Last night on Bravo when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills aired, we saw what will probably be the last of Russell Armstrong on the show. While the season isn’t over, Taylor’s marriage at that point was. And, of course, Russell Armstrong has now taken his own life.
Because we know plenty of you will be curious about what the impression is for those who watched the show, we’re going to tell you what we witnessed in the last two episodes.
Without Taylor’s knowledge, Russell sent a very harsh e-mail to Camille Grammer, threatening to sue her if she didn’t say she lied about what she said. What she said was that Russell beats Taylor. This is a fact that Taylor had told all of the other housewives. But Taylor said Camille was exaggerating.
In the limo with Russell, Taylor again said it was an exaggeration but not a lie. Russell wouldn’t hear of it. He seemed very cold and detached, unwilling to talk about it. He said it was indeed a complete lie and he didn’t want people to think that about him.
Later we saw Taylor in therapy and learn that in the limo he didn’t want to talk about what had happened. When Taylor saw the e-mail Russell had sent, she understood why Camille had been so upset. The therapist asked about the lack of communication between the pair, which they’d been trying to work on. The therapist also asked if Taylor was upset that Russell put her in such a bad place with her friends. They also discussed the fact that Camille had not exaggerated or lied at all. But Taylor would not say that to Russell’s face. She did seem quiet afraid of him in terms of speaking her mind. And he didn’t seem at all supportive in saying anything like “I’m sorry, I should have told you I sent this e-mail. I’m sorry your friends are mad.”
And this wasn’t the first time we’ve heard Russell Armstrong talking about threatening to sue someone during season 2 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The portrait (limited, though it was) of Russell as depicted on this show and through what we heard from Taylor, is that he was a mean, angry person who had to get his way and be obeyed.
Tight lipped on the subject prior to Armstrong’s suicide, Taylor has finally come out and admitted to the media that there was physical abuse. She was in an abusive relationship for a long time, in fact.
He took his own life this summer, leaving behind Taylor and their daughter, Kennedy as well as son Aiden (with ex-wife Barbara Fredrickson) and son Griffin, 11 (with former fiancee Milette Fields.) He also left behind quite a bit of debt, and what is undoubtedly a tragic legacy. When you are looking to fill in the blank after Russell Armstrong on google what comes up are phrases like “russell armstrong gay” “russell armstrong funeral” – and words like death, autopsy photos, children, dead body, body, dead photo.
This is not the picture of his life that he would have wanted you to believe. On his website, Russell-Armstrong.com, you see pictures of him with Taylor. You read how powerful he was, how he gave to charities – all of these things that he would have rather been remembered for.
How we, the public, know Russell Armstrong is not in a positive light. And while reality TV shows can be exploitative, in this case Taylor herself as argued that having the cameras there saved her life. And maybe this story, exposed and grotesque as it was, will help save someone else’s.