Former Kardashian nanny Pam Behan reveals all about Caitlyn Jenner's identity struggle as Bruce...
The world was sent into a frenzy earlier this month as Caitlyn Jenner formerly known as Bruce introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.
With messages of support flooding in from the Kardashian family and celebrity friends, Bruce has finally bowed out of the public eye as Caitlyn takes centre stage. Sassy, confident and finally happy in her own skin, Caitlyn, 65, is no longer the hen-pecked husband of momager Kris Kardashian but a strong, independent woman in her own right.
But it’s been a long journey. Here, the family’s former nanny Pam Behan, 46, talks exclusively about Caitlyn who for this interview she’ll refer to as Bruce, as he was known then and reveals what life was really like in the Kardashian household…
Pam, you lived with Caitlyn as Bruce while being on hand 24/7 for the Kardashian children. So, knowing Bruce, do you think he was forced to reveal his true identity after he was caught dressing up as a woman by his daughters Kendall and Kylie?
That could very well be. I think he always wanted to tell them but when is a good time to tell your children? Never. He was almost forced to when Kendall found out, but maybe that was a sense of relief for him too. I imagine a huge weight came off his shoulders after the interview [with
Diane Sawyer in April] was shown. He doesn’t have to live what he describes as a ‘lie’ any more. I’m relieved for him.
Do you think Bruce worried his transition might be used as a storyline on Keeping Up With The Kardashians?
Absolutely. On the show they’d do anything for ratings and viewers, so I do believe he was nervous. It’s not a joke it’s his life. It’s something he’s been a prisoner of for all of his life. The timing is perfect after the divorce his children are all grown up now. It’s now or never and,
like he said, he doesn’t want to look back and one day regret not doing something. This is very real.
So when did you find out Bruce considered himself a woman?
About 20 years ago. I spent a lot of my time with Bruce [Pam was originally nanny to Brandon and Brody Jenner, Bruce’s children from his marriage to Linda Thompson] and he confided in me one day that he struggled with his identity. The conversation came up when he was talking about plastic surgery. My first thought was: ‘Why would you take a knife to that face?’ He was a gorgeous man. I was questioning him on that and why he struggled with his identity. We spoke about it for a bit and I can’t remember the exact words he used, but I didn’t think it was that major a deal. He became very depressive after the divorce with Linda and I thought it was a phase that would pass.
So did you ever speak to him about it again?
Bruce had days where he was depressed and I kind of blamed it on that. He always had a feminine quality he was more like a girlfriend. He was sweet and understanding he cared about what happened to me. When I started the job I was very insecure, coming from a small town to living with celebrities in LA, and he gave me such drive and confidence. It’s the same driven attitude that won him a gold medal that’s now pushing him through this stage in his life.
Did you ever catch him wearing women’s clothes?
I didn’t notice him wearing make-up or dressing up but I did think that for an Olympic champion his pecs were very soft they were more like man-boobs, but I never brought up the word ever. He told me once he never wanted to stop working out in the gym and now I know there’s more to it
Do you mean his oestrogen hormone medication?
In the Vanity Fair interview Caitlyn says she considered suicide during her transition. Were you ever worried about Bruce?
We talked a lot and he confided in me about most aspects of his life. When he first met Kris he’d come back from the dates and was like a giddy teenager and was desperate for me to meet her. I was cautious because I knew he was feeling depressed and thought it was a rebound fling.
What do you know about Kris and Bruce’s relationship after she learnt about his gender identity issues?
I believe Kris was very accepting, I believe she knew all along. How could he have 36B breasts and his wife not notice? Behind closed doors, she was accepting.
What was the breaking point? Do you think Kris refused to stay married if he went public with his new transgender identity?
I think they lived separate lives for many years despite being in the same house. Kris does her thing and Bruce did his they just became good room mates and were compatible. I think the fire in their marriage was gone a long time ago.
Was their marriage beyond repair after they allowed the TV show to be filmed?
Yes. On the show when Kris was criticising him for his clothes, she’d do that on a daily basis. She would treat him with no respect and I never liked that.
How would you describe Kris’s ambition - is she most obsessed with money, fame, power or control?
All of those things. They boil down to an insecure person, which sounds crazy I know, but I’m one of the few people who’ve seen the other side of her. There were moments when she would let down her walls and weep when no one was watching and cry on my shoulder. I didn’t like to see her cry, but it was nice to see her be human.
Kim was 10 when you started working for the family. What did you think of her, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Rob?
They were well behaved but I was extremely nervous they were all still so young, full of life and running around. I was a wreck on the first day but I found my groove. I had to. Khloé and I spent a lot of time together. She’s a feisty one but I like her honesty. Kim spent the most time in front of the mirror. Her looks were very important to her, even back then. She was actually a pretty sweet girl. Kourtney always seemed like the most responsible. She was a little standoffish for a long time. She and Kim did fight over clothes a lot. Rob was a good kid he was almost too good, so you’d be worried about him. He’d come home from school, sit down and do his homework, put his stuff away, go into his room and pick out his clothes for the next day. He was so organised. Then after that he’d play.
Was this the beginning of his reclusive behaviour?
Maybe so. It”s almost like it’s compulsive behaviour.
As someone who lived with Bruce for many years, what does his transition mean to you?
I love Bruce. He’s one of my dearest friends. I couldn’t be more happy or proud of him to be doing what he’s doing after holding back for so many years. As soon as I saw him welling up, I broke down in tears. I’m sure he’s a nervous wreck. I love that person, whether he’s a man or a woman.