“I wish I could have been more of a man,” Lamar Odom tells PEOPLE about cheating on ex-wife Khloé Kardashian
It’s been over five years since Lamar Odom split from Khloé Kardashian after a tumultuous four-year marriage, but the NBA champion says he still has regrets about how things turned out.
In his new memoir, Darkness to Light — exclusively excerpted in PEOPLE — Odom reveals the truth about his marriage to Kardashian, which was chronicled on Keeping up with the Kardashians and on their spinoff series, Khloé and Lamar.
Continues Odom in the book: “On Tuesday morning, I lay on the floor in my room at the Ranch, dying. My body was convulsing. The women who kept me company screamed and called 911. I was taken to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. There was an unholy concoction of cocaine, cognac and cannabis coursing through my veins. My heart stopped twice. I had twelve seizures and six strokes. My lungs collapsed and my kidneys ruptured. I was on life support. Everyone I’d ever loved was looking at me through bleary eyes.”
“Waking up [on Oct. 16], I was pulling the tubes out of my throat,” he tells PEOPLE. “And I was trying to talk but I couldn’t get the words out. That was the scariest part. And not being able to walk. I’m a big athlete you know?”
“Khloé never left my side,” Odom writes. “She didn’t shower for days. Kim’s resiliency was incredible too. They put chairs together for her to sleep across at night.”
“I wish I could have been more of a man,” Odom, who admits that he was unfaithful to Kardashian and also hid from her his addiction to cocaine, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “It still bothers me to this day. But regret is something we have to learn to live with.”
Odom also reveals that he cheated on Kardashian throughout their marriage; she eventually discovered the
“I was shocked and embarrassed,” he tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. “I wanted to take it back, but you can’t. [I] wanted to hide it. But that sick sin was hard for me to hide … I had a problem.”
Continues Odom: “[I] ran out of porn to watch! That’s how you know when you are going a little overboard.”
Odom’s addiction to sex was compounded by his addiction to drugs.
“Sex was a trigger for me to do drugs,” he tells PEOPLE. “Because you double up on [that] good feeling.”
Kardashian’s rep did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Despite the acrimonious split — the divorce was finalized in 2016 — Odom, 39, says their whirlwind romance was bliss in the beginning. The couple wed in 2009, just one month after they met.
“For a while, being with her was bliss and I was the happiest I’ve ever been,” Odom writes in his book. “We were one of the most famous couples in Hollywood and we made more money together than we had individually.”
But Odom struggled to fight his addictions to sex and drugs.
“At the start of our marriage I was faithful to her,” he writes. But eventually, he started having affairs, while at the same time hiding a full-blown cocaine addiction.
“I could not handle the lethal cocktail of the spotlight, addiction, a diminishing career and infidelity,” he writes. “Oh, did I mention the paranoia, anxiety, depression. … I couldn’t keep my d— in my pants or the coke out of my nose. Drug addicts are incredibly skilled at hiding their habit. I’d get defensive and Khloé would just drop it.”
The 39-year-old reveals that he has had sex with more than 2,000 women. “There were too many strippers to count,” he writes. “It wasn’t a big deal, but often I would pay them. I never thought less of them.”
Kardashian ultimately learned about the infidelity and the lies and they separated, but she didn’t turn her back on her ex.
When Odom was hospitalized and near death following an overdose in 2015, Kardashian, 34, was by his side.
“I remember waking up and her showing me pictures of my mother,” Odom, whose mother Cathy died of cancer when he was 12, tells PEOPLE. “I was surprised on how quick she was to show her devotion to me.”
Continues Odom: “Her love for me must have been unconditional. That’s the only thing [I think] that gave her the strength to still love me at that time.”
Now, Odom is drug-free, but admits he still struggles with his demons.
When it comes to Kardashian, “I hope we can be friends,” Odom says. “I miss the family. And I hope we can all be reacquainted one day.”
“Rob will be my brother always,” Odom tells PEOPLE. “I miss that family, and I hope we can all be reacquainted one day.”
Now Odom is drug-free, but admits that he’s still working through his demons.
“I’m still an addict,” he writes in his book. “I still struggle … [But] I will not go into the darkness. Ever again.”
Darkness to Light is out May 28.