Bruce Jenner's First Wife "Speechless" When He Told Her of His Transgender Struggle
The first person Jenner talked to about his identity issues, Chrystie Scott, opens up about what it was like to learn of his secret and watch Friday night's Diane Sawyer interview with him.
Bruce Jenner's first wife, Chrystie Scott, said she was "speechless" when her then husband told her in 1972 that he wanted to be a woman, making Scott the first person he opened up to about his transgender struggle.
"I can't remember the exact words because it was such a shock to me, but he opened up his heart and confessed and he had to share this deep dark secret," Scott told Good Morning America on Monday. "I didn't really know what to say. I was really pleased that he shared that intimacy with me, that he trusted me."
Scott shared her perspective on Jenner's transition, including what it was like to watch her ex-husband discuss it with Diane Sawyer, (Scott and Jenner watched the interview together), when she spoke to the ABC morning show via video.
While Jenner's second wife Linda Thompson said she "would not have married him" if she knew about his "gender issue," Scott said Jenner's disclosure "wasn't a problem" in their marriage, but it was hard for her to understand.
"It's so hard to wrap your head around it, particularly because he was such a manly man, and he didn't display any female style in any way," Scott told GMA. "He never indicated anything feminine in his demeanor. But it didn't threaten me. It didn't threaten our marriage."
Thompson and Jenner tried therapy for six months before divorcing after he told her he was considering traveling to Denmark for gender-confirmation surgery.
Scott watched the interview at her daughter Cassandra's house with Bruce and other members of their family and choked up as she recalled Jenner's reaction to watching his interview with Sawyer.
"Pain, pain, he was tearful at times," Scott said of Jenner's response. "It broke my heart. I reached over and tried to give him…a little bit of comfort. It was sad…[Ultimately,] I think it was cathartic to him."
Good Morning America also aired previously unseen excerpts of Sawyer's interview with Jenner, in which he said, "Life is much more difficult than running a decathalon, I guarantee you…Everybody's got stuff. Everybody's got their things that they have to deal with. This just happens to be my thing that I've dealt with all my life. I'm trying to do something about it for the good, and I don't think anybody could be critical of that — at least I hope not."
Watch additional excerpts from Jenner's interview and Scott's chat with GMA's George Stephanopoulos below.