For the first time, the daughter of famed yet troubled former NBA star Lamar Odom, Destiny Odom, is publicly addressing his drug addiction and subsequent overdose.
In an exclusive interview with People, Destiny, 17, told the mag she hopes that her story of growing up with a father who had an addiction can help other children in the same situation.
“When someone is on drugs there is really not much that you can do except just tell them that you love them and that you’re here for them,” she says. “You can’t force an addict to get better. They have to want it themselves.”
The former NBA player suffered a near-fatal drug overdose of drugs including cocaine and herbal Viagra in October 2015. He was found unconscious in a brothel in Crystal, Nev., a town roughly 80 miles from Las Vegas.
“I think he was meant to be here because of me and my brother,” Destiny tells People. “It sounds like a cheesy movie, but I think that everything happens for a reason.”
In the exclusive interview, teen also says that at one point she felt like she should be blamed for her dad’s struggle with drugs.
“I used to worry that [my dad’s] addiction was my own fault but after talking to therapists and drug specialists, you just know the way that an addict’s brain is chemically wired,” says Destiny. “They can love you, they would do anything for you, but at the end of the day, there’s a chemical dependency on drugs.”
Check out the exclusive interview here.