Inside Lamar Odom's Relationship With His Kids Today

The following article mentions addiction and mental health struggles.

Lamar Odom originally found fame after he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 1999 draft and became an NBA star. However, he found an entirely different type of fame when he married reality TV personality Khloé Kardashian. Their relationship and complicated breakup were chronicled on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," as well as their spinoff series, "Khloé & Lamar." "It was the most important part of my adult life," he said on "The View" in 2019, "except besides having my children."

That kind of attention was a big change for Lamar, and he ultimately struggled to cope with it. He explained to VladTV, "I was first an LA Laker and now I'm a Hollywood star ... athletic royalty, Hollywood royalty, that sense is a lot to grasp." Nevertheless, Lamar has remained in the spotlight over the years, by appearing on other reality shows, like "Dancing With the Stars" and "Celebrity Big Brother."

Behind the scenes, Lamar has a family that the public doesn't often see. He shares two children with his former girlfriend, Liza Morales. His daughter, Destiny Odom, was born in 1998, and his son, Lamar Odom Jr., arrived in 2002. His third child, Jayden Odom, died when he was an infant. It appears that the former Laker's children haven't always been a big part of his life, but that has since changed. As he said on "The View," "I live for my children." Let's take a look inside Lamar Odom's relationship with his kids today.

Lamar Odom didn't always make himself available to his kids

It seems that Lamar Odom wasn't the most involved in Destiny and Lamar Odom Jr.'s lives when he was married to Khloé Kardashian. In Lamar's ex, Liza Morales, told OK! that he rarely saw their kids, even when they had moved to Los Angeles to be closer to him. "For a period of 11 months, he saw the kids about five times. So I moved back to New York, where we have other family," she said. Morales did credit him for taking care of them financially, but wanted him to be more consistent as a father.

Years later in 2017, Destiny revealed that her father's reality TV life became too much for her to deal with. She implied that she got bullied too, noting that her classmates would use the details about his relationship, career ups and downs, and addiction against her. "There were regular snide comments at school ... Even people that I thought were my friends were saying stuff on social media. It was humiliating," she recalled to People (via Yahoo!).

Lamar has since admitted that he was not a present father in his 2019 memoir, "Darkness To Light." He wrote, "I rarely saw them during my marriage to Khloe," before adding that things got worse when he later moved to Las Vegas. Destiny even claimed that she learned of Lamar's overdose from TMZ. However, it seems they've worked to move past that dark time.

Lamar Odom's overdose altered his relationship with his kids

Lamar Odom's 2015 drug overdose and hospitalization took a significant toll on his two kids. Destiny Odom recalled to ABC News, "[I] thought it was gonna be my last moments with him," adding, "I just told him that I need him to be here." She told him that he could either take whatever steps necessary to get sober, or he could accept that she would no longer be in his life. That ultimatum clicked, and Lamar went to rehab. "I'm glad she pulled up the courage to tell her old man that," he said.

Lamar Odom Jr. also struggled with almost losing his father, but has not been as open as his sister about it. Their mother, Liza Morales, told Us Weekly, that it was "tough" for the younger Lamar to watch his dad's downfall. She explained, "I'm trying to instill in him that ... 'You carry his name, but that's not you, that's not your journey.'"

In 2022, Lamar said that he was trying to make better life choices so his children could be proud of him. He now wants to use his past as a learning lesson for Destiny and Lamar Jr. And so, he's been honest about the mistakes and hardships he has worked through. Destiny told E! News, "I've learned to keep going and to keep fighting ... So many tales of what to do and not to do, but I'm so proud of him."

The former NBA player has since reconnected with his children

Lamar Odom may have had a fraught relationship with his children for years, but in recent years, he's made an effort to be more present. In August 2023, the former LA Clipper posted his children on his Instagram, which he had rarely done in the past. He shared a reel of his daughter, Destiny Odom, modeling, as a birthday tribute to her. That same day, he also posted a photo of him with Destiny and his son, Lamar Odom Jr., captioning it, "MY FAMILY."

Lamar also opened up about rebuilding their relationship in 2022, telling E! News that he was finding ways to "bond" with them. Destiny had moved into his house, which he seemed thrilled about. He gushed, "We can be on Mars and I'd be good with that. Just having her next to me as much as possible is like a dream come true."

Their relationship has clearly come a long way from when they used to seldom see each other. Destiny said that she had to forgive her father, so they could both move on. She felt that he was finally apologetic for his past behavior. Destiny also sees his recovery from his overdose as a second chance for all of them. She explained to People, "I don't really think that's a coincidence. I think he was meant to be here because of me and my brother ... everything happens for a reason."

Lamar Odom opened up about his youngest son's death

While Lamar Odom is building stronger bonds with his two children, Destiny and Lamar Odom Jr., he's still mourning the death of his youngest child, Jayden Odom. In 2006, Jayden died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while in his crib. "When he passed, I couldn't even leave the hospital," Lamar recalled in a 2019 interview with ABC News. "I just sat there for about three hours and held him."

It took years for Lamar to open up about Jayden's death. He suggested to People in 2021 that basketball, reality TV, and a high-profile relationship kept him so busy that he struggled to properly grieve. "I just wish I would've had him in my life a little longer. ... You know what's crazy? I don't even think I still have even sat down and cried about it," he explained. On a 2022 episode of "Celebrity Big Brother," Lamar shared that he still sees Jayden in his dreams.

