In 2004, Lamar Odom founded Cathy’s Kids. A cancer charity in honor of Odom’s late mother who died of stomach cancer. However, an investigation by ESPN’s Outside the Lines found that despite raising $2.2 million in eight years, it has not given a dime in grant money to any cancer related causes. What the charity has done is finance two elite youth basketball teams. At least 60% went to those teams.
Going through tax records, the only executive listed as receiving a salary is Jerry DeGregorio, Odom’s high school coach and best man at his wedding. DeGregorio, now an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, reportedly made $72,000 a year from 2004 to 2011. This despite Cathy’s Kids operating at a loss. They posted a debt of $256,000 in 2011.
ESPN reports Cathy’s Kids has implied its been dormant for years despite the fact Khloe Kardashian has been selling her used clothing on eBay which all “benefit Cathy’s Kids, a Lamar Odom Foundation.”
Receiving no statement or response from anyone representing Cathy’s Kids, ESPN went to Odom directly after a recent game and he “became visibly upset and ended the conversation.” In an interview a month later, Odom apologized but still wouldn’t answer any questions. Pressed further, he simply said, “It’s my money.”
That statement may come back to bite him in the ass because once money is put into charity, it’s no longer their private money. Explains player agent Andrew Bondarowicz, who runs the Agretta Group, “It’s not meant to be someone’s personal slush fund and a way for them to spend money for their own private purposes.”