Lamar Odom is known for his basketball talents on the court, yet, the moment he was linked to Khloe Kardashian, Odom became a household name known worldwide. After landing himself in a coma in 2015, Lamar’s life was suddenly turned upside down, and it was from this moment, that the troubled star’s past really became public.
Their Marriage Reality
While Lamar and his reality star wife allowed the public an insight inside their private lives, following their marriage breakdown, the reality of what went on off camera was revealed to the world.
A True NBA Star
A year before Lamar was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel, Odom had been waived by the New York Knicks in 2014, and the former basketball player was having trouble getting himself back in the game. That same year, his marriage was crumbling and things were not looking so bright for the talented star. The father-of-two was now a far cry away from his past when he was winning NBA championships (both in 2009 and 2010) and being named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.
Meanwhile, Away From His Career
Rather, Odom’s name was making headlines for his very public break-up and apparent problems with illicit substances. Although he vehemently denied that he had dabbled in anything while at the brothel, the results from his toxicology report show otherwise. Regardless, Odom has publicly admitted that he has had problems with substance abuse both before and after the incident and, as a result, has checked himself into rehabilitation centers. Furthermore, news of his problems during his marriage had surfaced as a result of his overdose.
A Father Of Three
Not the best reputation for such a high-profile NBA star, but Odom has been facing his own demons for years and finding ways to cope. Before being linked to one of the biggest reality stars, and becoming a well-known household name, Odom was in a relationship with Liza Morales. Together, the couple had three children – Destiny, Lamar Jr., and Jayden. The two separated after the birth of their third child, but just before, Lamar got an unexpected phone call from his ex.
A Tragic Loss
At the time, Lamar was in New York to be at the funeral of his aunt, when Morales had called the father of three. He has since recalled that when he answered the phone call, he could hear his former girlfriend panicking and it was apparent that there was a problem. That is when she said their 6-month-old son, Jayden, was not waking up and was unresponsive in his cot. Doctors later told Liza and Lamar that their young tot had passed from sudden infant death syndrome.
Finding His Own Coping Mechanism
The night before, during the summer of 2006, Odom was out all night partying in Manhattan and hadn’t returned home. Speaking of this time, Lamar states: “My son Jayden was six months old at the time. He was at home in his crib. I should’ve been at home with him. But I was out, doing whatever.” He refers to this time as the moment things started to spiral down for the star, and he turned to illicit substances as a way to cope with the trauma.
This Was Not The First Loss
In fact, at the age of 24-years-old, during the time of his grandmothers passing, the NBA star turned to substance abuse for the first time as a way to deal with the pain of his loss. Around the same time he lost the woman who brought him up, he was losing a lot of family members, and said that turning to illicit substances made him feel “good for a minute.” He also expressed, “I stopped having so much anxiety. I didn’t think about the pain.”
A Turbulent Relationship
Lamar sure did not have an easy life when it came to his family and the people around him while growing up. His mother died of colon cancer when he was 12-years-old, and his father was an addict, so he was raised by his maternal grandmother. Lamar and his father, Joe, had a tumultuous relationship while growing up. Lamar spoke of his relationship with his father on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and his father made several appearances after the pair reconciled.
Yet Another Loss
Another feature on the show, as well as Khloe and Lamar’s spin-off series, Khloe & Lamar, was Odom’s best friend, Jamie Sangouthai. The pair moved into an apartment together in LA following the reality star’s marriage breakdown, and this is when Lamar states: “I was in a very dark place and very confrontational,” and things got worse with his substance abuse. Unfortunately, Sangouthai died in 2013 from a flesh-eating disease caused by dirty needles. This was another devastating loss for Odom, since the two grew up together as best friends.
