Today, in things too sad to joke about: reports have been coming in that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Russell Armstrong beat his estranged wife Taylor very badly before taking his own life on August 14.
According to RadarOnline, Armstrong hit her during an argument about their uncertain financial situation before hanging himself in a friend’s Mulholland Drive mansion.
A distraught (Taylor) called two of her closest friends on the night of August 14, sobbing, ‘Russell hit me.’
One of those contacted by the Housewife tells of a hysterical Taylor calling for help.
“Taylor was crying hysterically and told me Russell punched her in the face,” the friend told [Star] magazine.
“She was so terrified.”
This is obviously very sad, and also brings up questions of how the show’s producers are going to deal with it in the upcoming season. I’m sure a lot of people are going to blame the intentional drama-stoking of a reality show for Armstrong’s emotional deterioration, and while it seems like his problems pre-dated being on television, I’m sure it didn’t help. The show’s producers have delayed its September premiere date “by at least one week,” during which time I’m guessing they’ll re-edit their footage out of respect for his family. If there’s anything I know about reality TV contracts, it’s that they can do pretty much anything they want to you even after you’re dead, so I’m glad they are going a classier route than “SEE RUSSELL ARMSTRONG’S SENSATIONAL UNRAVELING!” But I’m guessing they’re still going to include it in their story arc. Whether or not an intentionally ridiculous reality show can successfully treat a man’s death with dignity remains to be seen.