‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’ Star Russell Armstrong Reportedly Commits Suicide [UPDATE]


Wow … shocking news to pass along today. TMZ is reporting that Russell Armstrong, one of the featured husbands on the Bravo TV reality TV series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has committed suicide. As you may know, if you watched the show, Russell and his wife Taylor Armstrong seemed to have a, let’s say, tenuous relationship as it was featured on the show last year. Since the first season aired, it was revealed by Taylor that she had been abused mentally and physically by her husband Russell. As a result, Taylor filed for divorce from Russell. Previews for the upcoming second season seem to show Taylor in a very emotional state talking about the circumstances of her abuse. We are just weeks away from the premiere of season 2 of the Beverly Hills Real Housewives … and now we learn that Russell has taken his own life. Wow! Read on for all the known deets …

Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead of an apparent suicide …sources tell TMZ. Our sources say Armstrong hanged himself. He was found hanging in his bedroom on Mulholland Drive. We’re told L.A. City Fire Department arrived at his home and pronounced him dead at 8:16 PM Monday. We’re told authorities have not found a suicide note. Taylor filed for divorce last month, after she claimed Russell physically abused her. We’re told authorities informed her of Russell’s death last night. He was 47 years old.

In all honesty, I never liked the way Russell treated Taylor on the show … and I greatly feared what she may have endured when the cameras were not rolling. Let the speculation begin but my guess is that if Russell really did take his own life, it was either due to guilt or fear of criminal reprisal … or both. It has been reported that the upcoming second season of the show will feature Taylor talking about the abuse she suffered while married to Russell. Additionally, it has also been reported that Russell Armstrong was accused of embezzling from investors. It sounds like he had many reasons to take the easy way out. We may never know why Russell Armstrong decided to take his own life, if indeed that is what happened, but I’m certain we will be hearing more about this incident in the days and weeks to come. It remains to be seen if The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will address Russell’s death on the show … but my guess is that they will.

Again, I say … Wow!

UPDATE: TMZ spoke with Armstrong’s lawyer and reveals that both his pending divorce and overwhelming financial woes may have been the cause of Russell’s decision to end his own life:

“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Russell Armstrong was at his wits end over his impending divorce from Taylor in the days leading to his death — and he was inundated with debt. Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards tells TMZ, Russell had been staying at a friend’s house on Mulholland Drive in L.A. — the same house where authorities found his body hanging last night. Richards tells us, “I feel bad because his credit cards weren’t working … He had tremendous financial problems.” Richards adds, “He was also extremely bummed out about the divorce with Taylor. As far as a will, even if he does have a will, they don’t have any assets, so I’m not sure what there would be left to leave. I am extremely saddened … I had no idea he was depressed.” As we previously reported, Russell — an investor who made his money in the 90s during the dot com boom — filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005, claiming he had less than $50,000 in assets … and debt somewhere between $1 and $10 million.


UPDATE 2: Bravo TV has issued a statement:

“All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time.”

Again, we still don’t know if Bravo plans to feature this death on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but I would bet good money they will. Stay tuned …

[Source, Source]

  • Margie

    Oh wow. I’m hoping his daughters are ok as well as Taylor and Russell’s family. This is a shock!

  • Sheila

    Wow. That was so unexpected.

  • Mr. Gyllenhaal

    This is crazy! Suicide is not the answer and I wonder if Taylor is feeling guilty for all the stuff she would say about him in the press. We don’t have any hard proof that what she said was true even thou the guy was obviously a total asshole!! I feel bad for his little daughter that he obviously really cared about!! I guess not enough to stay with her on this planet thou.

    • @Mr. Gyllenhaal — I applaud Taylor for speaking out publicly about her abuse. We absolutely CANNOT put Russell’s cowardly decision to end his own life on Taylor speaking out about how he abused her. I believe that she was abused and there may be proof which we, the public, may never become privy to. It’s always sad whenever someone dies, under any circumstances … but it’s a dangerous thing to start placing blame on anyone other than Russell for his own death.

    • Mr. Gyllenhaal

      Oh god I wasn’t saying Taylor should feel guilty!! Hell no, you could tell he was a total asshole and I am sure much more. I was just wondering how she felt now. It is a horrible situation. You can’t ever feel guilty if someone chooses to do that.

    • Margie

      How is it cowardly? I find his death so sad and obviously full of pain. No one wants to kill themselves and, for 1 brief second, maybe he couldn’t handle it anymore.

