FEELING THE DISTANCE
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Olympian Bruce Jenner, has admitted to being an absent father figure in her older kids’ lives growing up. Father to daughter Cassandra Marino and son Burt — whom she shares with ex-wife Chrystie Jenner — and sons Brandon and Brody — whom she shares with ex Linda Thompson — Caitlyn battled depression and isolation due to a silent struggle with her gender identity. “The first thing I thought was just like, ‘It finally makes sense,'” Brody told host Diane Sawyer in April 2017 of learning about Caitlyn being transgender.
TYING THE KNOT
After two failed marriages, Caitlyn met Kris and they were married five months later. “I fell in love with him 150 percent,” Kris — who wed the Olympian in 1991, one month after divorcing her first husband, Robert Kardashian — said in a 2017 interview with Lenny Letter. Despite the big day and over-two-decade-long marriage, Brody was hesitant to trust his new stepmother. “The tension was real as far as growing up not knowing her intentions, who she is,” he admitted to the New York Daily News. “There was obviously just drama between the family and parents.” Kris — who was already mom to daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloé, and son Robert — and Caitlyn would go on to welcome two daughters together: Kendall and Kylie.
In a 2013 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Brody attempted to have a heart-to-heart with his dad, mentioning how the former athlete was more hands-on with Kendall and Kylie than he was with Brody and his older siblings growing up. “It’s interesting to watch how you are with the girls,” Brody said. “Because it’s like something I’m not really used to. You weren’t around since I was a kid …” Caitlyn interrupted him, saying it was “not the time to talk about it” and Brody dropped it.
By 2013, when his dad and stepmom Kris had separated, Brody revealed that his relationship with Kris had significantly improved. “Kris and I have had some very deep, long conversations, and we actually really got to know each other, and so we’re all good now,” he shared.
Despite inviting Brody to her and Kanye West’s lavish 2014 wedding, Kim decided against giving Brody, who was dating model (and future wife) Kaitlynn Carter for four months at the time, a plus-one to the affair. “He asked to bring, you know, his girlfriends and I said no,” Kim said in an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Brody skipped the celebration and stayed stateside to deejay a gig in Chicago instead.
TIME TO CELEBRATE
That same year, Brody managed to make it to another wedding — that of Kim’s ex-boyfriend, Reggie Bush. A source close to the family told PEOPLE his invite to Bush’s wedding wasn’t a slight to his stepsister. “Reggie and Brody have always been friends so he was invited to the wedding,” the insider said. “He was of course invited to Kim’s wedding but because of work scheduled in advance he made the decision not to attend. There was no bad blood, no feud. Not everyone can make it to every family event.”
A NEW LIFE
After a lifelong struggle with her gender identity, Caitlyn made the decision to start transitioning in 2015. The move, she told Diane Sawyer in 2017, had been tough on her family. “Some [of my children] I have remained very close to,” Caitlyn said. “A couple of them … I’m a little more distant. I have to admit, I’ll sit here and wonder, ‘Is it because of my transitioning? Or is it because their life is so busy that they don’t call, like, all the time?'” She continued: “Nobody calls that much. I mostly reach out to them. Obviously the Jenner side calls more, but they all have their own lives.”
In an April 2016 episode of her E! reality show I Am Cait, Caitlyn went over ex-wife Kris’ home to have a candid conversation about the last years of their marriage, before the former athlete began transitioning in 2015. “I think over the last couple of years, you were frustrated with me. I was frustrated with myself,” said Caitlyn. “I just want to apologize for a lot of the times the way I acted. It didn’t have to be that way. I think going forward from here, I would always want you in my life.” Kris agreed and said she was moved by the words. “That’s everything. That’s why I’m here. I came to check up on you. I still love you, and the kids still adore you,” said Kris.
THE WRITE STUFF
In 2017, Caitlyn released a memoir, The Secrets of My Life, that provided readers with an inside look at her life, relationships and transition. The contents of the book didn’t sit well with the Kardashian family, particularly the famous sisters. After reading the book front to back, Kim was not happy about what was said about her mother within the pages. Caitlyn, who called herself a “punching bag” throughout her marriage to Kris, also claimed that her now ex-wife had been “hoarding” money for years. “If you turn on my mom and you continue to bash us, I cant — even for the sake of my sisters — spend time with someone who doesn’t care about my mother,” Kim said during her sit-down interview on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. “Like enough already.” As of January 2018, the KKW Beauty founder still hadn’t spoken to her stepdad.
The release of her memoir undoubtedly ruffled feathers between Caitlyn and the Kardashians, causing tension and severed family ties, but that didn’t stop the I Am Cait star from dropping an additional bombshell in January 2018. In an interview for ITV’s Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Caitlyn claimed that family members were all given copies of the entire book before publication in April 2017 “except for the last few pages when I talked about gender confirmation [surgery].” Her reasoning? “I didn’t want them to leak it to the press, okay?” Caitlyn told host Piers Morgan. “And there was no reason for them to know about it.” Asked whether she didn’t trust the Kardashians, Caitlyn admitted: “Of course not — of course I didn’t trust them.” Kendall and Kylie continue to stay connected with their dad.
More than once on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kendall openly spoke about how she felt more connected to her dad’s side of the family because of their similar “chill” personalities. In 2018, however, a source told PEOPLE that Kendall, Kylie and Brody had drifted apart — and no, there is no bad blood. “They’re just not that close. They were a lot closer when the girls were younger and before the show blew up and things got so crazy for them,” the insider shared. “Initially [Brody] was on the show but then he didn’t want to go in that direction, so they started spending less time together.” Regardless, the Jenner siblings have nothing but love for each other. The source added: “… They do love him and Kendall’s also supported him deejaying at events. There are no bad feelings on their end, but they’ve definitely grown apart over the years.”
In March 2018, Kim posted a throwback photo of Caitlyn prior to her transition. In the picture, Caitlyn — dressed in a silk robe — holds a glass of champagne while sitting on the edge of a bathtub where former wife Kris Jenner appears to be nude and covered in bubbles. “TGIF,” Kim captioned the shot. It didn’t take long for social media to react, wondering if the move was straight-up shade.
SHOWERING THE BRIDE
Brody is getting married! In May 2016, Caitlyn’s youngest son became engaged to longtime girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter. The engaged pair’s festivities were in full force, with Caitlyn joining in on the fun at her future daughter-in-law’s bridal shower in April 2018. “Went to my first bridal shower,” Caitlyn captioned a photo of her and Carter. “I had so much fun! PS so much better than Bachelor parties!” Despite showering the bride, PEOPLE learned Caitlyn would not be attending the couple’s wedding in May 2018. According to a source close to the family, Caitlyn “has work commitments that have been set up for months and couldn’t be changed in the end.” Nevertheless, the source said “everything is good” between she and son Brody, adding that Caitlyn “will be throwing a big party for them when the newlyweds return to town.”
BE OUR GUESTS
Unsurprisingly, since Kris and Caitlyn’s split, the Kardashian and Jenner siblings have grown apart — so much so that the Kardashians as well as Kendall and Kylie won’t be attending Brody’s May 2018 nuptials. “My two little sisters, we never even heard from them. They never even RSVP’d I don’t think,” Jenner told PEOPLE of Kendall and Kylie. “We sent them an invite but we just never heard anything back.” he added. “Well, they’ll be missed. I would have loved to have had them there.”