Caitlyn Jenner Wasn't Always Close With Her Oldest Daughter Cassandra Marino

Caitlyn Jenner has had a rollercoaster relationship with all of her children. If you were not an avid viewer of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," you may be surprised to discover that Jenner has more children than just Kendall and Kylie. In fact, the former Olympic athlete has four older children: Burt Jenner, Cassandra Marino, Brandon Jenner, and Brody Jenner. Brandon and Brody were occasionally on the hit reality show, but Burt and Cassandra were hardly ever in the spotlight.

Still, whether her children appeared on the show or not, Jenner consistently grappled with being a great parent to all six of them, which stemmed from her struggle with her gender identity. When speaking with ABC News, Jenner said, "The big formative years for them, I was really struggling with these issues. ... I didn't do a good job. And I apologized to my kids for that." However, Jenner is aware that her personal struggles shouldn't have affected her parenting abilities. She told ABC, "There's no excuse for not being a good parent, no matter how many problems that you have. No excuse for that."

Jenner was undeniably closer to some of her kids than others. Her eldest children, Burt and Cassandra, had little to no relationship with the former athlete. Jenner's absence as a parent had a significant impact on Cassandra, who has been vocal about their complicated relationship.

Caitlyn Jenner and Cassandra Marino had a difficult relationship

From the start, Caitlyn Jenner and her daughter, Cassandra Marino, have had an unconventional father-daughter relationship. Jenner and Marino's mother, Chrystie Scott, married in 1972, and during that time, they welcomed Burt Jenner and Marino, as noted by Insider. However, while Scott was pregnant with Marino, she and Jenner decided to separate. The couple officially divorced in 1981, just a year after Jenner's first daughter was born. According to GH Gossip, Jenner had left the family, and because of this, Marino and her older brother spent most of their time in Los Angeles, raised by their mother. Their already fractured relationship worsened when Jenner married Linda Thompson the same year her divorce from Scott was finalized. The Olympic athlete was focused on a new chapter in her life with a new family — one that didn't include Marino.

Marino stated that Jenner took a backseat as a father figure to her and Burt after remarrying. In an interview with ABC, she revealed, "We have a very complex relationship. He's disappeared from our lives, especially out of my life. So ... I'm looking forward to this next chapter." While Marino didn't provide many details regarding her and Jenner's relationship, it was evident that the athlete's absence had significantly impacted her. However, with Jenner's newfound happiness after transitioning, Marino had hoped the two could repair their broken relationship and make up for the lost time.

Cassandra Marino's relationship with Caitlyn Jenner got better after her transition

Cassandra Marino had hoped for an improvement in her relationship with Caitlyn Jenner following her transition, and her hopes were not in vain. In 2015, Marino shared with People, "My relationship with Caitlyn is much better than with Bruce, but we still have a lot of work to do. We didn't talk for years, and now we see each other every couple of weeks and talk on the phone, which I am grateful for." Marino even confessed that there is a much "softer" side to Caitlyn than there was with Bruce. Not just that, but the transition has made the former Olympic athlete "more appreciative of her family."

According to People, the two even have frequent "girl's nights" with one another, and Marino isn't taking these hangouts for granted. She said, "I feel so honored to be invited to such an intimate gathering after all these years." And even as the years pass, Marino and Jenner are continuously growing their relationship. In 2021, Jenner spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Marino and her eldest son, Burt. She wrote on Instagram, "Great Thanksgiving. Great meal. Thank you to my daughter Casey for opening her home." So, although their relationship didn't start strong, it has gradually gotten better over the years.