Lamar Odom said to regain consciousness, speaks


Lamar Odom, who has been fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, regained consciousness Friday, but his condition remains guarded after he collapsed in a Nevada brothel following a weekend binge, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Odom, a former Laker and reality television star, was brought to the hospital after he collapsed Tuesday at the Love Ranch brothel about 80 miles away in Crystal, Nev. He has been desperately fighting for his life after ingesting what officials said was a deadly mix of cocaine, alcohol and an herbal sexual stimulant.

His estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, has been by his bedside since his arrival at the hospital.


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“Lamar is conscious and was able to say hi to Khloe but his condition remains guarded,” said a source close to the situation who asked to be unnamed.

Alvina Alston, a spokeswoman for Odom’s aunt, JaNean Mercer, told the Los Angeles Times by phone that Odom was able to open his mouth and speak on Friday.

No other details were immediately available.

The improvement in Odom’s condition was first reported by the entertainment journalism outlets E! News and Entertainment Tonight.

Khloe Kardashian, who married Odom amid Hollywood glitz and glamour that was faithfully recorded on television, and his aunt, who helped raise him in New York, separately called on his fans in the interlaced worlds of sports and entertainment to pray for his recovery.


In a posting on her website, Kardashian said she decided to put her social media presence on hold and will not post anything on her multitude of platforms while she deals with Odom’s health needs. The rest of the clan, including Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, released identical statements on their websites.

“As a family, we’ve decided to hold off on publishing content across our apps while we continue to support and pray for Lamar,” the family statement reads. “Thank you for your kindness and understanding during this difficult time.”

The electronic blackout lasted less than a day, In a tweet, Kylie Jenner posted a photo of Odom and Khloe Kardashian ice skating and called on her 11.8 million followers to offer a morning prayer.

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With the hospital not saying how Odom was doing, reports have been rampant through the social media universe: Odom was initially on life support, he was intubated and he had dialysis. But none of those reports have been officially confirmed.

Still all parties agreed that Odom had shown some positive signs of recovery, according to a variety of sources.

Kardashian, whose divorce from Odom is not final, has been making medical decisions about his treatment, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Times.

Brothel owner Dennis Hof was not at the ranch when Odom collapsed, but he told The Times that he had interviewed the manager and the two female employees who found the former basketball star.

Odom was picked up at his home in a gated community in the late afternoon on Saturday, Hof said, and arrived at the Love Ranch at 5 or 6 p.m. As soon as he arrived, Hof said, he added a $100 tip to his bill for the driver.

Odom had initially planned to stay four or five days, he said, but wanted to know if Hof planned to drive down from northern Nevada. If so, Odom reportedly told the manager, he would stay longer.

Hof says Odom racked up a bill of about $75,000 by Tuesday morning. He also said Odom appeared to have taken too much “herbal Viagra” during his stay.

“I was told he was not looking good,” Hof said of the women who were with the hardscrabble basketball star.

Witnesses who called 911 told dispatchers that Odom had also been using cocaine as early as Saturday, when he checked in. He also drank from a bottle of cognac he had ordered over the weekend.

Law enforcement officials have sent blood samples to be analyzed.

Odom began his NBA career in 1999 with the Los Angeles Clippers before going on to win the 2009 and 2010 NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Last year, he was waived by the New York Knicks as a free agent.

In 2009, Odom married Kardashian and became a regular presence on the family’s reality TV shows.

Meanwhile, Mercer, Odom’s aunt and godmother, also called for prayers. Mercer is the sister of Odom’s late mother and helped raise him in New York, where she still lives, according to Alston, her publicist.


For the record

6:33 p.m.: A previous version of this story referred to the publicist Alvin Alton. As said earlier in the story, JaNean Mercer’s publicist is Alvina Alston.


In a statement emailed to reporters, Mercer said: “No words can express the overwhelming gratitude we feel for the outpouring of support from around the world.”

Mercer went on to say that she was focused on Odom’s recovery.

“His complete healing is paramount and our primary focus,” she said.

Follow @latimesmuskal for national news.

Staff writer Christine Mai-Duc contributed to this report


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