Battling hard for his relationship with Kendra Wilkinson, Hank Baskett is opening up about suffering from depression and how that led to a costly string of mistakes.
Ones that nearly torpedoed his marriage, and even his life.
Once a promising NFL wide receiver, Hank was released by the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 and never made it back on the field. His self-esteem was crushed.
“For 20 years, my life was, ‘Catch the football! Catch the football!’” Hank says, and he “started holding everything in because [he] felt like no one could understand.”
What no one could grasp, or so he thought, was that he “completely lost [his] identity” and “felt like a failure” trying to move onto the next phase of his life.
Hank said he subsequently went “through a serious struggle with depression, and during that time, lost the ability to open up to [his] best friend, Kendra.”
As the scandal involving his April tryst with transsexual model Ava Sabrina London intensified, Hank hit rock bottom, facing the loss of his family.
The depression was so overwhelming, Baskett recalls, he couldn’t even properly explain his actions to his wife, fearing it would make things worse.
“I had trouble thinking of the right thing to say the right way, especially in a situation like this, where it’s your word against someone else’s,” Baskett said.
“One wrong word and I could lose everything.”
That's an interesting defense, since "no, I didn't engage in mutual masturbation with that transsexual model" shouldn't be hard to say if it were true.
The vaguely shifty non-denials continue.
Whatever he did or didn't do with Ava, “there was a point where I felt that I couldn’t defend myself and there was no way for me to make it through this."
However, "I realize there’s no way I could ever check out on my kids and my wife, he said, adding that he may be a lot of things, but "I’m not a quitter.”
Thankfully, neither is his wife, whose best friend Jessica Hall - familiar to those who watch Kendra on Top online - talked her out of filing for divorce.
Despite reports that Wilkinson is trapped by her reality show and conflicted, she came around to the idea that Hank is “worth forgiving and fighting for."
“All I can say is I believe Hank," she says. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunate things took place ... he’s very gullible and naive.”
Again, they won't say what supposedly happened, or what story he's sticking to, but he admits that he is “still working on regaining Kendra’s trust.”
“Since day one, I’ve been comfortable with Kendra looking through my phone,” says the ex-football star. “I always want her to know I have nothing to hide.”
While admitting she still has “major trust issues” in her marriage, Kendra says she is not actually single, regardless of recent tabloid gossip reports.
“We’re happy today and that’s the only way we can live,” she said of the Marriage Boot Camp-bound couple. “I just want to be happy in the moment.”