Former NBA star Lamar Odom found unconscious at brothel
Former NBA and reality TV star Lamar Odom has been taken to hospital after he was found unconscious at a US brothel, authorities said.
The 35-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star and member-by-marriage of the Kardashian family is in a Las Vegas hospital and there was no immediate word on his condition, officials said.
Nye County Sheriff's Department was called to the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada, about 70 miles from Las Vegas, to a report of an unresponsive man needing an ambulance, police said .
The 35-year-old was stabilised and taken to Desert View Hospital in nearby Pahrump, the statement said. Officials then tried to have him airlifted to Las Vegas, but the 6ft 10in athlete was too tall for the helicopter and he was driven by ambulance to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Centre.
Dennis Hof, who owns the Love Ranch and other legal brothels in Nevada, said his staff picked up Odom from a house in Las Vegas on Saturday.
"He just wanted to get away, have a good time and relax," Mr Hof said.
He added that Odom was "happy, he was sleeping every night", while visiting, but two women went to check on him on Tuesday afternoon after not hearing from him since early morning, and found him face down and unconscious.
When they turned him on his side at the direction of a 911 operator, Odom started "throwing up all kinds of stuff".
Mr Hof said Odom had been taking herbal Viagra and had drunk part of a bottle of cognac since arriving.
"It's incredibly sad," said Mr Hof, who turns 69 on Wednesday. He is known for his own one-time reality show Cathouse on HBO.
Odom, who won two NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, last played in the NBA in 2013, and saw recent reality TV fame through his marriage to Khloe Kardashian.
Kardashian filed for divorce in 2013, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce has not yet received final approval from a judge.
The two were married in 2009 in a large ceremony that was taped for the E! network, following a whirlwind engagement that was also filmed.
Odom spent the best years of his career with the Lakers, winning two championship rings and the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011.
Some troubles that faced Odom before and during his career appeared to worsen after he left the league, and included a no-contest plea to drink-driving.
Odom was suspended during the 2000-01 season for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy for the second time in eight months. During the 2010-11 season, a cousin he was close to died and Odom was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident in New York that killed a cyclist.
Born in New York City, he was raised by his grandmother after his mother died of cancer when he was 12. His father was a drug addict.
In 2006, Odom's six-month-old son Jayden died from sudden infant death syndrome while sleeping in his cot in New York.
He has a daughter Destiny and a son Lamar Jr from a previous relationship.