Entries in Russell Armstrong (13)


‘Real Housewife’ Says She 'Didn’t Feel Safe' Until Husband Died

Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo(LOS ANGELES) -- Why is Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong telling her story now? Because before the suicide of her estranged husband, Russell Armstrong, she feared for her life and her 5-year-old daughter’s.

“I wish I would have been able to tell my story before now,” Armstrong said in an exclusive statement to ABC News on Thursday. “But, until my husband Russell’s suicide, I didn’t feel safe to tell anyone for fear of my own safety and the safety of my daughter.  With Russell’s passing, I now feel safe to bring my story into the light, to help all battered and abused women, and men, and aid them in their struggle.”

Armstrong’s book, Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss and Finding the Courage Within, comes out Feb. 7.

She broke down in tears on Monday’s Bravo show Watch What Happens Live, telling host Andy Cohen that she was “a trainwreck” during the most recent episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and admitted that at the time the current season was filmed, “I was losing my mind.”

“I discussed my book Monday night for the first time on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live," Armstrong told ABC News. “The overwhelming response from viewers and their outpouring of support has been gratifying.  From the bottom of my heart, I believe if my book can help others find the courage to deal with the pain and fear of their abusive relationships, I will have made a real difference in their lives.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Family of Russell Armstrong Says He Was Murdered

Michael Kovac/WireImage(BEVERLY HILLS, CA) - The family of Russell Armstrong says the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills personality didn't kill himself, as the Los Angeles Coroner's Office concluded.

According to TMZ, his family insists Armstrong's August 15th death by hanging was murder, spurred by the fact that Armstrong was in severe financial trouble.

Russell's family believes money problems led him to deal "with the wrong people," a source tells the gossip site. TMZ says Armstrong's family reportedly believes Russell "may have screwed someone over out of desperation and that person or persons retaliated by killing him."  The report says the family plans to hire a private investigator.  Armstrong's death was discussed by other cast members during the reality show's second season premiere this past Monday on Bravo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


'Real Housewives' Gather to Discuss Husband's Suicide

Happier Times. In this photo from last season, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Russell and Taylor Armstrong (L) celebrate Taylor's birthday. Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo(LOS ANGELES) -- The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills got off to an unconventionally somber start Monday when the cast of the hit reality TV series got together to discuss the recent suicide of cast member Taylor Armstrong's husband Russell Armstrong.

The season premiere kicked off with an introduction that was taped last week, which had the cast gathered at housewife Adrienne Maloof's home. The controversial episode, which aired on the Bravo network just three weeks after Russell Armstrong took his life, featured cast members sharing their feelings about his suicide and speculating on reasons why he killed himself.

"I mean there's plenty of men that you know their wives hate them," Kyle Richards said on Monday night's premiere. "But you know they don't kill themselves. She cannot feel responsible for that. Nobody can. It was his choice."

Richards, an actress and the aunt of fellow reality television star Paris Hilton, went on to speculate on the reasons for the venture capitalist's suicide. There was no note found when Armstrong's body was found at his Los Angeles home Aug. 15 after he apparently hung himself. He was 47.

"Financial status is so important [here], you need to keep this front of what you have. "That's all he ever wanted to be -- be successful and be a venture capitalist…when it all went down the tubes it was too much pressure," she said.

At the time of his death, Armstrong was more than $1.5 million in debt as a result of trying to keep up with expectations for the lavish lifestyle portrayed on the show, his lawyer told ABC News.

Richards' husband Mauricio Umansky also shared his feelings on the death of his friend.

"I've gone from you know feeling really sad, to at times you know … have felt very angry, wanting to think that it's … a very selfish act," he said.

After Armstrong's suicide there was much speculation as to whether Bravo would air the upcoming season of the show, which was said to heavily focus on the unraveling of the marriage of the Armstrongs.

After adjustments, Armstrong will reportedly not appear in the first four episodes, producer Douglas Ross told NBC Tuesday.

"When we heard about the tragedy, of course all hearts went out to Taylor," Ross said. "But we, with all of the network, took a hard look at the show and … we decided to make some adjustments where appropriate in light of the circumstances."

Though Taylor Armstrong did not appear on the season premiere's introduction, she was featured on one of the episode's tensest moments, filmed before her husband's death, when she discussed her rapidly unraveling marriage.

"We're knee deep into so much psycho therapy that I'm sick of myself," Armstrong said.

At that point, housewife Lisa Vanderpump's husband Ken Todd tells her: "If I had to go to see a therapist to make my marriage better, I would feel weak."

Melanie Bromley, West Coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine told ABC News that there will most likely be similar moments coming down the pipeline.

"They think it's the right decision to continue on with the show but to make some changes in the edit room. And that means to edit out a lot of Russell's appearances, she said. "They're already showing us that they're not going to cut out every single part of this story."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Returns After Armstrong's Suicide

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns to Bravo Monday night just three weeks after Russell Armstrong's suicide.

Armstrong, the estranged husband of housewife Taylor Armstrong, was found dead at his Los Angeles home Aug. 15 after apparently hanging himself. He was 47.

The tragedy brought into question whether the show's second season, taped six months ago, would air.

The dramatic decline of Armstrong's marriage was rumored to be a focus of season two. But after adjustments, Armstrong will not appear in the first four episodes, producer Douglas Ross told NBC on Monday.

Despite their marital woes, Taylor Armstrong had said she still wanted her husband to be close to their 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy.

