Khloé Kardashian Explains Why She 'Paused the Divorce' with Lamar Odom After His Overdose
Khloé Kardashian is still able to recall his first words after he regained consciousness following the overdose
In October 2015, Odom, 39, had a near-fatal overdose while at the Love Ranch brothel in Las Vegas. Although he and Kardashian were in the process of divorcing at the time, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star remained by his side in the hospital as he fought to survive.
Reflecting on the trying time nearly four years ago, Kardashian, 34, recently opened up to her divorce attorney, Lauara Wasser, for an episode of PodcastOne’s Divorce Sucks With Laura Wasser.
“He OD’ed during the divorce and I was his next of kin, even though it was still, the divorce was still — it was on the judge’s desk,” Kardashian said in an E! News sneak peek of the upcoming podcast episode, premiering Monday. “It was like two years, or like a year or two of us trying to get the divorce going and then this happened.”
Although the divorce was years-long at that point, Kardashian chose to hit the pause button on finalizing their legal separation.
“And then we paused the divorce, not for any romantic reasons but I wanted to be able to help take care of him and make sure that he would be okay again,” she explained to Wasser.
After four days in a coma, Odom woke up and spoke to Kardashian, a source close to the situation confirmed to PEOPLE at the time. “Lamar is conscious and was able to say hi to Khloé,” said the source.
And years later, Kardashian is still able to recall his first words after he regained consciousness following the overdose.
“I remember he woke up and the first thing he said was, ‘Hey babe,’ ” said Kardashian. “I was like, ‘Oh God. What year does he think this is?’ I remember I was like, ‘Oh no. What did I do?!’ Because I was like, ‘Does he know?’ And then he went right back to sleep because he was in a coma, woke up, saw me and I might’ve put him back into a coma I don’t know, he probably was terrified.”
This week, Odom also opened up about his marriage to Kardashian in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE.
In his new memoir, Darkness to Light — exclusively excerpted in PEOPLE — Odom reveals the truth about his marriage to Kardashian, which was chronicled on Keeping up with the Kardashians and on their spinoff series, Khloé and Lamar.
“I wish I could have been more of a man,” Odom, who admits that he was unfaithful to Kardashian and also hid from her his addiction to cocaine, told PEOPLE. “It still bothers me to this day. But regret is something we have to learn to live with.”
Despite the acrimonious split — the divorce was finalized in 2016 — Odom said their whirlwind romance was blissful in the beginning. The couple wed in 2009, just one month after they met.
“For a while, being with her was bliss and I was the happiest I’ve ever been,” Odom writes in his book. “We were one of the most famous couples in Hollywood and we made more money together than we had individually.” (A rep for Kardashian did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
But Odom struggled to fight his addictions to sex and drugs. “At the start of our marriage I was faithful to her,” he writes. But eventually, he started having affairs, while at the same time hiding a full-blown cocaine addiction.
“I could not handle the lethal cocktail of the spotlight, addiction, a diminishing career and infidelity,” he writes. “Oh, did I mention the paranoia, anxiety, depression. … I couldn’t keep my d— in my pants or the coke out of my nose. Drug addicts are incredibly skilled at hiding their habit. I’d get defensive and Khloé would just drop it.”
Kardashian ultimately learned about the infidelity and the lies and they separated, but she didn’t turn her back on her ex.
“I remember waking up and her showing me pictures of my mother,” Odom, whose mother Cathy died of cancer when he was 12, told PEOPLE. “I was surprised on how quick she was to show her devotion to me.”
Continued Odom: “Her love for me must have been unconditional. That’s the only thing [I think] that gave her the strength to still love me at that time.”