every couple goes through things. Unfortunately, we're in the public, so the highs are out there. But I don't think it's necessary - especially for our children - to have the lows being printed in magazines and talked about."