What really went down between the Kardashians and the Jenners
It seems like all families endure a fair share of drama, but sibling rivalries and problems with overbearing parents can’t compare to the household hoopla and relative-related turmoil that the Kardashians and Jenners have been involved in for years. And considering the family lives out their ups and downs in front of the cameras thanks to their long-running reality show, it’s no wonder their dysfunctional feuding can seem extreme.
But what’s really going on? While it’s not surprising to find out that there may be lingering tension between Kris and Caitlyn Jenner following their divorce, the family’s issues extend to the younger generation as well. The relationships between Kris’ kids — Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian, and Rob Kardashian — and Caitlyn’s children — Burt Jenner, Cassandra Marino, Brandon Jenner, and Brody Jenner — as well as the youngest two siblings that Kris and Caitlyn share — Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner — are a roller coaster of love, indifference, absence, and animosity.
Granted, there are seemingly endless headlines publicizing the family’s troubles on a regular basis, but among the buzz and rumors, there are plenty of reasons why these siblings and step-siblings’ relationships, as well as their interactions with their parents, are more than a little strained. Read on to find out what really went down between the Kardashians and the Jenners.
Brody Jenner says he grew up without his dad because of the Kardashians
When a parent remarries, it can cause some tension with their children, especially if the new bonds seem to replace or out-prioritize older ones. And that’s what appears to have happened when Caitlyn Jenner married Kris Jenner (who went by Bruce Jenner at that time, before transitioning and choosing a new name).
During the July 1, 2019 episode of MTV’s The Hills: New Beginnings, Caitlyn’s son Brody Jenner admitted that he doesn’t “expect too much from” Caitlyn these days, which isn’t anything new. He explained, “I didn’t really grow up with my dad. When I was really little, we got to spend a little bit of time [together], but when he started the family with the Kardashian family and all that, I didn’t really see much of him.”
Caitlyn’s youngest son added, “Bruce was just never really around. Every so often, maybe once every couple years. He wasn’t around for my graduation. He wasn’t around for most of my birthdays. So yeah, there really wasn’t any relationship — it was just very surface.” In this case, it doesn’t sound like absence made the heart grow fonder at all.
Cassandra says that Caitlyn is a better parent than Bruce
Caitlyn Jenner’s eldest daughter, Cassandra Marino, has also opened up about her relationship with her famous parent, but seems more optimistic than Brody. According to Marino, things have improved since Caitlyn’s transition. “My relationship with Caitlyn is much better than with Bruce, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Marino told People in 2016. “We didn’t talk for years, and now we see each other every couple of weeks and talk on the phone, which I am grateful for.”
“She’s happier and more appreciative of her family,” Marino continued. “She is trying harder and there is a softness to Caitlyn that is new to me. I think part of that is that when someone is happier, they are just nicer.”
Marino says that she’s now able to bond with Caitlyn over “girly things like makeup and clothes.” However, she also noted that “there is so much more to being a woman than our external appearance” and added that she was “really looking forward to exploring that” with Caitlyn. Frankly, it was during a girls’ night when Marino first met Caitlyn as a woman and has continued to attend what are now regular events, telling People, “I feel so honored to be invited to such an intimate gathering after all these years.”
Brody Jenner wasn't close to his Kardashian step-siblings
Brody Jenner didn’t only feel distant from his dad, Caitlyn Jenner — it seems as if he also didn’t have significant relationships with his step-siblings. A source told People in May 2018, “Brody was never very close to Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, and Rob [Kardashian].” That was apparently partly due to the fact that they simply didn’t have the opportunity to bond, with the source adding, “He didn’t spend a lot of time with his dad when his dad married Kris, so he didn’t see them as much.”
Another source close to Brody talked about the result of the rift, telling Hollywood Life, “Brody still holds on to a lot of hurt feelings and resentment towards the Kardashians. Brody still feels like the family never fully accepted him.”
That acceptance apparently extends to more recent relationships, including Brody’s now-ex-wife Kaitlynn Carter. The source explained to Hollywood Life, “Brody feels that his dad often chose those kids over him and didn’t try hard enough for … Kaitlynn to be included into the family.”
There's step-mama drama with Kris Jenner, which affected other relationships
Is Kris Jenner a stereotypical evil step-mother? Probably not, but she apparently doesn’t have the best connections with her step-children. An insider told Hollywood Life, “Brody [Jenner] had a lot of trouble building a relationship with Kris, which was also a factor and another reason why the relationships are all strained. He feels he tried everything with the family. He’d love to have a relationship with his younger sisters deep down, but it’s really hard when he feels the way he does about their mom and dad. It’s really sad.”
Brody himself once admitted to the Daily News, “The tension was real as far as growing up not knowing her intentions, who she is, there was obviously just drama between the family and parents.”
