Though Caitlyn Jenner‘s new name and image were revealed to the world on Monday, it still remains a mystery how much Kris Jenner really knew about her ex’s – formerly known as Bruce – path to transition in the weeks, months and even years leading up to Caitlyn’s debut.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kris maintains that their relationship ended abruptly when her former husband “just decided, ‘I’m done.’ ”
Knowing what she knows now, Kris tells the magazine the way Caitlyn approached their separation and subsequent divorce felt like “the most passive-aggressive thing I think I’ve ever experienced.”
She asks rhetorically, “Why would you want to be married and have kids if this is what you wanted since you were a little boy? Why would you not explain this all to me?”
However, Kris, 59, does concede she wasn’t completely in the dark.
“When I met Bruce, he told me that he had done hormones back in the early ’80s,” she says. “This was a conversation that took place in the early ’90s. So, what he was telling me happened a decade earlier, and he never really explained it.”
For her part, Caitlyn, 65, contends that Kris was fully aware of the treatments and their side effects, including breast growth. Jenner says she was a “good solid B cup” when they met, while Kris brushes it off as nothing more than “a little bit of a man boob situation.”
In Kris’ mind, “there wasn’t a gender issue. Nobody mentioned a gender issue,” she tells the magazine.
According to Caitlyn, though, Kris witnessed her wearing women’s clothing while she was still living as Bruce; together, she says, they even established a rule that Bruce could only dress as a woman when he was traveling alone and away from the family’s house.
Kris denies this entirely, saying her ex never dressed as a woman in front of her, only that “somebody mentioned that at one point in his life he liked to dress up.”
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Looking back, Kris says she believes, “He was married to me, and he wasn’t who he wanted to be so he was miserable.” While she worked hard to establish the Kardashian empire, he remained aloof and “pissed off.”
Kris also says that Caitlyn – then Bruce – suffered from “social anxiety,” explaining, “We fought a lot because we would go out together and before we got to the end of the block we were in a fight because he started saying, ‘When can we go home?’ ”
Yet Caitlyn has a different memory of how their marriage dissolved, saying, “I think in a lot of ways she became less tolerant of me. Then I’d get upset, and the whole relationship kind of fizzled.”
Kris’ frustration was noticeable on episodes of the family reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. “A lot of times she wasn’t very nice,” Caitlyn says. “People would see how I got mistreated. She controlled the money all that kind of stuff.”
In assessing the cause of their split, Caitlyn estimates that “20 percent was gender and 80 percent was the way I was treated.”
But Caitlyn also acknowledges that she might have made a mistake “not having [Kris] understand … that this is a condition you cannot get away from.”
The former couple talked about their issues face to face during the second part of E!’s About Bruce special.
“I just miss Bruce. And that’s going to take me a minute to mourn that relationship,” Kris said on the episode. “You think you’re going to grow old with somebody, and they drastically change over the course of just a few years.”
“I still love you, baby,” Bruce replied, before asking sincerely, “Is there anything I can do now to make it better for you?”
Kris asked him to “just live the happiest life you can live.”
“That’s all I care about,” she said. “And that you can find the peace you’ve been looking for for so long.”