How Fair Is It to Link Keeping Up with the Kardashians to Lamar Odom's Crisis?

Illustration for article titled How Fair Is It to Link Keeping Up with the Kardashians to Lamar Odom's Crisis?

This end of this season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians has revolved around several plot lines; Kim’s pregnancy, the family’s ongoing tensions with Caitlyn Jenner, Scott Disick’s eventual breakup with Kourtney, and Khloe’s ongoing relationship with her ex, NBA player Lamar Odom. On Wednesday, after Odom was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel, TMZ reported that “the trigger” of his breakdown “was an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” This link is speculative, but the speculation strengthens the link.


Odom checked into a legal brothel called the Love Ranch on Saturday, and was found passed out Tuesday afternoon. His collapse has been suggested to be the result of a poor combination of either herbal or regular Viagra and alcohol. Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof has said that Odom’s mood shifted after he “got calls on Sunday that kind of bummed him out.” TMZ echoed that report via their own sources:

Up until getting the call, people at the Ranch say Lamar was “chill.” There was no evidence he had been high on drugs or alcohol. We’re told when he arrived Saturday, he ordered a single bottle of cognac and when he was found unconscious a third of the bottle was left.

The rest of the article goes on to suggest that it was what aired during Sunday night’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians episode that might have upset him: conversations between Kim and Khloe about Odom’s best friend Jamie, who died in June (and had previously been featured on the show), about Khloe’s “flirty” relationship with Lamar, and about Lamar showing up at the same club as Khloe. From TMZ, emphasis added:

Some of the women who were around Lamar say he became irate, complaining about the way he had just been portrayed on the show.

But what TMZ didn’t mention was that none of those scenes were in Sunday’s episode. Sunday night’s Season 10 finale instead focused on Scott’s drug problems.

Odom’s rep suggests that it’s invasive in the first place to speculate about the circumstances of his supposed breakdown. TMZ linking Sunday’s show to figure out what happened to Odom glides over the fact that his scenes have all appeared in weeks’ past: the club scene and Khloe learning about Jamie’s death aired last week (as did Scott’s joke about the financial breakdown of Khloe and Lamar’s divorce), while the first scene with Kim bothering Khloe about her relationship with Lamar aired at the beginning of this four-episode season.

The only real reference to Lamar on Sunday night came after the episode aired, during the promo for the upcoming season, which returns in November. It’s a two-second conversation between Kris and Khloe. “Did you sign the divorce papers?” Kris asks Khloe. “In the next few days it’ll be done,” Khloe responds. (Their divorce was finalized in July.)

Odom has made it clear in recent months that he’s been displeased by how he’s been portrayed in the press regarding his drug problems and relationship with Khloe. But who knows what his relationship to his portrayal in the show—particularly Sunday’s show—could be?


It’s messy. The show keeps Odom off-camera during discussions of his life and relationships, and his side of phone conversations with Khloe is not included—a situation that’s in contrast to the days when his wedding was being broadcast on the network. Now, the story is always Khloe’s. But currently, four recent posts on the show’s Facebook page involve Odom; two of them are about how the family is rallying behind him (perhaps with cameras in tow).

Illustration for article titled How Fair Is It to Link Keeping Up with the Kardashians to Lamar Odom's Crisis?

“Lamar has suffered so much loss in life,” Khloe said in last week’s episode. She could have been referring to any number of tragic events: the death of his mother at a young age, his complicated relationship with his father, the death of his grandmother who raised him, the sudden death of his son, and the recent deaths of several close friends. “I’m always going to be there for Lamar, especially when something as tragic as this happens.”

“I’m really on high alert for Lamar, because, I mean anything I think that will set him to spiral, and that’s kind of the last thing I want for him,” she said.


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No, it isn’t fair. Addiction isn’t anyone’s fault; it’s a disease. To blame Khloe and her family is ignorant. And Lamar signs off on the content of the show if it involves him. He gets paid for it. He’s no victim there.

I hope he recovers and gets help.