However, he also explained that he and his step-mother have tried to come to terms, saying, “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.” Perhaps there’s still hope for these two.
Caitlyn Jenner also has a strained relationship with her step-children
Kris Jenner isn’t the only parent in this famous family who has been involved in step-children-related drama. In January 2016, Khloé Kardashian appeared on the Howard Stern Show and admitted that she felt “betrayed” that Caitlyn hadn’t been honest about her transition. “We felt so like, ‘What the f*ck? We’ve been asking you and why do business people know?’ I never want someone to feel like they have one-up on our family. We are a family. We’ve never turned our backs on each other, yet with all the clusterf*cks of sh*t that’s happened in our lives, why would we now?”
Khloé continued, “I don’t give a f*ck what you want to do — just stop lying to us about things.” The following year, Caitlyn published her memoir, The Secrets of My Life, which made statements about the Kardashians that both hurt and offended Kim Kardashian West, even prompting Kim to call Caitlyn a “liar.”
“If you turn on my mom and you continue to bash us, I can’t — even for the sake of my sisters — spend time with someone that doesn’t even care about my mother,” Kim said on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Kim later told her mom, “I just have no respect for [Caitlyn] anymore.”
Some family members grew apart after 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' became popular
Both the Kardashian and Jenner families were already well-known in the past thanks to the fact that Robert Kardashian acted as a lawyer for his friend O.J. Simpson during the disgraced former athlete’s murder trial, and the fact that Caitlyn Jenner was once an Olympian. But when the two groups became the Kardashian-Jenners and landed their own reality show, they became one of the most famous families in the industry. And, while the fame has certainly brought them amazing opportunities and unimaginable fortunes, it has also caused some members of the family to grow distant.
“They’re just not that close. They were a lot closer when the girls [Kendall and Kylie Jenner] were younger and before the show blew up and things got so crazy for them,” an insider told People. “Initially, [Brody Jenner] was on [Keeping Up with the Kardashians], but then he didn’t want to go in that direction, so they started spending less time together.”
However, the insider also added, “But 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.”
Brody doesn't consider the Kardashians family
Brody Jenner’s shaky relationship with his step-family means that he’s seemingly disowned them at times. In 2015, following Caitlyn Jenner’s split from Kris Jenner, Brody talked about a previous incident when he had said that the Kardashians weren’t really his siblings, telling the UK’s Mirror Online, “When I said that they weren’t my sisters, what I meant was that they’re not in the eyes of the law [because of their parents divorce]. … I was just saying that in our law system, they technically aren’t my sisters anymore.”
And Brody’s apparently sticking by his belief that when parents break up, the step-family breaks up as well. He made that clear while attending the Coachella music festival in 2016 when he was reportedly angered when someone congratulated his family — that is, the Kardashians — on the success of their show. Brody apparently responded quite fiercely by saying, “They’re not my f*cking family.”
Brody Jenner didn't attend Kim Kardashian's wedding
When Kim Kardashian (who now goes by Kim Kardashian West) married Kanye West on May 24, 2014, in Florence, Italy, it was the kind of lavish ceremony that you would expect from such an extravagant duo. But Brody Jenner wouldn’t be able to tell you about the event because he didn’t attend.
“He asked to bring… his girlfriends and I said no,” Kardashian West reportedly said on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She apparently added, “I don’t know why Brody is still talking about this. …We love our stepbrothers. It just seems like they are always talking about this divide.”
On the flip side, while a source told Hollywood Life that one of the reasons Jenner is bitter towards his step-sister is indeed because she didn’t give him a plus one — “[O]ne of the final straws was Kim not extending an invitation to now-ex-wife, Kaitlynn Carter, to her wedding to Kanye West” — Jenner gave People another excuse for why he missed the big day, saying, “Not going to Kim’s wedding was not me trying to diss her and Kanye. I simply had a very last-minute thing. …I had already booked gigs in Chicago and some other places, so I was already working.”
Kylie, Kendall, and Caitlyn skipped Brody's wedding
Brody Jenner isn’t the only one who’s willing to skip a family member’s wedding. After Brody married Kaitlynn Carter in 2018, he told People, “My two little sisters [Kylie and Kendall Jenner], we never even heard from them. They never even RSVP’d I don’t think.” He added, “We sent them an invite but we just never heard anything back.”
Perhaps one of the reasons they didn’t feel compelled to attend — or even respond to the invitations — is because, as someone who is familiar with the famous family also told People, “Brandon and Brody have very different lives than Kendall and Kylie, and as much as they love them, they’re not close. …It’s unfortunate.”
