Khloé Kardashian isn’t the only one grappling with headlines over Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity. The reality star’s family and friends are also trying to make sense of the videos that purportedly show the Cleveland Cavaliers star cheating on Kardashian at different times while pregnant.
According to various reports, the Kardashian-Jenner clan had reservations when Khloé began dating Thompson in 2016. For one, his ex-girlfriend Jordan Craig was pregnant with his child. There was also the fact that Kardashian, 33, was dating yet another NBA player.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star’s biggest heartbreak (up until this week, at least) also played out in front of the world when her marriage to Lamar Odom fell apart. Kardashian wed the former Los Angeles Lakers star in September 2009 after only a month of dating.
“They’re very, very happy,” Kim Kardashian told People at the time. “They’ve been together a few weeks, and are literally inseparable. Khloe thinks he’s amazing and makes her laugh and smile constantly.”
Their infectious relationship inspired the KUWTK spinoff Khloé & Lamar and it seemed like despite their whirlwind courtship, the pair was happy as can be and even wanted to expand their family. That façade came crashing down three years later amid reports of Odom’s drug use and infidelity. Kardashian reportedly hid Odom’s substance issues from her family.
“It’s a really hard time for Khloé,” a source told People at the time. “She’s kept this secret for almost two years trying to save Lamar and their marriage.”
After attempting a reconciliation, Kardashian filed for divorce in December 2013. “I wanted the whole story. I didn’t just want a baby. I wanted Lamar, my babies, I wanted to have their names, what they’re going to do,” she later reflected to Complex. “I wanted the whole thing. And we tried. There’s a reason why it didn’t work and that’s fine. God always has a bigger plan, and we don’t know why.”
Following her split with Odom, Kardashian rebounded with rapper French Montana. “He’s probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life, you cannot stop laughing, crying laughing,” she gushed in 2014. “I think he puts out there a tough exterior but there’s another side of him that he keeps more private. I’ve learned from my past you’ve got to keep some things private, a little more close to your heart.”
This relationship fizzled out after a few months, but there was no dramatic breakup. In fact, these two are still good friends.
“I jumped into something because I was just, like, lonely and destructive. But now I’m like, I just want to be alone,” Khloé reflected on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. “I gotta grieve … I’m still married.”
As Kardashian grieved, she was casually linked to a few men, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that she officially moved on once again. This time, to another NBA player: James Harden. The pair met at basketball-themed birthday party Kim threw hubby Kanye West.
The Houston Rockets star, 28, and Khloé Kardashian were about four months into their relationship when Odom overdosed in Las Vegas. The reality star rushed to be by her ex-husband’s side as he was in a life-threatening coma. When Odom miraculously woke up, it was Kardashian who helped nurse him back to health, calling off their divorce as he recovered. She was still dating Harden during those difficult months.
“I love [Lamar] and I’ve always loved him and that will never change,” Kardashian explained to Ellen DeGeneres that fall, saying she would go through with their divorce eventually. “I just feel like its a really insensitive thing to fast forward a divorce.”
“Thank God I have a fantastic family who loves me and loves him just as much,” she added. “And they’re so supportive and they’re with me and I have a great boyfriend who’s understanding.”
Kardashian joked, “I’m just gonna say I’m like part of Polygamy right now! I have a husband. I have a boyfriend. That’s a way easier thing to say, right?”
Harden and Kardashian ended their eight-month relationship three months later in early 2016. The reality star said commitment issues played a part in their split.
“You know, I just don’t want to put up with people that — you want to be monogamous, but then you’re not monogamous,” she explained on an episode of Kocktails With Khloé. “I’ve always said, you know, it’s long distance, it’s this or that, I’ve always said we don’t need to be monogamous. Like, you know, there’s a lot of s*** going on in both of our lives. You live in Houston, I live in L.A., like let’s just — let’s see each other when we see each other. Like, why wouldn’t you say, ‘OK. that’s great? No, instead [of] you know forcing a relationship, let’s be committed, Let’s be committed…”
Kardashian clarified that it was Harden who wanted to be committed.
“I was, I mean I wanted it, but I wanted to be realistic. I was like, you know what, it’s unfair. I’m working so much right now, you’re in Houston, let me just say, we don’t need to be committed. Nope. He sought me out, he wanted to be committed, and you know, then wasn’t committed, so KoKo had to let him go-go,” she exclaimed. “Found out he wasn’t [committed], and I got the receipts to prove it.”
Kardashian also about how difficult it is to go through a breakup in the spotlight.
“When you break up in the public eye, it’s almost like you have to go through it twice: privately and publicly,” she wrote on her app in February 2016. “It’s humiliating. There’s so much that you want to keep private, just for the sake of your own pride, and when details get out to the tabloids or whatever, it’s like pouring salt into an open wound. It definitely makes it hard to close that chapter of your life.”
Harden never elaborated on his version of their split (or those receipts), but told Sports Illustrated he “didn’t like all the attention” that came with their romance.
Kardashian also began divorce proceeding again from Odom and seemed to be enjoying single life. She was linked to singer Trey Songz and NFL star Odell Beckham Jr., but her relationship status quickly changed after meeting Tristan Thompson.
After meeting through mutual friends, the Cleveland Cavaliers player and Good American designer got serious fast, stepping out publicly in September 2016. Thompson’s ex-girlfriend Jordan Craig was pregnant with his child at the time and she gave birth to son Prince three months later. According to Kardashian, he was open about wanting kids with her as well.
“Tristan and I definitely talk about starting a family,” Khloé revealed on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians last year. “He wants to have about five or six kids with me and that’s lovely. We could start at one and we could grow from there. But now knowing I’m not on birth control is scary. It’s like a really big step.”
It’s a step the couple took as Kardashian confirmed in December they were expecting a child together.
Throughout her pregnancy, Kardashian has not been shy in talking about her and Thompson’s love.
“I knew Tristan was the one very quickly — I have never felt so comfortable or so safe with someone,” the Strong Looks Better Naked author wrote in a blog post in February. “Because of that, I took it very slowly and was cautious about how I went about ‘us.’ I made sure we had very in-depth conversations. I wanted to make sure that those conversations were backed up by actions.”
She said her and Thompson’s morals aligned as well, more than with any other relationship. “Tristan was so forthcoming with his life, as I was with mine. It was really reassuring to feel that someone had the same belief systems as I did. We shared the same principles and morals,” she shared. “We spoke about religion, children and our families. I think all of those things are important to truly know the ins and outs of someone. It’s really easy to fall in love with someone during a honeymoon phase when you haven’t yet discussed the logistics of life. But you have to talk about the real things if you want a real/long-lasting relationship.”
Kardashian is currently in Cleveland, where she’s preparing to give birth to their daughter who could arrive any day now. Neither she nor Thompson have publicly commented on the scandal. Kardashian’s las Instagram post was on Monday.
“Everyone is rallying around her, making sure she stays focused on the positive, and that’s her little girl,” one family insider tells Yahoo. “Khloé is absolutely devastated. Everyone is trying to make sure she sees as little [of the news] as possible.”
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