Kris Jenner: Kim Had A Really Difficult Decision To Make

11/02/2011 10:19 am ET | Updated Jan 02, 2012

In a perfect media tsunami, Kris Jenner is busily promoting her new memoir, "Kris Jenner...and All Things Kardashian," this week while her reality star daughter, Kim Kardashian, is dealing with the fallout from her recent divorce announcement.

While Jenner is willing to speak a bit about Kim's failed marriage, it's mostly the past that has this 55-year-old media matriarch talking -- including her first marriage to the O.J. Simpson's late lawyer Robert Kardashian and how her marriage imploded when she embarked on a reckless affair.

Soon after her marriage ended, she met Olympian Bruce Jenner and turned his struggling career around. She now manages her six children's booming careers, and whether you like or them or not, you can't deny that Jenner has turned her reality TV-savvy children into international celebrities.

So your family hasn't really been in the news lately.

I know, it's really boring around here.

Ok, I'm just going to ask one question about Kim's divorce and then we'll talk about the book. What the hell happened?

I know, I know. Well, Kim had a really difficult decision to make this week, and after thinking about it about long and hard, I'm sure, she decided that that was the best thing to do for her. So now as her family we just stand by her, love her, put our arms around her and let her know that we're here, no matter what, through thick and thin. And I told her that she's not the first person to go through a divorce and she won't be the last ... and it's going to be ok.

How weird is it that you were so close to the O.J. Simpson trial?

Yeah, it was something that was extremely difficult to go through -- something that ultimately brought me very close to my ex-husband. It was a big turning point in my life when it happened. I had no desire to write about it or speak about it, because it just wasn't my place. But in writing the memoir, it was such a big part of my life. It felt not honest to not bring it up, because it really played into the relationship Robert and I ended up having.

You were best friends with Nicole Brown Simpson. It must have been surreal that your ex supported O.J. and you supported Nicole's family.

Well, it was definitely confusing for the kids. I think that was what was concerning for us at the time, but they all got through it and life goes on and we have it behind us.

I thought that was very touching what you did after you heard Nicole was murdered.

She had just told me about this recipe where you could cook lasagna without cooking the noodles, which was fascinating to me. So when it happened, I immediately sent someone out to buy the ingredients and that's how I found solace in a really, really hard time. It was very comforting. All I knew was to throw myself into the kitchen and cook, and I had that damn TV on -- I couldn't pull myself away from it.

Your first marriage looked perfect on paper -- four beautiful kids, a gorgeous house and lots of friends -- but you blew all of it when you had a passionate affair with a man nearly 10 years younger than you.

There was obviously something really unraveling in my marriage that caused me to do that. My friends would say to me, "You're crazy!" and I knew that it wasn't the right thing to do. I mean, I'm a Christian -- I'm a good person. I was like, "This is happening to me?" It was devastating to go through and you're watching yourself fall apart while it's happening and it's almost hard to believe yourself. In looking back at that whole time, there was a reason why that happened to me, and hopefully you learn from what you go through and the stupid mistakes you make at any age.

And then you met Bruce Jenner, the love of your life.

God must have wanted me to have two more kids in my life -- Kendall and Kylie, my two little lovebirds.

When you married Bruce, he was struggling to live from paycheck to paycheck. You started managing him and really turned his career around.

Well, we just made it happen. I thought, "You know what? I've got good organizational skills," and we just went to work. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. It was very rewarding.

Any regrets about doing a reality show?

Absolutely not -- 150 percent not. I love the decision we made. We've enjoyed the ride. We feel completely blessed and grateful for this amazing opportunity. We work so hard and the thing I'm so proud of with all the girls is their work ethic. They get up at the crack of dawn and work all day and do it all over again day after day. They're passionate about what they're doing. They're not just slapping their name on stuff just to do it. They totally get involved.

It seems like they weren't spoiled growing up.

It just wasn't going to happen in our house. We lived in a beautiful home with all the trimmings you can imagine, but their dad -- I got to give him a lot of credit, he made sure they weren't spoiled. I would have spoiled them to death, but he kept them really grounded. I thank my lucky stars everyday because they do appreciate what is going on around them and they have really good hearts, too. That's what I'm most proud of.

Your son, Rob, did really well on "Dancing With The Stars" this week.

I am so proud of that child. Every time he dances, I burst into tears. I vote for him as many times as they allow. I walk down the street and grab stranger's phones saying, "let me have your phone," and then plug in his number.

Where do you see your family in 10 years?

I hope we'll be working on our clothing lines and I'll be enjoying some grandchildren. The kids also love to give back. I think by that time we'll have figured out some amazing foundation that we're working on now. The kids are very, very generous but usually very quietly. I think that's one of their best qualities -- they're givers. They have a lot of compassion.

What's the secret of the family's success?

I tell the girls, "Just be yourselves." I think it's very easy to see through something. It's successful because they're just them.