LAS VEGAS » Authorities are retracing Lamar Odom’s $75,000 visit to the brothel to find out why the former NBA and reality TV star was found unconscious.
There’s been no official word on Odom’s condition at a Las Vegas hospital, but the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Wednesday he’s on life support. Odom’s grandmother, Florence Odom, declined to comment on his status today, saying she was distressed at unfounded speculation that her grandson would be taken off life support. His father, Joe Odom, also declined to discuss his condition, saying that information was confidential.
Nye County law enforcement and brothel officials said Odom’s incident was a rarity for the Love Ranch, in the rural community of Crystal. They described it as a possible drug-related medical episode.
Odom was found unconscious at the brothel Tuesday with white and reddish substances coming from his nose and mouth. His breathing was consistent, but he seemed to be in a deep, sleep-like state, said Richard Hunter, a Love Ranch spokesman and one of the people who called 911.
Officials tried to fly him by helicopter about 80 miles to Las Vegas, but he had to be taken by ambulance because he was too tall to fit in the aircraft.
Odom’s estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, rushed to his side at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Since then, friends, teammates and loved ones have visited and posted requests for prayers on social media.
Authorities have taken a blood sample to find out if Odom overdosed on drugs or alcohol, but the results could take several weeks.
Hunter said Odom scheduled his brothel visit a week in advance and asked for a ride to the business Saturday, arriving at 4:30 p.m. He paid by credit card after putting down an initial 10 percent deposit for the reservation, Odom’s first-ever visit to the Love Ranch.
He chose two women to accompany him. Per Nevada law, prostitutes negotiate services and prices privately with customers as independent contractors. Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof gets 50 percent.
Odom spent about $75,000 for a minimum four-day stay, Hof said. The site has a five-day maximum policy, but the owner said Odom talked about staying the entire week to celebrate Hof’s recent birthday.
When he got to the brothel, Odom told at least one of the women he had done a "small amount of cocaine" that day, Hunter said.
He added Odom knew the brothel has a strict anti-drugs policy, and the only drugs anyone there saw him take were herbal sexual performance enhancement capsules. Hunter couldn’t rule out the possibility that Odom used other substances.
"The only way that’s possible is if no one knew it and he had it completely to himself," Hunter said. Hof also said earlier that Odom drank alcohol from the brothel bar.
Odom bought the supplements Reload and Libimax Plus — marketed as sexual stimulants or "herbal Viagra" — at the brothel. Libimax sells for $14.99 per pill. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against Reload after it was found to contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in prescription Viagra. The hidden additive could cause dangerously low blood pressure in men taking nitrates for high blood pressure or cholesterol.
The Kardashian team and Hof also locked horns over media attention while about a dozen reporters and camera crews staked out the hospital.
Khloe Kardashian’s representatives reached out Wednesday to Hof and asked him not to speak to the press. But Hof said he’s troubled by the lack of communication from the reality TV star, and he dismissed her rep’s request that Khloe Kardashian do interviews instead of him. She has so far issued no public statements.
"I know what happened," Hof said. "I’m the one protecting my business and telling the truth about it."
Kardashian’s rep said they politely asked Hof to respect their privacy.