    • SuzieB

      I definitely think that suicide is a cowards way out. The devestation that you leave behind for your family/friends is horrific. It’s not only the pain of losing someone you love, it’s the pain of wondering constantly, what could I have said/done to stop this?? I think he just couldn’t face the financial issues and the divorce issues and everything so he just took the selfish way out. His poor daughter and Taylor too will have this to deal with forever. So very sad…

    • ChristineLA

      Mr. Gyllenhaal, we do have proof in so much as Russell basically confirmed the abuse in the following statement:

      “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.”

      I took the quote directly from TMZ, but it was widely reported at the time.

  • jaybeefly

    we all enjoy watching reality shows, but when they become too real like this we kinda have to start questioning ourselves. will we continue to watch just to see how it all plays out? its kinda sick in a way..

  • Nech

    It seems obvious that Russel couldn’t handle the pressure & criticism anymore. RHoBH’s new season is about to premiere & he was probably worried about how he’d come off. It’s a shame that he felt suicide was his only way out. My thoughts are with Taylor & their daughter.

    • Nin

      Hmm I don’t know if the RHOBH was the final straw for him, but it could possibly have had some influence on his self esteem after seeing, hearing and knowing what people were saying about him. No one really knows him or knows what he was feeling in those moments but gawd, it’s still a shock.

  • Joon

    It’s a cowardly act because you’re running away from, and giving up on, the life you were given. Even though it may be a harder road, you should stand up and confront the things you do in life & the mistakes you make. He can’t learn anything now & he’s taken his daughters’ father away.

  • Joon

    These shows are made for what purpose? I don’t see any good that comes from these shows – unless I’m missing something. Take them all off the air.

    • @Joon — It’s entertainment, like every other show on TV – every movie in theaters – every play/musical on stage, etc. etc.

  • Margie

    @SuzieB-I disagree on it’s a coward’s way out. Yes, his family will be hurt by it and most likely blame themselves but to the person thinking that it will be best if they bowed out, it’s the only answer. You actually believe that it would be best for everyone if they were no longer there. It’s painful. To me, he would have been a coward to have run off to somewhere extradition was out of the question if the financial troubles and possible abuse of Taylor were in fact what led to this. It’s a sad story and my prayers go out to his family and friends for the strength to get through this.

    • Tess

      I agree 100 percent. A good friend of mine committed suicide this summer, and it was shocking. Was he a coward? No, he had serious mental and emotional issues. It is cruel and crass to automatically decry everyone who commits suicide as a “coward”. The truth is, no one will ever know why Russell did this. To speculate is human nature, but to imply, Trent, as you seemingly did, that he did so out of “guilt” over “abuse” of Taylor is irresponsible, IMHO. The man cannot defend himself anymore. He will never be able to tell anyone why he did this, and we will never know the truth about Taylor’s claims. Personally, I’m not inclined to believe her that she was abused. Does that mean she wasn’t? No. Just IMHO, based on her personality on the show and how awful she seems, that she would cry wolf for attention. The bottom line is she lost her husband and her daughter lost her father, and that is the tragedy here. May he find peace, and the Armstrong family move on.

    • @Tess — I can understand your position but I do not at all feel it is irresponsible to speculate, especially since I’m not purporting my personal feelings as fact.

    • SuzieB

      You have your opinion & I have mine. Killing yourself is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life is precious. People who are terminally ill would do most anything to save their lives. You’re in debt, you’re getting divorced? Welcome to a ton of other people’s lives. If you feel you’ve lost hope, reach out to someone and get help. I know first hand, the unbelievable pain that you have when a family member/loved one leaves you with when they commit suicide, is horrific and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    • needtostudy

      @trent: you dont think its irresponsible to say that someone is a coward for hanging themselves?
      wouldnt it be messed up if he had a 17 yr old daughter who read your blog?! :P

      its pretty irresponsible and shameful for you to say taht about something as serious as suicide. would you call a 15 yr old boy who committed suicide for being bulled b/c pf his sexuality as a coward? DIDNT THINK SO.
      you have NO idea what goes on in someone’s mind the minute they decide to go through with it.

    • needtostudy

      and everyone in this thread who is saying it is selfish or cowardice to commit suicide really needs to READ about suicide.

      you guys are messed up.

      mental disorders or acute depression/anxiety is NOT something someone has control over. THis is where the whole mental health stigma is perpetuated.
      Mental disorders should be treated like Physical disorders.

      NOT COOL people. NOT COOL. rethink your values and read about suicide.
      emile durkheim makes some amazing theories on suicide being a sociological result.

