Real Housewives of Beverly hills to air “special” on Russell Armstrong’s suicide

There’s been a lot of speculation and tut-tutting over how Bravo will potentially handle the suicide of one of the husbands of a castmember on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Russell Armstrong took his own life a little over two weeks ago, and in the aftermath of his death Bravo has stated that they’re likely to re-edit the upcoming season of the show, slated for release September 5th, and not move it back at all. Some outlets have called for the entire show to be scrapped in light of the tragedy, but it’s clear Bravo isn’t going to do that. The LA Times reports that Bravo is still aiming for a September 5th series premiere date, and have shot a suicide special on Russell. It smacks of exploitation and cashing in on a tragedy, and I can’t imagine that they’ll handle it with much tact, but I could be surprised.

Bravo will air a special addressing the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Taylor Armstrong, sources close to production told Show Tracker.

The ladies of the show — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards, and Adrienne Maloof–filmed the special Monday; Taylor was not present. It’s unclear if the special will air before or after the premiere of the show’s second season.

An individual close to one of the “Housewives” said the ladies were not given specifics as to how things would unfold during their sit-down and that it was intended as a way to get their reactions to what happened.

The second season is still on the books as premiering Sept. 5; the network has wrapped the re-editing of the premiere episode. In the original version, Taylor is shown shopping for lingerie in an attempt to spice up her marriage and she later becomes emotional when discussing her attempt at marriage counseling.

A representative for Bravo would not elaborate on whether the scenes remained in the final cut.

[From The LA Times]

You know, I guess they had to do this in order to address why Russell isn’t going to be in the show. They’re not about to ditch the whole series because one guy killed himself. He had severe debt problems, he was an abusive S.O.B. and he ran shady businesses for which he’d been sued multiple times. So I don’t think it’s Bravo’s fault that he killed himself. It still seems wrong that they’re running some special addressing his death. Given how much manufactured drama they show on a regular basis, I can’t see how they’re going to handle it with the respect it deserves.


Photos are from October and November, 2010. Credit:

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17 Responses to “Real Housewives of Beverly hills to air “special” on Russell Armstrong’s suicide”

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  1. Pyewacket says:

    Bravo is nauseating.

  2. WillyNilly says:

    At the same time, I think if they ignored it and continued the series, the backlash would be even worse. It would be like them sweeping it under the rug and moving on.

    I would totally fear his ma though…she’s been quite lippy so far. If he didn’t have an estate, and they aired him after his death, can they be sued (by anyone other than his widow)? Does anybody know?

  3. NeNe says:

    It is apparent to me that Bravo has zero standards. Shame, shame on them.

  4. Jules says:

    Sorry she her husband killed himself, but she has the creepiest smile I have ever seen. Bravo sucks. I remember when it used to have good programming, like The Learning Channel did. Now TLC stands for The Low Class channel.

  5. Cletus says:

    I dunno, seems like Bravo is just giving the people what they want. If nobody watched this shit, then networks wouldn’t air this shit. “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

  6. bluhare says:

    “They’re not about to ditch the whole series because one guy killed himself”

    Whoa. I would.

  7. Christine says:

    It’s brain candy they are peddling. I think if they canceled the show, or didn’t air something about it, that would be worse. But when they air whatever it is they are, the topic of suicide will be brought out into the light, and maybe MAYBE someone will be saved because of it. Russell’s gone. Maybe they can save someone else.

  8. ol cranky says:

    I’m sorry but that is in such poor taste. There’s been enough publicity about this that they do not have to do anything to explain why they edited him and references to him out. They have story-writers who should be able to re-write the season so it can be re-edited to remove any and all references (direct or indirect) to Russell, even if that means completely editing Taylor out.

  9. Denise says:

    Pyewacket, my sentiment exactly. Christ on a cracker, is nothing off limits to these fame whores? Obviously not…..I am boycotting Bravo.

  10. Flounder says:

    I don’t think it’s unfair of them to air a special. He was part of the show, and now that he is no longer present, that has to be addressed. Hopefully, it will be handled tactfully.

  11. april says:

    I hope they do it as more of a public service piece that discusses suicide and suicide prevention. If that’s the way it is presented, I am all for it.

  12. fuefinawg says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor suggested the “suicide special.” After all, more camera time for her and a chance to milk it for all it’s worth …

  13. Charlotte says:

    Definitely tacky. I could give a crap about what Kim Richards thinks about Russell Armstrong’s death. Have even less patience after listening to the 911 call just released.

  14. Magsy says:

    I think they should have scrapped it and re-edited, maybe mentioned his suicide in the reworked edition later on in the year. This group is the phoniest bunch of women anyway and Taylor is a cruel troublemaker. It’s going to look soooo phony.

  15. ab says:

    I caught a little of “showbiz tonight” last night and they said his business partner committed suicide 3 days after Russell did with a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Obviously there was something going on with their business dealings for two men with families to committ suicide, let alone so close together. Weird and also very tragic.

  16. Confuzzle says:

    This is spin for Cashing In.

  17. Ewyn says:

    I heard that too Ab!
    It is tragic.