In a 2021 interview with People, Liza Morales noted how difficult the death was for the entire family. She said that on top of dealing with their own grief, Destiny and Lamar Jr. had a mom who was struggling with her mental health and a father who struggled with drug use. "The trauma [of Jayden's death] never goes away," she said. "You constantly have to work on yourself when it comes to loss and depression."

Lamar Odom Jr. was upset about his dad's engagement

Lamar Odom's marriage to Khloé Kardashian wasn't the only relationship that became a source of family drama. Destiny and Lamar Odom Jr. weren't happy when their dad moved on with fitness coach Sabrina Parr in 2019. A source told Radar, "His son is so upset. So is Destiny. Everyone hates her." They went on to add, "His kids think she is using him to try and get fame."

Lamar Jr. even made his feelings about his dad's relationship with Parr public. After Parr and Lamar got engaged only a few months into dating, Lamar Jr. took to Instagram to express how upset he was in a now-deleted post. Per Radar, he wrote, "Knew shawty for 4 months and already got you twisted, fam n friends already don't approve of homegirl." What's more, Lamar Jr. apparently did not even hear the news from his own dad. "Shame family gotta find out on social media, but that's how life been all the time as the son of an Odom," he added. 

The next day, Lamar Jr. apologized to the elder Lamar on social media. Per InTouch Weekly, he wrote in another now-deleted post, "I was hurt and caught off guard ... I have nothing but love for my dad and want what's best for him." Parr and Lamar called off their engagement in 2020. After the split, Lamar told Showbiz CheatSheet that Parr did not get along with Destiny Odom, either. 

Lamar Odom supports his daughter's modeling career

Lamar Odom's daughter, Destiny Odom, seems to be finding her footing in the entertainment industry, too. But rather than get into the world of reality TV like her dad, Destiny has entered the world of modeling. She made her fashion show debut at the Couture Fighting Cancer 2nd Annual Fashion Show in September 2022. Lamar was at the show to cheer her on, and apparently joined her for a facial beforehand, too. While Destiny was excited for the show, she gushed to E! News, "I'm having fun spending time with my dad."

Lamar is definitely happy to be by his daughter's side, especially as Destiny pursues her dreams in Los Angeles, where he hinted that he's helped her through his connections. He explained to OK!, "I'm extremely proud of her for having the faith in herself and the faith in me to make this happen for her." He went on to emphasize that his priority has become making sure his daughter succeeds in whatever she does.

Destiny told E! News that she's set a number of goals for herself. "I definitely would like to continue working with social-related, cultural brands. And I actually want to go back to school," she shared. Yet, her father may have aspirations for them to one day work in TV together. "Maybe we'll start a reality show. We'll have a lot to talk about, a lot to show," he said.

The family had a complicated relationship with Joe Odom

Lamar Odom had a complicated relationship with his own father, Joe Odom. Joe wasn't in Lamar's life much during his childhood, and he struggled with heroin addiction. At some point, they did start to repair their relationship, and Joe was featured on Lamar's reality show, "Khloe and Lamar." Yet, Joe did cause his fair share of drama by often blasting the Kardashians in the press.

Lamar's daughter, Destiny Odom, apparently wasn't a fan of her paternal grandfather, and felt that he used her dad. Per the Daily Mail, she once wrote on social media, "I can count the number of times I've met Joe on my hands," even adding, "He ain't my grandpa, I dunno that fool." It's unclear if Destiny or her brother, Lamar Odom Jr., ever formed a bond with him before he died in 2021.

Lamar touched on his rocky relationship with Joe in an Instagram tribute, not only pointing out that they had their differences, but by encouraging his followers to make amends with their loved ones before it's too late (via People). While Lamar and his children all seemed to have issues with Joe, it appears that Lamar is trying to learn from his father's mistakes. He told ET in 2022, "I want [my kids] to be proud of the name Odom ... not just being able to put the ball in the d**n hoop ... be proud of the man."

Lamar Odom no longer speaks to his kids' mother

Lamar Odom has had a strained relationship with the mother of his kids, Liza Morales, whom he began dating back in high school. While they went on to get engaged in 2000, they split before getting married. They did maintain a connection for their children though, which apparently wasn't always easy. However, Morales told Us Weekly in 2019, that they turned a corner after he recovered from his drug overdose. "I really had to come to a point in our relationship and in coparenting of, 'You know what? I also have to forgive him for so much,'" she said.

In 2021, TMZ revealed that Lamar was ordered to pay Morales nearly $400,000 in child support, after she took him to court when he stopped making payments. Then, in 2022, Morales told Page Six that she and Lamar were no longer speaking, and that she was releasing a book about their troubled relationship called "Cutting Trauma Ties." 

Regardless of how Morales and Lamar feel about each other, it is clear that the reality star is in a stronger place with Destiny and Lamar Odom Jr. "I literally call him for advice for stuff now, because I feel like I can open up to him now," Destiny shared in the 2021 doc "Lamar Odom: Re/Born" (via Distractify). Lamar Jr. also acknowledged the changes his dad has made in recent years. "I do see him progressing as a person, as a man, as a father," he said. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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