The president of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is denying Lamar Odom’s claims that his charity, Cathy’s Kids, donated money to the organization.
“Cathy’s Kids has never donated to us. They have never, ever contributed to us,” Henry Forrest told TMZ. “On Sunday morning it was mentioned that Cathy’s Kids has contributed to AAU Basketball teams … that is an incorrect statement.”
Forrest was referring to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report that showed documents that seemed to prove that $1.3 million of the $2.2. million raised by Cathy’s Kids was donated to “AAU team sponsorship.” Odom himself said that money from Cathy’s Kids went to several AAU basketball programs in South Jamaica, Queens.
Forrest says these claims are false, although he acknowledged that it is possible that the charity use tdhe money to finance an independent local team, which was allowed to participate in AAU events. However, Forrest added, while these teams are registered to play in AAU games, they are not actually affiliated with the program.
“AAU doesn’t have anything to do with local organizations that put together independent teams,” Forrest said. “We don’t manage those teams or deal with those local teams put together. They only register to play.”
The “Outside the Lines” report examined several charities started by professional athletes. Odom’s charity, Cathy’s Kids, was established in 2004 after the Clippers forward lost his mother to stomach cancer, and its mission statement says that it is committed to finding a cure for the disease. However, the documents shown in the report indicate that the money supposedly went to “elite” youth basketball teams. With Forrest’s denial that the AAU saw any money from the charity, it is unclear where the money is actually going.
Khloe Kardashian has vehemently denied accusations that her husband is a scam artist. Kardashian said that Odom personally contributed $2.2 million to the charity, and that it decided to change its focus.
“Cathy’s Kids was formed with several purposes in mind, including benefitting underprivileged youth and cancer research,” Kardashian said. “A decision was ultimately made that the charity should focus on one of those purposes — to help enrich the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth. It accomplished that goal.”
Where do you think the money from Cathy’s Kids is really going? Do you think Lamar Odom really is guilty of being a scam artist?