Bruce Jenner knows who he is, but before he could let the world know, he had to tell his children. As the dad to six biological kids — Burt, Casey, Brandon, Brody, Kendall, and Kylie — and stepdad to the four Kardashian kids — Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob — he faced a daunting task. And as he told Diane Sawyer in their 20/20 interview on Friday, April 24, he was “terrified” to tell every one of them.
“The first one of the girls I ever told was Kimberly,” he revealed to Sawyer. “Kim caught me one time [in a dress], walked in…It was like this big secret in the family.”
They didn’t talk about it for a long time, he shared. And then one day, a few years ago, she brought it up again.
“I said, ‘Okay, I’m so tired of lying to everybody.’ I told her all my issues, what I’m dealing with, this and that,” he recalled. “And then, after it was over with, I felt much better. But when I brought the subject up again, I said, ‘Are you avoiding this? I would understand that. But are you okay?’ And she goes, ‘Well, I just thought it was one of those subjects I couldn’t talk about.'”
Once they cleared the air, he said, she threw her full support behind him — as did her husband, Kanye West.
“Kim told me a story. She goes, ‘You know what really turned me around in thinking about this? Kanye,'” Jenner recalled. “They were talking about it, and he said to Kim, ‘Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world. I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me…if I can’t be true to myself they don’t mean anything.’ And since then,” he added, “Kimberly has been by far the most accepting, and the easiest to talk to.”
She even offered him her style and beauty expertise, encouraging him to really embrace his new identity. “She said, ‘Girl, you gotta rock it, baby. You gotta look good! If you’re doing this thing, I’m helping you. You’re representing the family. You gotta look really good.'”
Kourtney and Khloe have been supportive, too, he said, but Khloe has struggled the most of all the Kardashians to come to terms with what it means for their relationship.
“She’s had a lot of losses in her life,” Jenner told Sawyer, citing her dad Robert Kardashian‘s death and her divorce from Lamar Odom. “She feels like there’s this massive…’My whole life is falling apart,’ you know, ‘It’s my dad,’ and I try to explain…I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to be there for you.”
Kendall and Kylie, for their part, released a statement to ABC, saying they support whatever makes Jenner happy. “We love our dad very much as he is an amazing father. We couldn’t ask for a better dad. He has the biggest heart and all we want for him is to be happy. If he’s happy, we’re happy.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!