Lamar Odom's speech improving during therapy, family says

Posted at 3:09 PM, Oct 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-22 16:09:31-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lamar Odom's family said Thursday that his speech is improving as he undergoes therapy in Los Angeles more than a week after the former NBA star was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel.

"He is beginning to gradually flourish both mentally and physically," said a statement from Alvina Alston, publicist for Odom's aunt JaNean Mercer. "His use of speech has increased and he's more cognitively responsive."

Alston called Odom's therapy regimen "aggressive," but she did not elaborate.

A day earlier, Odom and reality star Khloe Kardashian filed a court petition dismissing a divorce filing from December 2013. A clerk granted the request in such a way that the divorce papers can be refiled at a later date.

Kardashian has been by Odom's side since he was found in extremely critical condition Oct. 13 at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal and hospitalized in Las Vegas.

A Nye County sheriff's detective, Michael Eisenloffel, told a state court judge late that night that he believed Odom overdosed on drugs including cocaine, according to search warrant records obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The judge authorized police to obtain a blood sample from Odom, who had by then been taken by ambulance to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Brothel officials have said workers saw Odom drink alcohol and take supplements sold as "herbal Viagra," but no employees saw him take illegal drugs. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2013 against one brand of supplement they said he took, Reload, after it was found to contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in prescription Viagra.

The warrant said Odom was seen by witnesses and on security video taking an unidentified pill from an unmarked plastic bag in his pocket, and two prostitutes told police they had "vague knowledge" that Odom was using illicit narcotics.

"I believe that Mr. Odom may be — or may have been under the influence of a controlled substance," Eisenloffel told Fifth Judicial District Judge Robert Lane.

The warrant said the women told police they believed Odom snorted cocaine in a bathroom while they were in the adjacent bedroom.

Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof has said that Odom arrived Oct. 10 for a four-day stay and spent $75,000 on two women who accompanied him in a VIP suite.

Test results from blood samples obtained through a warrant still are pending, and authorities have not ruled out the possibility of taking action against the brothel or Odom.

Odom spent most of his 14-year NBA career in Los Angeles with the Lakers and Clippers.