Lamar Odom, fresh out of a 30-day stint in rehab, has finally opened up to Us Weekly about the rocky 18 months he’s had. After being found unconscious in a Las Vegas brothel in 2015, Odom learned that he had suffered multiple strokes and heart attacks — likely a residual effect of intense drug and alcohol usage. Today, the former NBA player is happy to report that he’s completely sober and stronger after a pretty miraculous recovery. Not only will Odom be documenting his stay at San Diego rehab for a reality show, he’s working on an autobiography that’s set for release this year. Odom’s story is pretty straightforward: He was lost and now he’s found. It’s his recollections of ex-wife Khloé Kardashian that are really interesting.
Odom admits that he hid his drug use from Khloé at the beginning of their marriage and that once she caught him, she “tolerated” it for a couple of years before they ultimately split in 2011. Odom was relieved to find her at his bedside when he awoke from his coma four days after the incident at the brothel. He also admitted that he cheated on her over the course of their relationship. He told Us Weekly, “When I became Khloé Kardashian’s man and on TV, it made me look more enticing.” He insists that women were attracted to him because of his proximity to a Kardashian sibling.
When people call out the Kardashians for cultural appropriation, they often criticize them for stealing hair, nails, clothes, and men from Black folks. There are many people who view the family's apparent preference for Black men as a problematic fetishization. And there are merits to such an argument. I am in no way oblivious to the historical context of non-Black women coveting Black men as embodiment of “othered” exoticness. In the case of the Kardashians, this otherness contributes to their brands in very interesting ways.
However, Odom’s comments were a reminder that there are levels to this. The relationship between the Kardashian (and Jenner) women the Black men they date, is usually a mutually beneficial situation in terms of public image. Odom confirmed that by insisting that a Kardashian was his come up, not the other way around.
We all know by now that Khloé delayed their divorce in order to support Odom after his nearly fatal health scare. If this interview is any indication, Odom’s upcoming reality show won’t have nearly as much drama as KUWTK. Instead, it appears that it’ll document the beginning of a new, healthier life for Odom.