Former NBA star Kris Humphries has opened up about his short-lived, controversial marriage to Kim Kardashian West, slamming claims that it was fake.
"There’s definitely a lot about that world that is not entirely real. But our actual relationship was 100% real," the 34-year-old athlete wrote in a heartfelt essay published Tuesday by The Players' Tribune.
Humphries, breaking his public silence for the first time, reflects on his career and love for basketball — but also candidly speaks about his marriage to Kardashian West.
The couple exchanged wedding vows in August 2011 but 72 days later Kardashian West filed for divorce, Fox News noted. The divorce process turned into a media sensation, with Humphries' supporters claiming Kardashian West married for publicity.
"I should have known what I was getting into. I was definitely naive about how much my life was going to change. But the one thing that really bothers me is whenever people say that my marriage was fake," he wrote.
"When it was clear that it wasn’t working … what can I say? It sucked. It’s never easy to go through the embarrassment of something like that — with your friends, with your family…. But when it plays out so publicly, in front of the world, it’s a whole other level. It was brutal."
Humphries admitted that he did not expect to receive the attention he did after being thrust into the limelight.
"I remember having this moment when I was getting booed so hard in Philly, and I thought to myself, 'Why exactly are they booing me, though? Is it just because I’m That Guy from TV? Do they think I was trying to be famous? Is it because they think I disrespected the game of basketball?'" he recalled, adding that all he ever wanted to be known for was basketball.
"I’ll be honest, I dealt with a lot of anxiety, especially in crowds," he continued. "There was about a year where I was in a dark place. I didn’t want to leave my home. You feel like … I don’t know … the whole world hates you, but they don’t even know why. They don’t even know you at all. They just recognize your face, and they’re on you."
The entire experience left the athlete feeling helpless and despondent.
"I didn’t even want to say anything to defend myself, because it felt like I couldn’t win. You can’t go up against the tabloids. You can’t go up against that machine. There’s no point," he said. "And even if I played that game, I felt like it would be disrespecting the game of basketball."
In the end, Humphries said it was basketball and the support of his family and friends that helped him overcome the tough times. Now that he has retired from the game, the former NBA star is working hard on his latest venture, to open several Crisp & Green restaurants across the Midwest.
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