Taylor Armstrong had her big interview with Entertainment Tonight last night. I thought that she might gloss over things when it came to explaining what happened with her late husband, whom she claims was abusive to her and caused massive eye and facial injuries when he punched her over the summer. She released photos of her injuries a few days ago, and many people were skeptical that they were caused by Russell since Taylor is not the most truthful person. I assumed wrong, she didn’t mince words or hold back details. Taylor described what went on in their relationship, saying that she was abused regularly, that she lived in fear of her husband’s rage and that she covered for him frequently. It was hard to watch and I believed her completely. The people who say she’s lying or exaggerating for sympathy are wrong, in my opinion.
On how Russell abused her while she was pregnant for a stupid reason
He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me against the wall and he said, “If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I’ll kill you.”
On the cycle of abuse
You live your life constantly on eggshells waiting for the other shoe to drop. You don’t know if you’re just going to talk to your girlfriend too long at dinner and that’s going to cause someone to fly into a rage. These were not beatings that would go on for hours at a time… there are certainly women out there that experience that. [cries] My heart goes out to them.
Russell was very careful in how he would do things because he didn’t want to leave a lot of physical signs of injury. So often if we were leaving a place and he were angry he would grab me by one side of the hair on my head and bang me by the other side against the car, by the back where you would open the door. Because you would get knots and things in here (touches back of head under hair) and you wouldn’t see it so much.
Sometimes when he was driving he would just reach over and slam my head against the inside window if he were angry.
Just a lot of screaming combined with a few hits to the face.
On if Russell saw himself as an abuser
I don’t think so, not until the end… until the last time that he hurt me when I finally ended the relationship. I think my requiring surgery and there being such specific radiographic evidence of the injury, that he finally really had to look it in the face. I had never seen my husband cry in all the years that we were together. And when I finally showed him the MRI he just put it down and started to cry. I think that, him having to come to terms with that this had gone on for so long.
He had mentioned he was afraid to kill me. I think he meant it in an accidental way.
On how many times he had abused Taylor
Maybe 20. That night was only one punch.
Russell’s last abuse of Taylor
He kept on, he was calling me names and he just reached up and punched me in the eye. I could feel my eyeball shift like it wasn’t in the right place any longer.
I was covering my eye and he was saying “you’re being dramatic, you’re such a drama queen. Now you can tell all your friends that I’ve hit you.”
I said “I can tell you’ve really hurt me this time.”
I could have lost my eye for sure.
On how she explained her injury to the doctor
I told him that Kennedy had kicked me, because Russell told me to tell him that. Russell came with me to the appointment and sat in the chair the whole time. When I came out of the flap repair he immediately came into the recovery room with me and stayed there until I left. I didn’t want him to go to jail so I guess that was all right with me.
On if the doctors questioned her
They were a little surprised as to the degree of an injury from a child.
On the photos of her injury
I feel like they’re very hard to look at. I also feel like they send a pretty loud message that regardless of how someone looks on the outside, you probably don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.
On why Taylor is coming out now
[They air a message urging domestic violence victims to get help.] I never wanted to call the police, because I didn’t want him to go to jail. I loved him.
On coming out with this after Russell’s death
I mourn the loss of him… more than anyone. At the same time, I’ve put myself second in order to protect him, and he doesn’t need my protection anymore, but there are a lot of women in this world that probably do. So I have to fight for the living now.
On ET they explained that the bones on the bottom of her eye socket were fractured, that she had just had lasik eye surgery and that the punch had “wrinkled the corneal flap” of her eye. Taylor showed her CAT scans of the injury, and given her story and the way she told it she makes an extremely strong case. I believe that Russell punched her to cause that injury, that she was going through years of emotional and physical abuse with him, and that she was cowed and upset most of the time. It would also explain so much of their relationship dynamic that was shown on Real Housewives. Tomorrow ET is going to air the part where Taylor recounts discovering Russell’s body after he killed himself. They had a preview and it’s devastating to watch. I doubt we’ll cover that.