And they weren’t the only ones who were no-shows. Caitlyn Jenner also decided that she had better things to do than be a guest as her son’s wedding. A source told People that Caitlyn couldn’t attend her son’s wedding because she had “work commitments that [had] been set up for months and couldn’t be changed in the end.” However, despite the fact that she wasn’t there to witness the ceremony, the source claimed at the time that “everything is good between them.”
Kim Kardashian wasn't invited to Brody Jenner's wedding
Caitlyn, Kendall, and Kylie Jenner may have chosen not to attend Brody Jenner’s wedding, but the groom’s step-sister, Kim Kardashian West, apparently wasn’t even invited. A source told Hollywood Life, “Kim invited Brody to her wedding, he didn’t come, but she did extend the gesture of an invite. So, you’d think he’d have the same sort of courtesy for her.” But that apparently didn’t happen.
The source continued by addressing tension in the family around exes Caitlyn and Kris Jenner, saying, “If it wasn’t clear before, now it is crystal clear to Kim which side of the family is team Caitlyn and who is team Kris. This wedding has divided the family like never before, and it’s actually very sad.”
Despite previous claims that Brody didn’t have significant connections to his step-siblings, the source added, “Kim and Brody used to be very close. She expected more from him. It hurts that he snubbed her like this, but she didn’t sink to his level.” And although she was apparently offended, “she actually sent them a gift anyway, just to prove she’s the bigger person.”
The Kardashians and Jenners are all off living their own lives
It doesn’t seem like the siblings will be getting any closer anytime soon. “I don’t ever really see [the Kardashians],” Brody Jenner told Us Weekly in February 2019. “Everybody’s kind of doing their own thing now, since my dad and Kris split up.”
He added that they don’t really get a chance to visit with each other due to the fact that they’re “all really busy,” explaining that his family tends to be off “traveling a lot, so [he doesn’t] see them that much.” There’s no doubt that’s true. If you take a peek at their Instagram accounts, the family is often jetting off to locations near and far like Cuba, the Bahamas, and Bali.
And, according to Jenner, the distance, both physical and emotional, is something that’s always been a part of their reality. He told Yahoo, “Growing up, we had two completely separate lives.” That hasn’t changed these days. He continued, “That’s the one thing that people don’t really understand is that we live two completely separate lives. And everybody ties us in together as the Kardashians and the Jenners.”
Kylie Jenner didn't bother to let Brody know that she was pregnant
On February 1, 2018, Kylie Jenner and her partner Travis Scott welcomed a baby girl named Stormi Webster into the world. What made the news even more buzz-worthy was the fact that Kylie had managed to keep the public (mostly) in the dark about her pregnancy in the months leading up to the birth — although she did drop some pretty strong hints about it on Instagram. Along with keeping the little one a secret from her fans, the first-time mom also didn’t bother to inform her brother that she was expecting.
When Stormi was born, Brody Jenner told TMZ that he hadn’t known that Kylie was pregnant, probably due to the fact that he hadn’t seen her in a “couple years.” He also admitted that he hadn’t met Stormi and didn’t send his new niece a present, which was also the case when Kim and Kanye became parents to North West, according to a conversation Jenner had with Yahoo‘s Joe Zee on Style Session. To be honest, it doesn’t exactly sound like he’s a doting uncle type.
The Kardashians still support Brandon Jenner's music career
Despite the drama, Brandon Jenner says he still has his step-siblings’ support. According to Life & Style magazine, when an Instagram follower asked Jenner (who now performs on his own after splitting from his wife and musical partner Leah), “Are your step sisters supportive of you?” and tagged all the Kardashians and Jenners’ Instagram accounts, Brandon responded by writing, “Very much so
Caitlyn Jenner’s oldest son, Burt Jenner, has made it perfectly clear that he doesn’t relate to the famous side of his family. He told Dirty Radio Live, “The drama is… not something that, for the most part, I really want to be a part of. …That Kardashian world is not one where I come from.”
And following Caitlyn’s interview with Dianne Sawyer in 2015 in which the elder Jenner opened up about transitioning, Burt felt compelled to call out his step-mom, Kris Jenner, and half-sister, Kylie, according to Radar. In a post that was later deleted, Burt tweeted, “Having a hard time not putting a few people on blast who were not supporters beforehand, but want to act like they were all along.”
A source who is familiar with the family explained, “Burt has never had any sort of relationship with Kris, and his half-sister, Kylie, is a stranger. From numerous conversations with his dad, Burt knew Kris didn’t support [Caitlyn’s transition], and he wanted to publicly say something without upsetting his father. Burt does his own thing and can’t be controlled by anyone.” According to the insider, “It’s hard for Burt to watch as Kris and the rest of her family now publicly support [Caitlyn] when behind the scenes it’s a totally different story.”
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