Not The Best Husband
Before Jamie’s tragic passing, a distressing video of Jamie and Lamar was made public online. In the video, the two looked seemingly drunk, and Lamar was seen rapping about cheating on his wife, Khloe. This came at the same time Khloe had filed for divorce from her husband of four years, and it would obviously have a devastating impact on the reality star. During their marriage, the couple seemed very loved up, and Lamar was welcomed into the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
Cut Ties With His New Family
Lamar got along very well with Khloe’s brother, Rob, who lived in their house with them, as well as her sister’s former partner, Scott Disick. However, since the demise of his marriage, and his apparent lack of respect for Khloe during their marriage, it seems that all ties have been broken between the NBA star and the reality TV family. Lamar himself is not surprised by this, having expressed: “If she was my sister, I would have a problem with me too.”
Nevertheless, when Lamar was rushed to hospital after suffering a staggering 12 strokes and two heart attacks, it was the Kardashians who came to his bedside. Khloe, alongside her mom, Kris, and sisters, were all spotted visiting the basketball player at the hospital, where he remained for four months. Regardless of the divorce proceedings that were in place, and all the hurt he caused Khloe and her family, it was the loyal reality TV family who helped his eventual miracle recovery.
All For One, And One For All
Known as a family who comes as a strong and united unit, it is no surprise that Khloe’s family were there for their former son and brother-in-law. The matriarch of the family, Kris Jenner, had previously referred to Odom as her son and cherished the relationship he once had with her daughter. At this time, even though they had been keeping a distance from the troubled star, they were united once again to help with his medical affairs.
Khloe Takes The Lead
At the time of Lamar’s overdose, it was unknown that he was still officially married to Khloe, even though she had already filed for divorce. Since a judge had never signed off the split, it meant that Khloe was next of kin and was in charge of Lamar’s medical affairs. It was for this reason that Khloe was making all his medical decisions while he was in the hospital. Having thought by doctors he had four hours to live, Lamar woke up three days later to Khloe by his side.
Khloe met Lamar in 2009 after the pair were introduced at a party thrown by Odom’s teammate. Exactly a month later, on September 27, the pair were married, with Khloe’s mother having planned the whole thing in just nine days. While many believed the nuptials between the couple were rushed, they became fan favorites from viewers of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and Odom was instantly welcomed into the family. Causing such a fan frenzy, the couple was given their own reality show – Khloe & Lamar – which ran for two years.
Away From The Cameras
While viewers enjoyed seeing the lives led by this loved-up couple, it was very much kept private that Odom had any problems with addiction during their marriage. Although Lamar and Khloe created their own fragrance, Unbreakable, their relationship was having more troubles than viewers were made aware of. This all changed following their divorce, when both Khloe and Lamar opened up about what really went on behind closed doors. After being caught in a brothel with two women, Lamar finally spoke about his infidelity issues.
The Perks Of Reality TV
When asked in an interview if he regrets sharing his marriage on TV, he told US weekly, “Businesswise, it opened up opportunities, like the fragrance Khloé and I created. We probably cursed it by calling it Unbreakable, but that was my baby. It also opened this gate up with other women who probably wouldn’t have been interested in me. When I became Khloé Kardasian’s man and on TV, it made me look more enticing. People who didn’t even know basketball would approach me because they knew Lammy.”
The Divorce Finally Became Final
While their marriage lasted another two years, much to the dismay of fans, it eventually came to an end. Khloe filed for divorce in 2013, the same year Odom was arrested for a DUI and speculation began to circulate that the basketball star was involved in substance abuse. Divorce papers were signed by both parties in July 2015, but did not get the final approval from a judge and were dismissed by request in October 2015 – the same month Lamar was rushed to the hospital.
A Wake Up Call
Lamar woke up to internal injuries, including kidney failure and possible neurological damage, since he woke up and could not speak or walk. With a long road to recovery ahead of him to make a complete comeback, it was unknown if he could return to basketball. Regardless of his career, however, what was known, was that Odom’s addiction issues were another battle he would have to face to stop him from damaging his life and finding himself in this situation again.
Having escaped death, it would seem that Lamar would have had a wake up call to make some changes in his life, especially when it came to substance abuse. During this time, many speculated on the relationship status between Odom and Kardashian, since it was made public that the reality TV star had withdrawn her request for a divorce from the basketball star during his time in the hospital. During this time, Khloe was with him in the hospital as well as taking care of him when he left.
