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Posts Tagged ‘Russell Armstrong’

Reality TV May Have Saved Taylor Armstrong’s Life

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been taking some heat since Russell Armstrong, who appeared on the show, committed suicide. But his estranged wife Taylor says participation in the series helped to protect her from her abusive spouse.

In an appearance on KTLA Morning News, Taylor said:

I was in an abusive relationship for six years… if the cameras were not in my life, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Because a lot of domestic violence situations end in murder-suicide, versus just suicide. And so, I have my daughter with me today, and by the grace of god and, perhaps, reality TV, I’m sitting here and so is she.

She’s right. Abusive husbands or spouses who commit suicide often murder their wives, girlfriends, and even children prior to the act. Furthermore, abusers are less likely to attack their wives or girlfriends when there are witnesses present, and that certainly includes camera crews.
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In Wake of Suicide, Bravo to Re-Edit Real Housewives

Since Russell Armstrong, cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, was found dead of suicide earlier this week, the fate of the show has been in doubt. The dissolution of Armstrong’s marriage as said to be a central plot point of the upcoming season. To what extent are Bravo executives willing to exploit his death for profit?

That remains to be seen. Today the network announced that the second season will air, but with unspecified changes. Bravo president Frances Berwick told Variety, “Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision to change our original premiere date but we are in the process of re-editing the show.”

Will the edit will mean less of Russell Armstrong, or more? The network declined to give any details. The lurid public interest in Armstrong’s suicide will certainly draw viewers.  Just how far Bravo is willing to push the boundaries of taste for ratings, and how much the public will tolerate, may well set standards for reality television in the future.

Bravo Denies Explosive Real Housewives Claim

In what is already one of several such allegations, a friend of apparent suicide victim Russell Armstrong has told the LA Times that the estranged husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong requested not to be filmed for the final portions of the second season, which is scheduled to debut next month.

In the Wednesday article by Amy Kaufman and Yvonne Villarreal, acquaintance William Ratner claims the deceased 47-year-old was told something not altogether surprising when he expressed his desire to be off-camera:

“He said the producers at Bravo told Russell and Taylor that they picked them as the ‘disaster couple,’ and if they weren’t going to have drama in the second season, they would cut them and replace them with someone else.”

Asked to respond to Ratner’s assertions, a Bravo representative said “Production has assured us that there is no truth to these claims.”

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Husband Dead of Apparent Suicide

Russell Armstrong was found dead Monday evening at his home on Mulholland Drive. The cause of death was hanging, and is being treated as a suicide.

The 47-year-old venture capitalist was the estranged husband of Taylor Armstrong, star of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The dissolution of their marriage is said to be a central plot point in the upcoming season of the show. The couple have a 5-year-old daughter.

In July, shortly after the couple filed for divorce, Russell told People magazine, “This show has literally pushed us to the limit.” Russell Armstrong’s suicide will likely stir debate about the ethics of putting the personal lives of emotionally unstable individuals in the national spotlight.