Looking back before he moves forward. Lamar Odom recalled the highs and lows in his basketball career and personal life — namely his marriage to Khloé Kardashian and struggles with substance abuse — in his new TV special, Sex, Drugs and Kardashians, which premiered on Monday, January 2.
After navigating childhood with a father addicted to drugs, Odom, 43, began to dabble with weed in high school after he was caught cheating on the SATs. His partying — and love for women — continued when he started to find success in the NBA in the early 2000s. Things for the then-Los Angeles Lakers star took another turn when his son, Jayden, died of sudden infant death syndrome in 2005.
“His mother let out a cry in that hospital I [would not] have wished on my worst enemy,” Odom recalled. “I had to forgive myself too because when he passed away, I was out partying all night. I wasn’t even in the house. Like a bum. … [But I also wonder] how it would have affected me if I was there, and I had to see him like that. Some things you just have to give to God.”
Odom and his high school love, Liza Morales, had previously welcomed daughter Destiny in 1998 when he was 19 years old and son Lamar Jr. in 2002. As his partying and cheating escalated following Jayden’s passing, Morales ended their relationship for good.
When asked what “drew” him to Kardashian, Odom named her “power and strength,” explaining: “Her demeanor, just the way she carried herself. And her eyes reminded me of my mother’s eyes.”
The twosome began documenting their life on Keeping Up With the Kardashians and spinoff Khloé & Lamar. Two years into their union, the NBA star was struggling with a trade to the Dallas Mavericks and fell into his old patterns of drug use and meeting up with random women. Kardashian pulled the plug on their marriage after he released a video of himself bragging about cheating when he was high in November 2013.
Odom didn’t sign the divorce documents until fall 2015, holding out hope for a reunion. He knew it was over for good after a tense meetup outside of SoulCycle. After signing the paperwork, he went to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada and nearly died following an overdose in October 2015.
“I think if I would have passed away that day or those nights, I think [my life] would be considered a tragedy. But the triumphant part is that I pulled through it,” Odom said in Monday’s doc. “You know, I’m stronger than ever. I’m more focused than I ever was in my championship years. I’ve kind of got the same focus. I don’t live life like a druggie anymore. … I’m so blessed to be here and it’s a thin line between not being here and being here. … You name me one person who got off drugs and things got worse?”
Odom, whose divorce from Kardashian was finalized in 2016, added that he now has “control” over both his sex and drug addiction.
Scroll through for the biggest takeaways from Sex, Drugs and Kardashians: