The internet is going wild with stories that suggest the Kardashians are to blame for Lamar Odom’s recent hospitalization. ICYMI, on Tuesday, Lamar was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel with cocaine and other drugs in his system.
Lamar married Khloe Kardashian in 2009, and the pair had a reality show called Khloe and Lamar. They separated in 2013, but their divorce is still not finalized. Run-ins with the press and conversations on Keeping up the with Kardashians suggest Lamar and Khloe have been in touch recently, and Khloe was Lamar’s support system when he lost his best friend Jamie over the summer.
Lamar has been dealt some heartbreaking cards, including losing his mother at age 12 and having a father who was a heroin addict. He also lost his newborn child in 2006. And his cousin in 2011. And was in the car when his driver lost control and killed a pedestrian a few days later. Just a few months ago, Lamar lost two of his best friends from reported overdoses.
But somehow, his entire downward spiral is being blamed on the Kardashian family.
Are the Kardashians a perfect family? Hell no. Can reality TV influence people’s lives in a negative way? Hell yes.
I’m not denying the fact that being on a reality show can make your problems worse. But chances are, the problem was already there. Addiction goes behind reality TV cameras. Lamar has a history of drug abuse and depression that spans beyond his time on reality television.
Lamar has also made it clear that he loves the Kardashians— who are there and making it possible for Lamar’s dad and kids to be by his side. And telling the man who owns the Nevada brothel to stop running his mouth to the press.
When Lamar’s father blamed his drug issues on the Kardashian family in 2013, Lamar made it clear that if anyone was to blame, it was Joe Odom.
“He disrespecting the ONLY FAMILY that has loved me without expecting anything in return. They are the ONLY ones that have been here consistently 4 me during this dark time. Only person 2 blame is myself. Say what you want about me but leave the ones who have done nothing but protect and love me out of this.”
And hate to break it to you everyone who thinks the Kardashians are rushing to Nevada for publicity, but the Kardashians do not need to do anything for “publicity” anymore. They’re doing just fine— the media writes about their every move (whether it’s taking their kids to ballet, visiting a loved one in the hospital or buying damn Starbucks) and as a society we click on those links. If we didn’t, the media would not write it. It’s as simple as that.
Additionally, there are rumors they are filming all of this for their show. E! has made it very clear that there are not reality cameras filming the family or Lamar in Nevada. I know everyone likes to forget, but people on television are real people. They have real feelings. The Kardashians have made some bold decisions and filmed some very personal moments, but I cannot recall a time when they decided to exploit someone who does not have the last name Kardashian or Jenner. AKA the people who signed up and sign off on what goes on television.
ESPN anchor pointed out his morning that Lamar was an NBA star before he was a Kardashian.
“Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no. Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned,” Scott Van Pelt said.
I think Lamar should be recognized for all of his accomplishments in the NBA. There’s no denying that. I also think having the word Kardashian in the headline is going to get a website more clicks, and that is why he is being referred to as one. As someone who wants to be in media, I think that is only going to change if the consumer does, and from the looks of it, the fans of KUWTK are not going anywhere.
Furthermore, Lamar does have fans from his time on reality TV. I am one of them. I think reality TV is fun. I enjoy watching shows about people’s lives. I loved Khloe and Lamar’s love story. Does that make me a bad person? That’s up to you, I guess.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact that the Kardashians could have disappeared a long time ago if they were not smart business people. Does it help that they’re beautiful? Yes. It pays to be marketable. But there are countless reality “stars” that have washed up after their 15 minutes with nothing— let alone millions of dollars and multiple business— to show for it.
At the end of the day, I do not understand why being associated with the Kardashians has to be a bad thing, or why we act like they’re not real people. Lamar’s story is heartbreaking, and I choose to channel my energy hoping he does not become a tragedy instead of bashing the people he clearly considered family.