Lamar Odom on Khloe Kardashian & Tristan Thompson’s Past Relationship: 'She Doesn't Deserve That' (Exclusive)
By Leena Tailor
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Lamar Odom is weighing in on his ex, Khloe Kardashian’s troubled former relationship with Tristan Thompson.
ET’s Kevin Frazier sat down with the 39-year-old athlete for an intimate chat about everything from his 2015 drug overdose and the tragic death of his son, to the perils of sporting fame and his much-publicized love life. But when it came to his most famous ex, Khloe, Odom said he felt for the reality star as Thompson’s alleged cheating scandal blew up in 2018.
“It's a bad situation,” he said. “She doesn't deserve that. She's a beautiful person from the inside out. You know, [it’s] just a man being as stupid as I was. Just a bad decision.”
Odom was referring to his own history of being unfaithful to Khloe, something he discussed in his new memoir, Darkness to Light: A Memoir, which also covers his almost-fatal drug overdose at a Nevada brothel, where he was found unresponsive after four days of partying in October 2015.
Following the incident, the world watched the news as he was rushed to the hospital, suffered 12 seizures, six strokes and his heart even stopped twice. Khloe, who he was in the process of divorcing at the time, rushed to his side, however many believed he would not pull through.
“I was a goner,” Odom reflected to ET.
While cocaine was found in his system, Odom said it was “God’s honest truth,” that he did not deliberately take the drug and alleged that the brothel’s owner, Dennis, drugged him.
He did open up about his addiction escalation, which he believes started with his father, who also had an addiction problem. “Maybe the gene was passed on,” he said. Odom said it was the 2006 death of his six-month-old son, Jayden, from a previous relationship with Liza Morales, which was the lowest point of his life. (He has previously said his drug use escalated at that point.)
“The only [people] I could depend on at that point was my close family members,” he said. “But that was probably the hardest part of my life. I dug deep [to get through.] I got on God's coat-tails and just rode them, like I'm doing now.”
While he dealt with his grief, his drug issues continued with Odom estimating he has spent $100 million on drugs -- something which had a huge impact on his career, even though he managed to hide his struggles from many of his teammates.
“It changed my habits, my dedication,” he said. “Those summers, just running wild -- I could've been dedicating myself to the game a lot more.”
When everything came crashing down and his life hung in the balance in Las Vegas, it was his children who he believes helped him pull through.
“I’ve got some really beautiful and strong kids,” he said referring to 21-year-old daughter, Destiny, and 17-year-old son, Lamar Odom Jr, who are both also from his former relationship with Morales. “Having children is the definition of unconditional love. The love that [they] give me -- that's the reason why I woke up from the coma. They had visited and then they left and I woke up like three minutes later.”
“Their love is the reason why I don't even really think about getting high or doing drugs now,” Odom added, before admitting that maintaining sobriety is still “a fight.”
As for the long road to recovery that started once he woke up from that coma, Odom credited Khloe for getting him through the difficult period. While staff at various hospitals and facilities assisted him immensely, it was Khloe who helped him relearn family members’ names and get back on his feet.
“The walking and talking part was the scariest part because I’m an athlete,” he said. “Imagine if you just got up and couldn't walk and talk tomorrow morning. That was the scariest moment. But Khloe helped me. She was bringing pictures up of my mother and my grandmother, making me say their names.”
Addressing claims in his book that he has slept with more than 2,000 women, Odom said he “may have over exaggerated a bit,” but knows how much his actions hurt Khloe. He added that being an NBA player presented him with difficult temptations through the years.
“When you’ve got your pick of the litter -- any women that you want, city to city -- that’s every man's dream,” he said. “It's like a gift and a curse because it's easy to make bad decisions when you put a man in that realm.”
As he moves forward with his life, Odom said he has “still got a lot of love” for Khloe and loved his time on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, noting that his involvement with the series made everything “pure ecstasy.” He would jump at the chance of doing another reality show but for now is looking ahead to the future, saying he’s back in shape and ready to play basketball again, with possibilities of heading to the Philippines for the sport.
“Forty's gonna be the best year of my life!” he enthused.