Upon getting together with Caitlyn Jenner in 1990, Kris reveals how she created an empire with nearly nothing in the bank, and made the Olympic gold medalist a renowned motivational speaker. While chatting with Janet Mock on the podcast Never Before-- an excerpt of which was featured in Tuesday's Lenny letter -- Kris refers to her ex by her given name, Bruce Jenner, during the conversation.
"When I met and married Bruce Jenner, I became his manager instantly because he didn't have a lot going on," Kris says. "I saw this incredible potential, and he wasn't doing anything. Nobody was booking him for speeches. Nobody was sending him out on the road. I thought, Wow. You should be this incredible public speaker. I just figured it out to that point."
Kris notes that, at the time, there wasn't a lot of income coming in as she had just gone through a divorce with Robert Kardashian, Sr. "I told my assistant, Lisa, 'OK, listen. We have the greatest guy here. He really knows his craft. He is really good at what he does, but he doesn't have anybody doing anything for him. He doesn't have a lot going on. He has $200 in the bank. What are we going to do?'" the mother of six recalls. "Because the kids have to eat. We have to get it together."
The 61-year-old momager admits that her relationship with Caitlyn "didn't look so good on paper," but she was "150 percent" in love with her then-spouse. "I've always looked at things like, 'We're just going to figure this out.' I don't stop and think about, 'What's the plan here?' I just went for it," she notes. "I realized after we got married and I had a limited amount of money, and I said, 'We're going to move into this house. We're going to work hard.'"
The 61-year-old momager says she and her small team then got to work and made 7,000 press kits, and mailed them "to every speakers' bureau in the United States." The rest, as they say, is history. "Little by little, we started booking these speeches for Visa; Coca-Cola started booking him," she says. "I remember sitting with Doug Ivester, the head of Coca-Cola, at the Olympics and thinking, 'Wow, we've really come a long way.'"
In addition to talking about the business of her former marriage, Kris also gushes over her daughter Kim Kardashian West's fame and fortune, admitting that "Kim got so much attention in the very beginning for not the greatest reason," alluding to her daughter's sex tape with Ray J that was leaked in 2007.
"I didn't know that much about social media and the emergence of all of that. She embraced it and sort of handled it like no other," Kris continues, praising Kim's connection with her fans. "She really knew how to talk to her fans, which was so interesting to me."
First and foremost, Kris says she's most proud of being a mother. "I enjoyed every second of being a mom. To watch my babies have babies has been the most joyful thing in the whole world," she exclaims. "The most satisfying way to live life is watching your kids be successful at whatever that means for them. Success isn't always about money. It's about them finding out what they want to do in life and what their passion is and what makes them happy."