Chrystie Crownover, Bruce Jenner's First Wife, Shares Bruce's Reaction To Watching 'Cathartic' Diane Sawyer Interview

Pam Wright

Chrystie Crownover, the first wife of Bruce Jenner and the person who first knew of the Olympic champion's secret many years ago, watched the Diane Sawyer's 20/20 interview Friday with her former husband and his family and says the experience was "cathartic" and emotional.

It seems the whole world tuned in to watch Bruce Jenner finally reveal that he is transgender and is now able to be the person he believes he has always been — a woman.

The Olympic athlete, 65, watched the interview with family members by his side, including first wife Chrystie Crownover.

Bruce Jenner married Chrystie Crownover in the 1970s during his years of training and winning the Olympic gold medal for his heroic performance in the grueling decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games. The couple had sons Burt and Casey Jenner before they divorced in 1981.

— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 27, 2015

"[It] was kind of surreal. It was great because the family was together and that's what I'm most proud of. I know it's been painful for him. I know it's been a torment in his life."
"Pain... pain. He was tearful at times and it broke my heart. It broke my heart for him... I think it was cathartic to watch it together. It was pretty intense."

— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) April 25, 2015

Kris Jenner has remained silent following the interview, but Kim Kardashian, Bruce's second wife, Linda Thompson, and now Chrystie Crownover have publicly supported the reality star.

Chrystie Crownover was the first to learn of Bruce Jenner's secret many years ago and said it came as a shock.

"Understandably, I was speechless. I didn't really know what to stay. I was really pleased that he shared that intimacy with me, that he trusted me with his deepest darkest secret.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. He never indicated anything feminine in his demeanor... It didn't threaten me, it didn't threaten our marriage, it wasn't really a threat... It wasn't a problem."

— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) April 25, 2015

"I'm sure there are plenty of people that don't have the courage to come out at all ever and they live private, dark, tortured lives. That's tragic. The fact that he did share it with me that first year... It was a gift that he gave it to me, that he trusted me with something so intimate."

[Photo by Ron Galella/]