Lamar Odom: Inside His Troubled Life
Years before he became a reality television fixture, Odom struggled with drugs
One thing is clear, it’s been a rough weekend for Lamar Odom. The Clippers player and Khloé Kardashian Odom haven’t been seen together publicly since June 2, amid multiple reports that he is battling drug addiction and his marriage is on the rocks.
“They really do love each other,” a source tells PEOPLE of the couple who wed in 2009, “But she really feels that this problem is out of control, and she’s hurt that he won’t get help.” Kardashian Odom, 29, and her family attempted to stage an intervention last week, that resulted in Odom leaving their Tarzana, Calif., home, adds the source.
Odom, 32, has faced drug accusations before. In 2001, when playing for the Clippers, he violated NBA drug policies twice in eight months.
Apologizing at a press conference he admitted to using marijuana and told reporters and fans, “I’ve made a couple [of mistakes] and I may make a couple again, but hopefully they won’t be as big as this one.”
Since childhood, the Queens, N.Y., native has traveled a rocky road. At age 12, Odom lost his mother to colon cancer. On Khloe & Lamar and to ESPN, Odom spoke of his father’s struggle with heroin addiction. He went to live with his grandmother and later Jerry DeGregorio, the coach of his Rhode Island college team.
Several Personal Loses
Over the years the former Laker and Olympian has faced one painful loss after the other. Odom has two children, Destiny, 13, and Lamar Jr., 10, with his ex-girlfriend of over 10 years, Liza Morales. In 2006 the couple lost a third child, Jayden, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
In July 2011, two more deaths rocked the basketball star. A close cousin died of gunshot wounds in New York, Odom told ESPN, and just two days later, while riding in a chauffeur-driven SUV, he was involved in a car accident that resulted in a 15-year-old pedestrian’s death.
“I had to ask myself, ‘Could I and would I go through a season?'” Odom said following the back-to-back tragedies. He took a leave of absence from then team the Dallas Mavericks for 10 days amid reports his father was ill. “It was really personal and it was something I had to tend to,” he said when he returned.
Things seemed to be back on track last season. Back in Los Angeles, Odom played the season with the Clippers and is now a free agent. But amid cheating rumors and these new drug allegations, his personal life has gone into a tailspin. Kardashian Odom and Odom have not been spotted together in more than two months and he was last seen loading luggage into a car on Aug. 21.
By all accounts the reality star is trying desperately to help her troubled spouse, a task that may prove difficult.
Talking to the Miami Herald in 2003 about his marijuana use, Odom said, “I just couldn’t control myself in L.A. … the lifestyle that I was living and the things I had access to … A lot of times I’d think about it and say, ‘Damn, am I fighting my father’s demons … ‘ ”