As former NBA star Lamar Odom clings to life in a Las Vegas hospital, his soon-to-be ex-wife Khloe Kardashian and her clan have done what they do best: make the story all about them.
Before the Kardashians even made it to the hospital, there was no dignity here. Odom was found on Tuesday unconscious and face down in a Nevada brothel, choking on his own mucus, damage to his lungs from crack cocaine and track marks on his arms. He’d spent four days and $75,000 there, in a grim whorehouse that most closely resembles a Marriott.
By all accounts, Odom was extremely depressed and out of it, gorging on KFC and T-bone steaks, three at a time. He had to be transported to the nearest hospital by ambulance; he was too large to be airlifted.
Within hours of Odom’s hospitalization, Khloe, Kris and 7-months-pregnant Kim had hopped on a private plane. According to Radar Online, they had a camera crew in tow. (The 11th season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” filming now, premieres next month.) Caitlyn Jenner was en route.
By early Wednesday morning, media outlets such as TMZ, Radar, People, Us Weekly, E! (home of their reality show) and “Entertainment Tonight” suddenly had real-time updates and unobstructed views of matriarch Kris and her daughters outside the hospital, dressed in designer black dresses as if they were all widowed first ladies, straining to show distress on perfectly made-up, Botoxed faces.
The Kardashians let it be known that they “dropped everything” when they heard of Odom’s collapse, as if this were a heroic response rather than a merely decent one. In Khloe’s case, she’d been on a lingerie shoot. In little sister Kylie’s case, she’d been on a Web stream. “I love you guys,” she tweeted. The next day, Kylie donned a tight strapless two-piece and went to the mall. Paparazzi just happened to be there.
Model sister Kendall was flying in from Shanghai Fashion Week. “Please don’t go,” she tweeted. Kim publicly canceled the baby shower she’d planned for this weekend, letting the world know, by the way, that she would have had a “Troop Beverly Hills” theme.
“It’s a s- -t show,” an unnamed source said. “The Kardashians are trying to run everything. They walked into the hospital with cameras rolling. It was shocking, but hardly a surprise…They are all crying and pretending like they care.”
The Kardashians denied they had a camera crew in the hospital, but either way, wanna bet they’re secretly filming with their iPhones? This is a family that commodifies everything, from sex tapes to fertility treatments to Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. People in their orbit are mere utility players — including Odom, who has never been more valuable to them than now.
Odom, 35, and Khloe, 31, filed for divorce in 2013, but he remained an unwilling, off-screen character on the show. He reportedly begged his estranged wife to stop airing his phone calls and to stop using him as a plot point, but she refused.
“She would tell him, ‘You owe me this after you humiliated me by cheating with other women,’” a source told Radar.
It was reported that Odom became extremely upset last Sunday night after an episode aired in which Khloe once again humiliated her husband. Odom’s best friend had died of drug-related causes, and he’d called Khloe for consolation. She then self-servingly told the cameras that “I’m really on high alert for Lamar because anything, I think, will cause him to spiral and that’s really the last thing I want for him.”
Later in that same episode, Khloe said “my heart dropped to my stomach” when she heard that Odom might have shown up at one of her paid nightclub appearances. Her sister Kim told cameras that the idea of Khloe still talking to Odom “makes me sick.”
Reports from those with Odom on Sunday night said he was “irate” and “inconsolable” after the episode aired.
“He kept saying he was better than the Kardashians and ‘f–k them,’ ” a source told The Daily Mail. “He said all they had ever done for him was exploit him for the show. He went through every one of them — Kim, Kris, Caitlyn . . . He felt chewed up and spat out.”
The source added Odom suspected Kris Jenner manipulated Khloe into leaving him for plot purposes. “Now he feels they’re using him to boost the show’s ratings,” the source said.
“Lamar had no idea he was going to be Khloe’s storyline during the past season,” another source told Radar. “She’s always talking about how much she loves the guy, but has no problem exploiting
Lamar for her gain. How low can Khloe go? Lamar would call her about losing his best friend this past summer, and the first thing she thinks is to document it?”
The Kardashians, said the source, “have blood on their hands.”
Pattern of Abuse
It’s a well-established pattern of abusive behavior for the Kardashians, who have built a $100 million empire on mining their lives — while shamelessly exploiting others — for entertainment.
Odom — who once confessed to the LA Times that, emotionally, “I consider myself a little weak” — was no match for a family who casually and consistently trails human wreckage in their wake.
Odom met Khloe at a party in 2009, and they were married one month later in an outlandish ceremony filmed for the show. Kelly Osbourne was there. Babyface sang.
It became the Kardashians’ highest-rated episode ever, with 3.2 million viewers, and suddenly, NBA star Lamar Odom had a supporting role on a trashy reality show.
Initially he was on board. “As an athlete, you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities,” he told Fox Sports. “When the ball stops bouncing, it stops bouncing.”
In 2011, E! gave the couple a spin-off called “Khloe & Lamar.” He was alternately depicted as a gentle soul who’d found peace with his new family and as a probable drug addict who went missing for days at a time.