"I hope we can co-parent as healthy as possible," she told People Magazine in July, adding that her marriage had become abusive. "He's an amazing dad, and I want her to still think her dad is the greatest guy on the planet."

At the time of his death, Armstrong was more than $1.5 million in debt as a result of trying to keep up with expectations for the lavish lifestyle portrayed on the show, his lawyer told ABC News.

Responding to his estranged wife's allegations of abuse, Armstrong told People, "Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were… This show has literally pushed us to the limit."

Ross said the cast will reflect on Armstrong's death and try to put season two into perspective in Monday's premier.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bravo Says It Won't Postpone Season Premiere of 'Real Housewives'

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Bravo will not postpone next week’s season premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, despite the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of star Taylor Armstrong.

Bravo Media president Frances Berwick on Wednesday announced that the show will begin its second season as planned next Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Berwick said, "Given that these episodes were filmed months ago, the producers of the show taped a brief interview this week with several of the cast members to introduce the premiere.  Re-editing of the episodes is still underway."

Berwick also announced that the cable network will air public service announcements raising awareness of suicide prevention during the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  He made no mention of a recent Los Angeles Times report stating that the show’s cast members have taped interviews specifically regarding Armstrong.

Armstrong committed suicide on Aug. 15. His marital problems had been a storyline in previous episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Russell Amstrong 911 Call: 'My Friend Just Hanged Himself'

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- A 911 call made by an unidentified friend of Real Housewives star Russell Armstrong has been released.

Armstrong had been staying at a friend’s home when he was found dead — a suicide — on Aug. 15.  During the call, the shaken friend tells the 911 operator, “My friend just hanged you understand? Come over here.”

The friend also reveals that Armstrong’s five-year-old daughter is in the house at the time, and can be heard telling Armstrong’s wife, Taylor Armstrong, “Have your daughter go away, please.”

Taylor Armstrong is crying during the call, and the friend attempts to calm her down. Taylor can be heard uttering, “I need my psychiatrist.”

The release of the 911 call comes a week after Armstrong’s funeral and word of another mystery. One day after Russell Armstrong was found hanging in a Beverly Hills home, Armstrong’s friend and business partner committed suicide.

Alan Schram was found dead outside his car on Mulholland Drive on Aug. 16.  The L.A. County coroner ruled the death a suicide. He died from a gunshot to the head.

The two men met when they joined the high net-worth investment group Tiger 21. According to TMZ, Schram and Armstrong developed a close friendship after joining the elite group.

Unlike Armstrong, who was $1.5 million in debt, Schram’s financial situation remains unknown. He did not leave a suicide note.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Real Housewives' Stars Addressing Suicide in Season Premiere

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Fans of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had been wondering how the show would address the Aug. 15 suicide of Russell Armstrong, the ex-husband of co-star Taylor Armstrong.  Bravo has apparently found an answer.

It had been reported the network was re-editing the upcoming season, which was said to have focused on the Armstrongs' deteriorating marriage.  But a source tells The Los Angeles Times that Taylor Armstrong's co-stars -- Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle and Kim Richards,  Adrienne Maloof, and Camille Grammer -- were summoned on Monday to film interviews so producers could mine their reactions to Armstrong's suicide.  It's not yet known if the segments will be used for a stand-alone special, the paper explains.

The season premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is still set for Sept. 5.  The Times says the original installment was going to feature Taylor looking for lingerie to help her rocky -- and by many accounts, abusive -- marriage, and was to feature her talking about her efforts to attempt marriage counseling.  It's not known if that focus will survive the re-edit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Russell Armstrong Funeral Held in Hollywood Hills

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- A funeral was held Thursday in Hollywood Hills for Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong.

Russell Armstrong committed suicide earlier this month.

Entertainment Tonight reports some cast members of the Bravo series joined family and friends for the service at the Church of the Hills-Forest Lawn. Bravo reportedly did not film the funeral.

Armstrong's remains will be sent to Texas for a second funeral, at the request of his family. His body is expected to be cremated.

Bravo has said it is re-editing the upcoming second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills due to Armstrong's death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bravo Denies It's Postponed Season Premiere of 'Real Housewives'

Michael Kovac/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Bravo says it's re-editing its new episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills due to the suicide of Russell Armstrong, but it stopped short of confirming a report that it will postpone the air date of the second-season premiere.

Bravo president Frances Berwick told Variety on Friday, "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."

Prior to Armstrong's suicide, the new episodes were going to focus in part on his marital problems with estranged wife and series star Taylor Armstrong, according to Variety.

The Hollywood Reporter said last week that Bravo will delay the season premiere, currently scheduled to air Sept. 5.  Variety reports there's still a chance Bravo will choose to do so.

E! News reported Friday that two funeral services were planned for Armstrong.  One will be in California and another in Texas, where Armstrong's family wanted his remains to be moved.  His body is expected to be cremated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bravo Re-Editing 'Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills' after Suicide

Richard McLaren/Bravo Television(LOS ANGELES) -- Bravo has made a decision regarding the death of Russell Armstrong, one of the husbands seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Since Armstrong's suicide, the question has been when will Bravo bring Housewives back.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the season premiere will be delayed, and producers are re-editing the entire second season. Armstrong's tumultuous relationship with wife Taylor loomed large in the first season and seems to have been an important part of the upcoming season.

Taylor filed for divorce last month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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