Kardashian Mom Kris Jenner Talks About Getting Paid by Her Kids and Changing Her Name

Kris Jenner says being a mom and a manager is like "having a split personality."

BySteven Baker and Lauren Effron
July 22, 2011, 2:29 PM

July 25, 2011— -- The Kardashian family is synonymous with raw, unfiltered drama -- fights, threats and shouting matches -- all seen played out on their hit E! reality show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." It's a show that has now made every member of the family famous.

"We're not actors, we're not singers, we don't have musical talent. I can't dance to save my life," Jenner said. "So some people will say, 'Well, you're famous for being famous.' And I'll say, 'Well, no, we're not. We're famous because we have four television shows.'"

The matriarch of the Kardashian clan, Jenner has used those family TV shows -- which also include "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami," "Kourtney and Kim Take New York" and "Khloe & Lamar" -- to brand, promote and commoditize her children.

Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and even her son Rob Kardashian all have "mommy-approved" endorsements, deals and contracts. More recently, Jenner has turned her attention to promoting her two youngest daughters, 14-year-old Kylie Jenner and 16-year-old Kendall Jenner.

"We have our nail polish line, Nicole by O.P.I. Kardashian Kolors, and then I was on the cover of a cheerleading magazine," Kendall said. "And Kylie and I are the ambassadors for Seventeen Magazine."

The three eldest Kardashian sisters, Kourtney, 32, Kim, 30, and Khloe, 27, who are the main protagonists of their reality series, have launched a chain of fashion boutiques called DASH, and published an autobiography, "Kardashian Konfidential" last year. Kim has also launched multiple fragrances and is the new face of Sketchers Shape Ups shoes.

The three are also paid endorsers of the weight loss supplement program QuickTrim, something that became a point of contention in front of the cameras between Kris and Khloe during an episode of "Khloe & Lamar."

As their manager, Jenner earns her income through her children's work, and when asked if she thought it was strange to be taking their money in her paychecks, Jenner said "it's such a business thing."

"We work on all things together," she said. "We work so hard, and I do. I put in my 18-hour days, every single day, whether we're filming or not...like when we got the Sears deal it was so exciting."

Her eldest daughters' latest venture is their Kardashian Kollection clothing line, launching exclusively for Sears next month. But Jenner admitted that being the mom and the manager can pin her at odds with her children.

"It's very hard," Jenner told Spencer. "One moment I'm talking to Khloe as her mom, and it's like having a split personality. Suddenly, she'll turn around and like I'm her manager, 'I'm your client and you didn't do this.' I get scolded or, you know, they're not happy about something and I have to fix it."

Jenner has become an expert in putting out fires between her and her eldest daughters. She said that when it was announced that Kim was getting her own fragrance, Kourtney and Khloe were "annoyed" with her that she didn't add all three sisters to the label.

"It's all about instinct and me using, you know, just my intuition and knowing instinctively that it's the time for Kim to have a fragrance," Jenner said.

Those hefty endorsement deals with the Kardashian name on them led Jenner to start considering if she should abandon her husband Bruce Jenner's name and take back her first husband's name. Robert Kardashian, who became famous after he was O.J. Simpson's defense attorney during his 1995 criminal trial, died in 2003 of esophageal cancer.

"I live in a Kardashian world. It's like Kardashian, Inc. in my office," she said. "I eat Kardashian, I breathe Kardashian, I sleep Kardashian, I deal in Kardashian. So everyone just calls me Kris Kardashian."

Kris Jenner: 'I Play the Game Just as Much as the Next Person'

While Kris says she will be keeping the name Jenner, the idea of changing her name, to her, would have been a business decision. But it became a heated argument in her family's household, which again was played out in front of the cameras on a recent episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

"I was thinking business," she said. "I mean that was the problem. I wasn't thinking personal, and that's when I know I must really need a vacation."

But that still hasn't stopped Jenner from getting into the fame game -- she also appears in her daughter Kim's Skechers Shape Ups commercials.

"I never had this sort of aspiration," she said. "My aspiration growing up was to have six kids, exactly that number. That was my dream come true."

But the darker side of being Kardashian famous is constantly being chased by paparazzi. The Jenners live in a gated community, but when she leaves the house, Kris says she usually brings a security detail with her. Recently, the bright camera flashes interrupted her youngest daughter's Fourth of July while she was trying to watch the fireworks near their home.

"I [texted] Kylie and I said, 'Hey Kylie, are you having fun? Mommy is on her way,' and she wrote back, 'No I'm crying,'" Jenner said. "I said, 'why honey?' and she said 'there's paparazzi everywhere -- I just want to be a kid today.' That broke my heart …It is very, very tricky and it is a choice that I made."

Every photo or snippet of a Kardashian or a Jenner usually means big money for the paparazzi photographers, but Kris says that being photographed has helped raise her family's celebrity status.

"Absolutely, they're definitely just one of the biggest elements is all those weekly magazines," she said. "I play the game just as much as the next person."

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