There are conflicting reports about the health of Lamar Odom, the former NBA star who has waged a public battle with drug and alcohol addiction for years, with a source saying he is “spiraling again” after his collapse at a Los Angeles nightclub early Sunday and a representative saying he was “dehydrated.”
“Lamar is spiraling again. He’s out of control,” an unnamed source told People.com on Monday. “He was better this spring, but things got worse over the summer and everyone is worried things are going to get even worse and they’re scared for him.”
People confirmed the fall and a video published by TMZ that shows Odom, who turned 38 on Monday, being helped at Bootsy Bellows nightclub. However, a representative told People that “Lamar is doing well. He was dehydrated and had been in an intense workout earlier in the day. It was also very hot in the club.”
Two years ago, Odom nearly died after he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel. Comatose for four days, he recovered and went through a drug rehab program. Odom admitted s in a Players’ Tribune collaboration over the summer that he finds an “everyday struggle” and that he “shook hands with death” after the brothel binge that required a months-long hospitalization and recovery.
“At some point, the main doctor came in and told me what had happened,” wrote Odom. “He said, ‘Mr. Odom, you’ve been in a coma for the last four days. Do you understand?’ I couldn’t talk. So I just nodded. He said, ‘It’s a miracle that you’re here. We didn’t think you were going to make it.’”
His estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, helped him recover and they appeared to reconcile, only to divorce last December, months after video of him drinking became public. However, his consistent problem was cocaine, which is, he wrote, “a hell of a drug. It will make you do things you never thought you’d do. It will turn you into a different person. It will put you in situations where you say to yourself, ‘How the [expletive] did I get here?’
“When I was in that hospital bed, I kept asking myself that question. And I kept thinking about all the people in my life who aren’t here anymore. Mostly, I thought about my mother. My dad wasn’t really around when I was a kid. He had his own problems with addiction. But my mother was my best friend in the world. She was just so caring. My first memory in life is hearing the sound of her voice. She had these really wide eyes and a real soft voice.”
Odom lost his mother to colon cancer when he was 12, and loss is a theme that runs through his life and addiction. There was the loss of his baby son to sudden infant death syndrome in 2006, a 2011 car crash that killed a 15-year-old boy, the death of two close friends in June 2015. He played for four NBA teams and was part of two Los Angeles Lakers championship squads.
He wrote that he was sober but faces “an everyday struggle. I have an addiction. I’ll always have an addiction. It never goes away. I mean, I want to get high right now. But I know that I can’t if I want to be here for my children.”
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