The father of Lamar Odom has made allegations that the NBA star was "drugged" before being found unconscious at a Las Vegas brothel. Joe Odom says he does not believe his son was partying in the days leading up to the incident and has called for fans to pray for the sportsman's recovery.
Odom, the ex-husband of reality star Khloe Kardashian, was reportedly found unresponsive on 13 October at Denis Hof's Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada. He was taken to a Las Vegas hospital where he is said to have fallen into a coma and remains in critical condition.
Reacting to the news, Odom's father Joe told Hollywood Life: "Somebody drugged my son. There's no way he's down there partying crazy like that. No way. I knew something was wrong because I've been calling him all day and he hasn't been answering. I'm depressed right now — this is messed up! What can I do right now? That's my son. I'm really hurt right now."
He added: "This is the first time I'm hearing about it. Let's give this some time. I pray that he will come out of this. I need all his fans to send him well wishes. If Khloe knows anything about this, please, tell her to call me. We all love Lamar and want him to pull through this."
Joe and the former LA Lakers player are known to have had a strained relationship over the years and documented their attempts to reconnect on Odom's reality show Khloe & Lamar, which aired from 2011 to 2012.
According to TMZ, Hof, who owns the brothel, said a woman found Odom, 35, in one of the VIP suites and asked the manager to call for an ambulance. Paramedics are said to have initially attempted to airlift Odom to a nearby hospital but instead had to take the basketball player to another hospital by ambulance as his 6ft10in frame was too large for the helicopter.
His ex-wife Chloe Kardashian, her mother Kris Jenner, and older sister Kim Kardashian, are believed to have flown to Las Vegas and are now by his bedside.
Odom, who has two teenage children with former partner Liza Morales, married Kardashian in 2009 after a brief romance, but she filed for divorce in 2013 after allegations emerged of his drug abuse.
The former LA Clippers player is said to be breathing with the assistance of machines. A rep from Excel Sports Management, which represents Odom, have released a statement commenting: "Lamar Odom is a long-time member of the Excel family, and we are keeping him in our thoughts and prayers. We are staying close to the situation but have no additional information or comment at this time."