  • kendra

    As someone who has suffered the loss of a close family member to suicide, my heart goes out to his loved ones..I don’t see how anyone can judge him since we don’t know what was going through his head or why he chose to end his life in this way..It’s easy to be on the outside and say “get help if you’re down”, but until you’re in that state of mind, I don’t think you can really say what will work..Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the person in my life and I know the road ahead for his family is going to be long and painful and frustrating..My heart is breaking for everyone involved..

  • gayana

    about a year ago i was driving to work and the 26 year old woman jumped off the building right infront of my car.
    she was tiny and beautiful. she didnt die. miracle happened and she landed on her hip breaking every bone in her body probably but she was conscious and responding when the ambulance came…
    people comit suicides everyday but i just cannot understand how….. i did bunjee jumping and i couldnt even step out of that cliff even though there were protections, security and water under but i still couldnt do it (i finally did, but never doing this again) yet that girl just stepped off the buiding…….. craaaazy…….
    and he had a daughter!!!!!!!!!
    to me i realyl dont care how much pain or problems you have, you have no right to end your life when there are people that are dependent on you that are left behind.

    no respect for either.

  • Nin

    I’m not speaking for Russell or his state of mind, but to me I feel like he must have been so sad and hopeless that saw suicide as his only option….I dunno. This makes me sick with sadness for everyone involved.

  • Ellen

    May Russell’s soul be at peace, and his wife and daughter get the support they need…..

  • Madsme

    It’s slightly ironic that a show that features people largely because of their wealth should lose a member to suicide that was (apparently) partly driven by financial stress. I wish that more of Hollywood showed how indebted the wealthy are, and what terrible stress debt places one under, rather than promoting it as desirable to live opulently and consummeristically rather than saving. Remember it’s living beyond one’s means that got America into it’s current financial crisis.

    • ChristineLA

      Madsme, if you do a search of Russell and Taylor Armstrong, you will find many, many accusations that the two are basically grifters. Each franchise has their own version of this couple, they are not unique.

    • needtostudy

      YES i SO agree with you madsme!

      i have soo many friends in wallstreet that have had their friends commit suicide. its one thing that this whole dot com crisis has strategically left out of the media.

  • RobininTexas

    The allegations of physical abuse are just that, allegations with no hard evidence provided by the accusor. Russell confirming that he pushed her is not an admission of long going physical abuse. It could have been an isolated incident that never happened before or after. Remember, this is a reality show that the producers encourage poor behavior for better ratings. That being said, it was apparent by watching a few of these shows that both Russell and Taylor were emotional abusive towards one another. She treated him with the same amount of disrespect he treated her. Clearly, they lived above their means. Besides poor business practices or investments, Taylor spending $60k on their daughters birthday party could be one of the reasons why there was a financial burden on Russell. Russell committed suicide because he was mentally and emotionally unstable and saw no other way out. Suicide is not a selfish act, it is an act of desperation to relieve mental, emotional, (or physical) pain. It is terribly sad that he leaves behind three children who will forever grieve their father. I hope that these children get the counseling that they will need in the days/months to come.

    • @RobininTexas — “Russell confirming that he pushed her is not an admission of long going physical abuse.” I completely disagree. Even one push is too much, long going or otherwise.

  • Saf

    Suicide is not always a permanent solution to a temporary problem and is not the cowards way out. There are people out there with longstanding mental illnesses who suffer every single day and no it won’t get better. If we don’t view bullied teens as cowards when for the it WILL get better as the campaign says than we can’t be so quick to judge all those who commit or even consider committing suicide as cowards when for a lot of them it won’t get better especially in their minds where everything is worse than it really is. This may not be the case for Russell but to make a decision like that he must have been suffering. So no suicide is NOT the easy way out. And don’t for a minute think those people don’t consider their family. But sometimes they believe their family is better off without them.

  • rileybrown

    This man needs your kindness and prayers not condemnation. Whatever his reasons he made a last bad decision. We know nothing of the real life these people lead. I heard his mom on a news program and she said he left on one of the shows to go to see his son’s sports tournament. So he obviously has more children from another lady who are also now without a father. We never heard about this during that show. A lot of broken, phony people here including the people that put this show on the air and me for watching this train wreck….. And what’s with the $60,000.00 child’s birthday party while they were in financial trouble. They were all living a big lie and that never comes to a good end. This is a great lesson to teach us all that money isn’t the end of the rainbow.