Bruce Jenner’s Ex-Wife Linda Thompson Opens Up About Their Marriage

Linda Thompson Bruce Jenner
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection

After Bruce Jenner made major waves with his “20/20” interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday night, in which he came out as transgender, his ex-wife Linda Thompson has penned an op-ed about their marriage in the Huffington Post, opening up about some of their struggles and voicing support for her former husband.

Songwriter and actress Thompson was married to the former Olympic champion from 1981 to 1984, after his split with his first wife Chrystie Crownover. Together, they had two children, Brandon and Brody.

“I never would have dared to speak on this issue before he was comfortable enough to do so first,” wrote Thompson.

Thompson wrote that she didn’t know about Jenner’s gender dysphoria until years after they married, and admited that she would not have married him had she known.

“If Bruce had told me about his gender issue when we first began getting romantically involved, I would not have married him. Pure and simple. But looking back, I’m so grateful to God, the universe, and Bruce that I didn’t know, and that Bruce played the role in my life that he did.”

Brandon and Brody both spoke in the two-hour “20/20” interview, but Thompson went into more detail about their childhood, bringing up some of the excuses she would come up with when their sons would ask about Jenner’s changing appearance as he took female hormones. She also talked about how Jenner discussed going to Denmark for gender-confirmation surgery, with the idea of reintroducing himself to his sons as “Aunt Heather.”

Thompson and Jenner tried therapy for six months before divorcing.

Thompson said after Jenner married Kris Kardashian, there were “periods of several years” when Jenner would not attempt to contact Brandon and Brody, though he informed them of his gender dysphoria when Brandon was 31 and Brody was 29.

“After having harbored his secret, and feeling in my heart and mind that I have protected him through these years, I can now breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream,” she continues. “He can finally realize his need to be who he authentically is, who he was born to be. That takes tremendous courage. For that I commend him.”

Thompson closed her essay with a simple request: “Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.”

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  1. zRouge says:

    I feel so much compassion for all three of his ex-wives. Bruce says he’s known that he’s a woman since childhood so that means he entered his marriages by deception, what a HERO!!!
    He abandoned his first four children and had a B.S. excuse to why he did it, Yeah what a hero!
    He didn’t pay child support, hmmm why are other people chastised and even arrested for not paying child support but if you are Bruce Jenner its okay because he had things to work out and those things are way more important then taking care of the children that you brought into this world, what a narcissist, oops sorry I forgot some of you consider that being a hero.
    His ex-wives kept his secret, earned a living to take care of the children,
    and handled the situation with grace & dignity….now that’s a WOMAN!
    Let’s applaud those three LADIES because they are the real HEROES!

    • Jason Mantle says:

      Thompson did later bring suit for support. Yes lets support women who simply shop all day and remarry in order to mooch off another set of credit cards. True “heroes”….maybe get to know the person you are marrying instead of treating it with the importance of a prom date. And she is NOW blabbing all over the internet!

  2. Rachel says:

    Admitted is spelled incorrectly. “Thompson wrote that she didn’t know about Jenner’s gender dysphoria until years after they married, and admited that she would not have married him had she known.”

  3. john jody says:

    I’m sorry if I offend anyone who is applauding this (wo)mans(?) decision to now change genders but I do not agree with it. I’m not intolerant of other ppl’s lives but I truly believe there is a mental health issue here & it should be treated as such. I don’t agree that changing your gender is appropriate. I don’t think doctors should be allowed to perform this transitional surgery on anyone ever. Call me names or whatever I don’t care. All the ppl who say ‘live and let live’ & who support this gender change are the first ones to scream if I don’t accept their point of view. So I ask, who are the intolerant ones?
    This is my point of view, i’m not yelling at anyone. Please think about it before you freak out when someone doesn’t accept gender reassignment as an appropriate medical treatment and don’t call me stupid. Look at yourself first & ask if you are being intolerant. Get my drift? I hope so. Respect goes both ways..

    • jaedee says:

      Nobody cares what you think.

      • Leah says:

        John Jody I applaud you for saying how you really feel. Although I may not share the same view as you I find it refreshing that you shared your view point. The fact is that there are so few people that will state their view points if it doesn’t always agree with the majority of people. I think that as open that you are to say hey I don’t agree with this and I know that others will not always like that I feel and think this way, it took guts. I think that it took guts for Bruce Jenner to say this is how I feel and this is what I need to do for me. I think it is awesome when we stop candy coating the way we say things to not offend people. I support people being their authentic selves.

      • Rena Martin says:

        Nobody really cares what you or anyone else here thinks, either.This is merely a forum to voice one’s own personal opinion, so take it as such, post yours, and move on.

      • You’re right – respect “should” go both ways but the INTOLERANT loony left rarely accepts any other choice but their own and are the FIRST to call you a nasty name when you speak. That’s probably why Jenner is a Republican. Lincoln was a republican, Martin Luther King was also a republican – “judge a man by the content of his character not the color (or gender) of his skin” right? I’m willing to let Bruce be Bruce (on the face of it) but if he’s gonna make MILLIONS off this then I am against it! Your sex (life) should be kept private! I don’t care or want to know how you like it in bed!!!

    • Daniels says:

      Dr. john jody, the master of psychology and mental illness. But when you we need to your pointless opinion, we’ll call.

  4. Keanamalia says:

    Linda Thompson needs to get a life. She inserts Elvis into everything. Bruce was being interviewed once, and she was showing the reporter her jewelry from Elvis.

  5. lori says:

    Why did he go onto marry 2 more times? Couldn’t he keep himself to himself, until he was ready to come out? Why drag this into other people’s lives so selfishly – why have children who may suffer the same way or have to try and understand a father who wants to female. As brave as it might be to come out as transgender, he has done it in a very selfish way – and making a TV series even more tacky.

  6. Maureen briskin says:

    Linda your beginning remarks hurt me for your sons. Although as you continued to write. Your remarks were kind. I not only loved the man of my dreams who didnt tell me about it for over 20 years. Then to find out our son has the same DNA that his father had. They both told me to please write about it which I did. It is on “PROMISES “. I wish that the right production company would do the story. Finally telling the truth about transgender. It is passed on by the parents.DNA. And they are the one that blames the child not themselves. And somewhere the DNA shows up thank you for reading.

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