Los Angeles Clippers forward Lamar Odom is facing allegations that he misused funds from the tax exempt charity he created to help underprivileged kids and raise money for cancer research.
In 2004, Odom created a charity called "Cathy's Kids" in honor of his late mother, who died from cancer when Odom was just 12 years old. The charity has raised an estimated $2.2 million over the years, but tax records obtained by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" failed to show that any of that money went to cancer research.
In fact, nearly $1.3 million of the raised money has went toward funding a pair of elite youth basketball teams. It is not clear where the remaining $900,000 of the charity's finances went, but there is no evidence based on available documentation to prove that any of it went to cancer-related causes.
When questioned by an ESPN camera crew outside the locker room regarding the charity, Odom responded by saying, "It's my money."
Odom has yet to publicly address the allegations, however, his wife, Khloe Kardashian published the following post on our her website in defense of her husband.
It is unfortunate that my husband has been the target of an attack on athletes’ charities, although he has personally contributed approximately $2.2 million to his foundation, Cathy’s Kids, to fulfill its charitable purposes that include helping underprivileged inner-city youth.
The millions of dollars personally contributed by Lamar constituted more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation. All of the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy’s Kids were used for one of the foundation’s intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family. No charitable funds were misused, and the IRS has repeatedly given Cathy’s Kids a clean bill of health, confirming that there were no improprieties.
Cathy’s Kids was formed with several purposes in mind, including benefitting underprivileged youth and cancer research. A decision was ultimately made that the charity should focus on one of those purposes — to help enrich the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth. It accomplished that goal. Cathy’s Kids helped fund multiple AAU basketball teams providing underprivileged youth with opportunities enriching their lives, providing financial support for coaching and travel to tournaments, helping inner-city youth on a path toward success and leading many participants to go on to collegeVia TMZ