The week leading up to Bruce Jenner's sit-down with Diane Sawyer -- in which he's expected to reveal his transition from male to female -- has been filled with all sorts of last-minute news, rumors and questionable media behavior.
"I wanna know how this story ends," the former Olympian says in an interview clip released Thursday by
With all the Jenner-related stories swirling around, his is unlikely to end any time soon. Even people who are usually the ones being watched say they plan to tune in to see the interview.
"We will be all watching as a family tonight," stepdaughter
And Sawyer, who's typically asking the questions, was quizzed about Jenner on "Live! With Kelly and Michael" on Friday morning.
"He's strong, he's looking forward to the future, he knows this is a big interview, he knows this is a big day for him," she said. "But he is really sentimental about his family and looking forward to what's ahead."
Sawyer said she spoke with Jenner over several days -- and hadn't met him previously -- and also talked to family members including his older sister "who was there when he was little, about everything she knew and saw." The journalist predicted that "this family" would teach viewers a lesson "about love and what love is."
The Olympian, in an interview clip released Friday, says, "I'm actually really excited about the future. About what I could do to be able to do some real good in the world."
The days leading up to the broadcast, however, have had plenty of controversy.
L.A. County sheriff's deputies were called to the reality star's house on Tuesday because paparazzi were staked out on a hillside near his Malibu home and using telephoto lenses aimed at the private property, TMZ reported. It wasn't the first day the shooters had staked out that location, the website said, adding that photos taken Tuesday were "being peddled around town."
California privacy law prohibits using equipment such as telephoto lenses to take photos of people in situations where they otherwise would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The New York Daily News then drew criticism after publishing grainy paparazzi images on its Wednesday cover that purported to show Jenner on the patio of his Malibu home wearing a dress. The outlet reportedly posted six such pictures on its website late Tuesday as well, but those are no longer viewable.
CNN broadcast one of those pictures Tuesday night, and the Daily News later asked more than one online outlet to take down the video or images from the broadcast, saying the news channel hadn't had permission to use the picture in the first place.
Those were just a few of the invasive photos published in media, along with speculation about supposed conclusions that could be drawn from the images.
But Jenner's physical appearance wasn't the only point of interest: There was conjecture -- courtesy of unnamed sources credited to both his and Kris Jenner's camps -- about what the athlete's former wife knew, when she knew it and what she might do about the content of the Sawyer interview. One such source told TMZ on Wednesday a report that the Kardashian-clan momager might sue for defamation if the family "brand" were damaged wasn't true.
Also untrue, according to Gossip Cop: an InTouch magazine report that the 65-year-old was on "suicide watch" after chatting with Sawyer. A source close to the situation told GC, "It's completely untrue. A lie."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Dr. Phil McGraw managed to make his own controversy on Jimmy Kimmel's show.
When Kimmel asked McGraw if he was disappointed Jenner had chosen to talk to Sawyer and not him, Dr. Phil said it would have been boring if he'd conducted the interview, because he would have focused on only two areas.
"First off," the doc said, "I would just say, 'Look, if it's what you want to do, do it. What the hell does it matter what anybody else thinks?' "
His second question? "You're almost 80," noted a laughing Dr. Phil. "What's the point? ... He's kind of past the prime for, like, right?" And after Kimmel speculated that Jenner was maybe "a champion in the bed" as well as at the Olympics, Dr. Phil characterized the reality star as "a hell of a nice guy."
But that wasn't enough, apparently.
"Bruce and I have known each other casually for a while and we're around the same age," the 64-year-old said Thursday by way of clarification in a statement to People. "I've said long and loud it's never too late to make a life change, and I'm personally cheering him on."
The psychologist said it was the former athlete's "life and his body and his decision -- more power to him."
However Friday's TV special plays out, one thing is certain: As Bruce Jenner says in one of the interview promos, "It's going to be an emotional roller coaster." But, he adds, "I'm going to get through it."
The interview airs Friday from 9 to 11 p.m. PDT on ABC.