Lamar Odom Says He Left Taraji P. Henson for Khloé Kardashian: 'I Would've Done Things Different'
"She was a little older than me, but I learned a lot from her because that was the most significant relationship as a grown up that I had with a black woman," he said
In a clip from his appearance on the TV One docuseries, Uncensored, the former NBA player opened up about dating the Empire actress in 2009, which he also recalled in his new book, Darkness to Light: A Memoir.
“I just wish I would’ve done things different with her,” Odom, 39, said of Henson, 49, in the clip. “She was a little older than me, but I learned a lot from her because that was the most significant relationship as a grown up that I had with a black woman.”
“I used to carry her picture on the road with me. Don’t know anybody knew that,” he added.
Odom, who shares daughter Destiny, 21, and son Lamar Jr., 17, with ex Liza Morales, said that Henson gave him “inspiration” while they were together.
“A black woman working like that, that is just as good at her craft that I’m as good at my craft,” he said. “I remember we were on the road, our longest road trip, and we were playing Cleveland. And I went off on they ass. But what I’m getting at, one of my inspirations that’s part of my inspiration for me going back to see her, going back to L.A., was one of the reasons I kicked their ass that day. I remember how I was feeling during that day and after that game, and she just inspired me.”
“Things ended with Taraji because me being an immature punk, I didn’t know how to tell her I was falling in love with another woman named Khloé Kardashian,” Odom said at the end of the clip.
After Odom and Kardashian, 35, dated for only a month, the two tied the knot in September 2009, which was documented on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Their marriage was also chronicled on their spinoff series, Khloé and Lamar.
In his memoir, Odom reflected on the couple’s happiness at the beginning of their relationship.
“For a while, being with her was bliss and I was the happiest I’ve ever been,” Odom wrote in his book. “We were one of the most famous couples in Hollywood and we made more money together than we had individually.”
However, Odom struggled to fight his addictions to sex and drugs.
“At the start of our marriage I was faithful to her,” he wrote. 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,” Odom wrote. “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.
When Odom was hospitalized and near death following an overdose in 2015, Kardashian was by his side.
“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.”
When it comes to Kardashian, “I hope we can be friends,” Odom said. “I miss the family. And I hope we can all be reacquainted one day.”