"The ones you don't even see on camera are very successful," Jenner says
Caitlyn Jenner is one proud parent.
Speaking at WE tv’s Real Love: Relationship Reality TV’s Past, Present & Future panel in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Caitlyn, 69, opened up about where her relationships with her six kids currently stand.
The former Olympian, who publicly came out as transgender in 2015, shares son Burt, 40, and daughter Cassandra, 38, with ex-wife Chrystie Crownover; sons Brandon, 37, and Brody, 35, with ex-wife Linda Thompson; and daughters Kendall, 23, and Kylie, 21, with ex-wife Kris Jenner.
“My relationship is good with them,” she told panel moderator Sherri Shepherd. “Everyone is busy. Of course you want to be with every one of them everyday, because that’s what you did your entire life. Kylie’s busy, Kendall’s all over the world, but my relationship is still good with all of them.”
“Same with the Jenner side — actually, lately, I have probably been a lot closer to the Jenner side: my son Brandon, Brody, all those kids,” she continued. “My daughter Casey, we’ve been really close the last year. She’s got three kids.”
Since transitioning, Caitlyn has become mostly estranged from her ex Kris and the Kardashian side of the family, though she maintains relationships with Kendall and Kylie. The Kardashian sisters, as well as Kris, have been open about the fact that passages of Caitlyn’s 2017 memoir created a rift in the family. (In the book, Caitlyn alleged Kris knew more about the situation than she says she did.)
A source told PEOPLE in August that Kris and Caitlyn “interact when they have to for the kids.”
“It’s important for Kylie and Kendall,” the source said. “They can be cordial, but like most exes, they’re never going to be best friends.”
At the time, a second source added that things are “still frosty” between Caitlyn and the Kardashian sisters — but on Tuesday, Caitlyn spoke warmly about the Keeping Up with the Kardashians stars.
“It’s kind of amazing to me,” she said, reflecting on the family’s long-running E! show, which she’s no longer a part of. “Take Kimberly. She has been doing this show for like, 12 or 13 years now and has stayed relevant for that entire time. Thirteen years of staying relevant. … That’s amazing to me that she has stayed relevant.”
“Kimberly has been out there and she’s extremely smart — all my kids [are],” she continued. “I have 10 kids and 14 grandchildren. All my kids have done so extremely well. The ones you don’t even see on camera are very successful. I’m so proud of my family. … They are very entrepreneurial. All of them. They’ve done very well for themselves. They’ve used their celebrity status and the show to build businesses to be out there in the marketplace.”
Caitlyn, who said she still watches KUWTK “once in a while,” also shed some light on how the show is produced.
“It’s not scripted at all. They have an idea of what’s going on, but we don’t have any writers or this or that,” she said. “But we do get together at the beginning of the year and sit down and say, ‘What are you doing and what do you have coming up? What should we shoot? Where we think a storyline could be?’ “
“I have to admit that doing that show, I have had some of the best conversations with my children on the show,” she continued. “Because it forces them to sit down and talk about these issues. We know we’re shooting, we know there’s something coming up, and some of the best conversations I ever had with my kids were on camera.”
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Most recently, Kim Kardashian West opened up about Caitlyn during an appearance on The Alec Baldwin Show in October. Asked how much her mom knew about Caitlyn’s gender identity crisis, Kardashian West said she thinks the two — who were married from 1991 to 2015 — “kind of avoided” discussing it.
“She was so in love,” Kardashian West, 38, said of Kris, 62. “She didn’t think anything would be an issue in their relationship. Did she ever dream that [Caitlyn] would transition into a woman? I don’t think that was ever something she would have dreamed in a billion years.”
“That’s why I love that we did share our story on our show, because it gave people the understanding that you can have every different emotion and that’s okay,” she continued. “At the end of the day, we just want Caitlyn to be happy and be herself.”