Caitlyn’s son reveals ‘staged’ relationship
Brandon Jenner speaks to Caitlyn Jenner almost daily now, but that wasn't always the case.
In To Me, He Was Just Dad, a collection of 40 first-person narratives shared by the children of famous fathers, the 38-year-old former reality star notes that growing up he had a very distant relationship with Jenner, 70, who was once dubbed "the world's greatest athlete".
Brandon writes that, when Bruce wed Kris Jenner in 1991, it deeply affected the once-friendly relationship between his mother, Linda Thompson and his father.
"I didn't see my father more than half a dozen times between the ages eight and twenty-five," he writes.
"Sadly the infrequent exchanges felt more like staged photo opportunities than real bonding. In fact, they were stage photo ops for 'family' Christmas cards."
In one anecdote from the book's chapter, Jenner recalls that, when he was a child, his father bought him a bike for $250, "but made me promise I'd pay him back for it."
Weeks later while at the beach, Bruce picked up an apricot from the ground and pointed out a tree about sixty feet away.
He told his son that if he hit the tree, he would only owe half the money. Brandon hit the tree and was proud of himself. His father's reaction, however, was less enthusiastic.
"Perhaps he was (proud), but all he said was, 'Now you just owe me one hundred twenty-five dollars.' I was eight and had no idea how I'd make the money," he remembers.
Brandon also admits that he stayed away from the Jenner-Kardashian household.
"After Dad met and married Kris, family became a business for him, and I stayed away for most of my teenage years. I didn't want to be a part of their dynamic," he writes. "I know now, though, that Dad was pretty unhappy in that house and felt like he wasn't treated well."
However, since Bruce transitioned to Caitlyn in 2015, Brandon notes their relationship has transformed. He regrets that Caitlyn didn't begin her journey sooner, "not only because I think she would have been happier but because I think we could have built a stronger relationship earlier."
A rep for Caitlyn did not respond to a request for comment.
Brandon's younger brother Brody, who is also the son of Caitlyn and Linda, last year talked about his own rocky relationship with Caitlyn on an episode of the MTV reality show, The Hills: New Beginnings.
He admitted growing up he didn't feel close to his father.
"I didn't really grow up with my dad," Brody admitted on the show, which reunited the original cast members of The Hills.
"When I was really little, we got to spend a little bit of time. But when he started the family with the Kardashian family and all that, I didn't really see much of him."
Brody later elaborated, saying his father was largely absent throughout his childhood, having missed his graduation and most of his birthdays. He described their relationship as "very surface".
Though they became closer in later years, Brody said, the two became distant once again after Bruce became Caitlyn.
"I was just getting to know Bruce, and then Bruce became Caitlyn," Brody admitted.
"Caitlyn is a totally different person than Bruce. It's her true self, but Bruce was always holding a lot back and being somebody totally different.
"My dad, she's like a 15-year-old girl now. She's totally different - I mean, it's awesome. It's great. She's happy, she's running around. She's off living her life, so what I've learned is to just not expect too much from her."
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and has been reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Caitlyn's son reveals 'staged' relationship