The Kardashians were panicked about former staffer Pam Behan’s book, “Malibu Nanny.”
Not to worry. She grew up in a nice, levelheaded town, Norcross, Minn., population 123. (To Whom It May Concern: People from Norcross appreciate values similar to those nurtured in the fictional Yee Haw.)
There were “hurt feelings at first because they thought Pam was going to turn on them and bash them and write this tell-all book,” but instead she’s “taking the high road,” said Behan, who now lives in Aberdeen, S.D., where she is raising her young son. For the past 13 years she’s been working as a substitute teacher and in the insurance and investment world.
Behan spent eight years in Los Angeles, although she initially went there for a summer of baby-sitting. She was first hired to nanny for Linda Jenner, Bruce Jenner’s ex-wife. “I had no clue who Linda Jenner was until I went to the house and saw all these pictures of Bruce Jenner all over and thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’ ” Linda and Bruce were already divorced when she hired Pam. “I first knew Bruce, and then Kris and the Kardashians.”
She also dated Sylvester Stallone, who gets mentioned in the book, though it is “actually my life story,” Behan says. “It talks about how I came from a town of 123 people in Minnesota, how I landed the job working for the Jenners and the Kardashians. It obviously talks about the years that I was the nanny, and it goes on to talk about life after the Kardashians. I moved to Tennessee straight from Beverly Hills. Talk about a culture shock. It talks about the trials and tribulations I’ve had in my own personal life, and just how I’ve come full circle. Started off with the simple life and I’m right back.”
Q Did you have any inkling that the Kardashian brand would turn into what it is today?
A No. I’m in awe every time I go to the grocery store and three out of the four magazines are about them. This is surreal for me. When I took care of them, I don’t want to say they were normal [laughter], because with that many kids and growing up in Malibu and Beverly Hills, it’s not necessarily like your average family. But they weren’t celebrities at the time.
Q What is so fascinating about this family that doesn’t sing, dance, act or entertain in the traditional way?
A All I can say is I think they just have that “It” factor. Either you love them or you hate them, but nevertheless you still tune in.
Q Did anyone in the family ever hit on you when you were the nanny?
A [Laughter] No. They hit me. But they never hit on me.
Q What’s the cushiest assignment you ever had as the Kardashians’ nanny?
A Shopping. Shopping was one of my key jobs, really. I actually had a credit card that had “Pam Behan for Bruce Jenner” on it. I went shopping around Beverly Hills in a BMW. That was not too bad.
Q Who in that family is the voice of reason? Phylicia Rashad, who was considered an excellent maternal role model on “The Cosby Show,” was asked about the current crop of TV moms, from Kris Jenner to Mama June to the Real Housewives, when she was on with talk show host Steve Harvey. Rashad said, “I don’t know mothers who act like that. Do I really want to sit here and watch that? Is this what I want to do with the moments of this life?”
A Well, Kris is a little extreme, a little out there sometimes. But you know what? She is a fun person. She’s definitely extreme. She allows her kids to do some things probably a lot of parents wouldn’t. But who are we to judge?
Q What kinds of things does she let her kids do that you think most parents wouldn’t?
A Just the show in and of itself. There are some things on it, for me when I watch, I want to reach through the screen and say “What are you doing?” [while wrapping fingers around a neck]. I just turn the channel instead.
Q Do you think Khloe is really a Kardashian?
A I do, just because her and her father, [the late] Robert Kardashian, were so incredibly close. Do I know for sure? No, I don’t. But even if he’s not her biological father, he’s the one [who] raised her and loved her. That’s all that really matters.
Q Who’s your favorite of television’s Super Nannies?
A I like Deborah Tillman a lot. I think she’s great.
Q What would you want in a nanny for your kids?
A Someone who loves them almost as much as I did, who would care for them like I would when I’m gone; to know they are in good hands; trustworthy, honest, funny and flexible.
Interviews are edited. C.J. can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.”