Reflecting on tough times. Lamar Odom’s ex Liza Morales is opening up about how their two children have been affected by the athlete’s addiction struggles.
“We definitely went through a rocky stage, but I think after the incident in Vegas and coming so close to Lamar almost dying, I feel like I really had to come to a point in our relationship and in coparenting of, ‘You know what? I also have to forgive him for so much and just have more empathy for him,’” the New York native, 40, tells Us Weekly exclusively in this week’s issue, referencing the 12 strokes and two heart attacks Odom, 39, suffered after being found comatose in a brothel in 2015. “He’ll always be an addict. It’s always going to be a monkey on his back. That’s something that we have to deal with as a family and educate ourselves [on], especially me, being the mother. I’ve had to educate myself so I can help my kids through that time.”
Morales shares Destiny, 21, and Lamar, 17, with the Dancing With the Stars season 28 cast member. After the former couple split, the basketball player went on to marry Khloé Kardashian, but she filed for divorce in 2013. But the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 35, withdrew the papers in order to serve as his caretaker following his near-fatal overdose. Their divorce was finalized in December 2016.
“It has been a little tough on my son,” Morales says of her ex-husband’s Vegas overdose. “He shares his father’s name and he has to have that pride in himself and confidence in himself. I’m trying to instill in him that, ‘Yes, you carry your father’s name and you carry it proudly, regardless of how the world views your father. That’s not you. You carry his name, but that’s not you, that’s not your journey.’”
She adds, “As far as his legacy, [Lamar] knows that that’s hard on his son. But they’re good. Lamar loves his kids, they love him. But it’s no secret that it definitely hasn’t been an easy road as a family.”
For more information from Morales and her daughter on their relationship with Odom, check out this week’s issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now!
With reporting by Marc Lupo