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Linda Thompson Recounts the Moment She Learned Caitlyn Jenner Was Transgender: ‘My Whole World Began to Crumble’

Linda Thompson married a woman — but she didn’t know it.

In her new memoir, A Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis’ Graceland to Bruce Jenner’s Caitlyn and Songs in Between, the award-winning lyricist, 66, looks back on her five-year marriage to Caitlyn Jenner, who was known as Bruce at the time, and the moment she learned her husband identified as transgender. (Video flashback! Watch Thompson discuss her ex, Presley, while standing next to her new husband, Jenner, in the clip above from 1981!)

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Linda Thompson Caitlyn Jenner
Linda Thompson and Caitlyn Jenner

In 1985, “Bruce came to me one day with a very somber look on his face,” writes the mom of Brandon and Brody. “‘There’s something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know.’”

Linda Thompson Bruce Jenner
Linda Thompson and Bruce Jenner attend the premiere party for ‘Can’t Stop The Music’ at Lincoln Center June 19, 1980, in New York City.

At first, she thought Jenner, now 66, had cheated on her. But, Thompson says what she was told was much more earth-shattering. Her husband, she writes, said, “‘For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked in the mirror and seen a masculine image staring back at me, where there should have been a feminine reflection. I have lived in the wrong skin, the wrong body, my whole life. It is a living hell for me, and I really feel that I would like to move forward with the process of becoming a woman, the woman I have always been inside.’”

Related: PHOTOS: Caitlyn Jenner Through the Years

She was speechless. “I was living in my little Malibu cocoon of marital, motherly bliss with my world-champion, muscular, athletic, handsome husband and my two perfect baby boys,” reveals Thompson, who dated Elvis Presley prior to marrying Jenner. “So my reaction to Bruce’s shocking deflation was one of utter confusion, even desperation.”

Linda Thompson memoir
Linda Thompson’s memoir.

Her perfect marriage — she admits they rarely argued in the six years they were together — was over. “Every fiber of my being rebelled at his words, which echoed in my head like a cruel taunt,” she writes. “In that moment, the very foundation of this new life I had built with my family, and my whole world, began to crumble.”

Related: PHOTOS: Famous Celebrity Families

For more on Thompson’s relationship with Jenner — and exes Elvis and David Foster — pick up her new book, which is out now.

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