Authorities retrace Odom’s $75,000 stay at Nevada brothel
LAS VEGAS — Authorities are retracing Lamar Odom’s $75,000 visit to the brothel where he was found unconscious as the former NBA and reality TV star remains hospitalized and the Kardashian team spars with the brothel’s owner over media attention surrounding the ordeal.
The only official word on Odom’s condition came on Wednesday when authorities said he’s on life support.
Odom’s grandmother, Florence Odom, declined to comment on his status Thursday, saying she was becoming 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, and have summed it up as a possible drug-related medical episode.
"We’re going to be looking at the entire situation, how he actually came to be where he is now," Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said at a Wednesday news conference.
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.
He was to be flown by helicopter about 80 miles to Las Vegas, but he had to be taken by ambulance because he couldn’t 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.
The Kardashian team and Love Ranch owner Dennis 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 Hoff to respect their privacy.
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 stayed in the "best VIP suite" and chose two women to accompany him. Per Nevada law, prostitutes negotiate services and prices privately with customers as independent contractors. 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. But Hunter noted the company doesn’t search customers and said he 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.
On Sunday, Odom was heard talking on the phone about the latest "Keeping Up with The Kardashians" episode.
"He was upset," Hunter said. "It affected the temper of his mood."
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.
Asked Wednesday if the brothel’s license could also be at risk over what happened, the sheriff said that decision would be up to county commissioners.
"We’re only after the truth here," Wehrly said. "So we need to find out. At the end of the investigation, we’ll be able to let you know what happened."
Hunter said the owner is cooperating with authorities.
"He’s held good licenses for decades without any sort of problem like this" Hunter said. "We certainly understand their concern, but he believes if it was determined that Lamar Odom had any type of drugs, or (overdosed) from drugs, it was completely unbeknownst to us here."