Seventy-two days of marriage to Kim Kardashian left the NBA’s Kris Humphries with a lot of heartache — and not just in his personal life.
“Look, I should have known what I was getting into,” Humphries wrote in a new piece that announced his retirement from professional basketball and addressed his infamous short-lived marriage called “I Never Wanted to Be That Guy” for The Players’ Tribune. “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 added, “There’s definitely a lot about that world that is not entirely real. But our actual relationship was 100 percent real.”
Humphries and Kardashian, already known for her show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, began dating in October 2010, got engaged seven months later and married in August 2011 in a decadent ceremony. Kardashian filed for divorce two months later.
“When it was clear that it wasn’t working … what can I say? It sucked,” Humphries wrote. “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.”
Kardashian would later say that she felt as early as her honeymoon that she had made a mistake marrying Humphries.
The two had a bitter divorce battle that dragged on until June 2013, around the same time that Kardashian welcomed her first child with her current husband, Kanye West.
Humphries admitted that he struggled during that time period, especially with the fact that he seemed to be better known for his former marriage than for his sports career. The latter, he said, was all he’d ever wanted.
“I didn’t know how to handle it, because I never thought I was going to be famous in that way. I remember having this moment when I was getting booed so hard in Philly,” he said, “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?”
People stopped him on the street and in gas stations. He would pretend that he wasn’t himself when people asked. Instead he’d sometimes say he was Blake Griffin, an NBA player who later ended up spending time with Kardashian’s younger sister, Kendall Jenner.
“I’ll be honest, I dealt with a lot of anxiety, especially in crowds. There was about a year where I was in a dark place. I didn’t want to leave my home,” Humphries wrote. “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.”
He recalled wanting to be anyone but himself.
“It’s the craziest feeling in the world, not wanting to be yourself,” Humphries said. “And 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. And even if I played that game, I felt like it would be disrespecting the game of basketball.”
Humphries, who was last on the Atlanta Hawks in 2017, played 13 seasons for the NBA in all. He’s now opened a string of restaurant franchises.
“I know that most people will always see me as That F****** Guy from TV. And I get it. I signed up for it,” Humphries said. “I don’t want any pity at all. But I hope that true fans of basketball remember me as a grinder, as a guy who transformed into a heck of a rebounder, and as a guy who always tried to put the game in the best light.”
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to Kardashian for comment.
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