Giving Focus To Lamar’s Health
While Khloe was seen by Lamar’s bedside from the moment he was rushed to Ceder Sinai Medical Center, she later revealed she thought it was “insensitive” to have their divorce looming over Lamar while he was in the hospital trying to recover. He soon moved to a rehabilitation center close to the Kardashian’s home in Calabasas, and Khloe remained the decision maker for all of Lamar’s medical affairs. Khloe and the whole Kardashian clan supported Lamar during his recovery and treated him like family once again.
A Little Daughter Advice
Another woman in Lamar’s life who convinced him to get help from his issues was his daughter, Destiny. On his decision to enter rehab again, he said it was because “my daughter gave me the ultimatum to go. She said, ‘Pops, you get help, or I won’t talk to you.’ I think she saw it in my behavior.” From this moment, Lamar states he was very honest with is children, identifying he had a disease he was trying to combat.
Lamar made public appearances following his stint in the hospital and rehab. Most notably, he attended Kanye West’s, Yeezy Season 3 show, in February 2016, alongside the whole Kardashian-Jenner clan. Even though rumors of a reconciliation between Lamar and Khloe were still rife, Khloe made it clear that their marriage was not on the mend after filing for divorce again on May 26, 2016. Having seen Lamar’s troubles played out on the reality television series, it gave enough reason to viewers as to why Khloe no longer wished to be with Lamar.
Washing Her Hands With That One
Following a divorce and having escaped death, it seems as though Lamar did not get that expected wake up call after all. Odom was once again spotted drinking and reported to have been escorted off a flight before takeoff having vomited twice after a night of partying. Khloe’s response to all this was: “I was holding out to help Lamar, but Lamar’s not helping himself. So I have to do what’s best for me, and I have to move on and just be done.”
While his marriage was well and truly over, it was still unknown as to whether the former NBA star would return to his first love and make a comeback on the court. Having had such a successful career since 1999, it would seem to be a shame should such a talented star give up on his professional career. However, as seen in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, it was made apparent that Odom had not returned to the court in a while.
The End Of Basketball
When Lamar was filmed speaking with Khloe and her mother, Kris, he informed them that he was attending a training facility in Santa Barbara, where professionals go. Since he could not walk or talk when he woke up from his coma, the star found it difficult to make a comeback following his debilitating status. However, since he was last seen playing for the New York Knicks in 2014, there had been no evidence that Lamar will be returning to the NBA.
Although some may argue that it is the Kardashian curse (where every man that gets involved with a Kardashian ends up in a bad place) that led to the downfall of Lamar Odom’s successful career and current mental state, it seems as though the former NBA star cannot shake off his demons which continue to plague his everyday life. In November 2017, two years after his fatal overdose, it was reported once again that Lamar had collapsed in a LA nightclub.
Things Started To Get Bad
A year after their divorce was finally finalized, Lamar admitted, “If there is one thing I regret when I was married, it was having multiple affairs with different women. That wasn’t the stand-up thing to do.” However, he does also discuss how his wife at the time knew of his substance abuse and ‘tolerated’ it. He claimed, “Around two years before we split up [in 2011], I was in the man cave she had made for me and she caught me. She was disappointed. So was I.”
Has He Learned His Lesson?
Although Lamar claims he is sober, it seems as though alcohol is another addiction troubling the star. A video was released on TMZ website showing the ex of Khloe Kardashian fainting at his VIP booth at the Sunset Strip nightclub. Responding to this video the following day, his publicist, Eve Sarkisyan, stated – “Lamar is doing great. He was dehydrated last night and it was really hot in the club. He had an intense workout earlier yesterday and did not get enough fluids.”
Hope For The Future
It seems as though Lamar has had a turbulent last few years and it is unknown what is going to come next from the basketball turned reality star. As a household name, everyone is rooting for the former basketball player to not follow in the footsteps of his late best friend, or have the same relationship with his children as he did with his addict father. Although he faced a lot in his formative years, we can only hope that things get better for Odom.