Irina Shayk earned less than $1 a day growing up.
The 29-year-old supermodel has found international success on the runway and love with Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper, 40, but she revealed her family were desperately poor during her childhood in Russia and at times she didn't even have enough to eat.
She said: "I had to work picking potatoes and tomatoes because that was a way to make money in our little town.
"During the summers, they paid me $20 for 30 days' work painting the local hospital. I still work with that hospital today and it's very gratifying to be able to give back what they gave me."
Even when she started to work as a model, things didn't get easier straight away.
Recalling her days as a young model, she told HELLO! magazine: "I remember once in Paris when I was starting out and I had nothing to eat. That was a turning point for me because I didn't give up. I knew that I couldn't go back home without achieving anything, and that made me work even harder.
The Russian beauty - who also dated Cristiano Ronaldo for five years - credits her humble beginnings and family of strong women for giving her the drive to succeed.
She said: "My father died when I was 14 and I learned how to be a strong woman from my mother and grandmother, who is my absolute hero."