ESPN’s Outside the Lines aired an in-depth investigation into the poor management of charities run by professional athletes with the most scathing investigation of Lamar Odom’s charity Cathy’s Kids. Essentially, Cathy’s Kids is a charity that raises funds to impact the lives of underprivileged children and to combat cancer but ESPN uncovered that Cathy’s Kids was actually misappropriating funds to support two AAU basketball teams.
Mrs. Odom lashed out in a statement posted on her website … saying, “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.”
According to ESPN, in the case of Odom, 33, eight years of tax records revealed that his charity, Cathy’s Kids – named in honor his late mother who died of stomach cancer – has not given any money to cancer-related causes since its creation in 2004, despite raising an estimated a whopping $2.2 million.
In addition, the investigation says it found the charity primarily existed to finance two elite youth basketball travel teams. Of the $2.2 million raised by the charity, ESPN reports that at least 60 percent — $1.3 million — went to those AAU teams.
Shockingly, the charity paid only one executive — Jerry DeGregorio, Odom’s high school coach and best man in his wedding to Kardashian, says the report. DeGregorio — now an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors — was secretary of Cathy’s Kids from 2004 through 2011, for which he was paid a median annual salary of about $72,000, while the charity operated at a loss since its creation.
ESPN reports that its 2011 tax returns show Cathy’s Kids is $256,000 in debt, mostly due to a loan Odom made to the charity, according to his business manager Lester Knispel, who is also the charity’s treasurer.
When approached in a locker room by “Outside the Lines,” Odom responded to the charity’s spending habits by saying, “It’s my money.