That same year, Odom’s fellow NBA star Kris Humphries was sucked into the Kardashian vortex, marrying Kim after a 90-day engagement. Kim made an estimated $2 million off the wedding alone.
Their ceremony aired as a two-part special on Oct. 9 and 10.
On Oct. 31, Kim filed for divorce. Kris learned about it on the news.
“After careful consideration,” Kim’s statement read, “I have decided to end my marriage…sometimes things don’t work out as planned.”
A friend told Radar Online that one month later, Kris watched “in utter horror” as he was depicted on the show as a bully who’d used Kim for her fame. “It’s just not a true depiction.”
Kim villainized Kris off-air as well, leaking to TMZ that he was a “cancer” and a “manipulative, vindictive, petty, fame-hungry jerk.”
Humphries was vindicated during their divorce proceedings, when show producer Russell Jay testified that much of it was fake — but only the Kardashians were in on it.
Jay said that during Humphries’ season, at least two scenes were staged: the wedding proposal, which was reshot because Kim “didn’t like how her face looked in the first take,” and a scene in which Kim confessed doubts about her marriage to her mother — which was shot after Kim filed for divorce.
“They set Kris up to look like a jerk,” a friend told Radar Online. “Anyone who loves someone would not team up with their production team to make them look like a fool on TV.”
Rob Kardashian, the only boy in the family, understands. He quit filming in 2014 and spent the rest of the year getting publicly fat-shamed and sidelined by his mother and sister Kim.
“Rob is fatter than ever, and Kris finally flat-out told him he’s an embarrassment to the family,” a source told Star magazine in February 2014. “She called him a fat slob and told him he’s losing out on business opportunities because no one wants someone as huge as him representing their products.”
“Rob feels that the show has truly ruined his family,” a source told Radar that same month. “He feels very alone.”
In May 2014, Rob flew back from Paris without having attended Kim’s lavish wedding to Kanye West — reportedly because Kim told him he was too fat and ugly for the wedding pictures. She also told Rolling Stone that Rob’s weight gain was due to sloth.
“Do I think he smokes weed, drinks beer, hangs out and plays video games with his friends all day long?” she asked. “Yes.”
No wonder Kylie Jenner got with the program, literally and figuratively. When she was just 17 years old, Kylie had filler injected into her formerly thin lips, along with a likely browlift and filler in the lines around her mouth. And she began dating 25-year-old rapper Tyga. Both moves were heartily endorsed by her mother, and Kylie’s on her way to becoming a brand: various endorsements, along with her line of hair extensions, Kylie Hair Kouture, has helped her reach a reported net worth of $5 million.
Meanwhile, sister Kourtney — who at 36 is the eldest and dullest of the clan — uses her tumultuous relationship with cheating, jobless, substance-abusing boyfriend Scott Disick as her storyline.
Disick, 32, the father of Kourtney’s three young children, is most often seen black-out drunk on the show. The couple’s umpteenth break-up was the major plot line for the season 10 finale.
Disick remained off-screen while Kris called him “a piece of s–t.” In the show’s last scene — the cliff-hanger — Kourtney cried to an impassive Kim: “I can’t believe that this is where my life is right now.”
The Kardashians also move their narrative along through the tabloids, and last week the Kardashian camp issued a threat to Disick through US Weekly.
“He’s no longer filming,” a family friend told the magazine. “He doesn’t have a job anymore,” and without the show, “his club appearances will die down within a year. He’ll lose the social-media influence. The Kardashians are all evolving in their platforms and he’s no longer in step with them.”
In other words: Get back with Kourtney and get back to work.
It was a setup
In the weeks leading up to Odom’s overdose, he’d once again felt publicly humiliated by the Kardashians. He’d approached Khloe outside a Beverly Hills SoulCycle at 6:45 in the morning — caught by paparazzi, of course. The Kardashian camp spun the incident as stalking.
Odom, however, insisted that Khloe had told him where she was going to be and set him up. He fought back through TMZ: “Y’all beat me down, degraded me, said I would do everything in the world. I’m a womanizer, a f–king drug addict, everything. I probably couldn’t even get f–king hired at Home Depot right now because of how people look at me. It’s over . . . if it happens again, I will air everything out.”
Khloe, it turns out, is making all medical decisions for Odom; though they filed for divorce, a judge hasn’t signed off on their papers. On Wednesday, Khloe instructed her publicist to tell
Dennis Hof, owner of the brothel where Odom was found, to quit talking to the media — that’s Khloe’s job.
“I told her to pass on a message: Go to hell,” Hof told CNN.
“This is a very painful situation,” Khloe’s publicist responded, “and the idea that anyone would use it to seek publicity is really sad.”
Meanwhile, the leaks keep on coming, and they’re all about how Odom’s tragedy is affecting the Kardashians: Scott Disick checked into rehab this past week. People magazine was told exclusively that “it’s hard for Khloe. He is on his last leg.” And Kim had to fly back to LA because she has health issues, too, you guys.
“We’re told Kim has an appointment with a pregnancy specialist,” TMZ reported on Thursday. “Her placenta is growing too deep into her uterus.”
And so Lamar Odom’s fight for life competes with Kim Kardashian’s vagina for attention — which, in Kardashian world, is the way it should be.