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Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 08/16/2011

Taylor Armstrong of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ requests privacy in wake of death of Russell Armstrong


Taylor and Russell Armstrong. (Evan Agostini - AP)
Taylor Armstrong, star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” released a brief statement via her rep this afternoon regarding the apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, her estranged husband who frequently appeared on the Bravo reality series.

“Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded,” the statement said. “She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter. Her thoughts and prayers are also with Russell’s 11 and 13-year-old sons.” (Armstrong, who was found dead Monday night in his Mulholland Drive home, reportedly had a son from a previous marriage and a son from a previous relationship. He and Taylor Armstrong have a daughter named Kennedy, who is 5.)

Bravo, the network that airs the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” also issued a statement to multiple outlets that said, “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.”

Naturally, though, network officials will need to address multiple questions once the shock of Armstrong’s death subsides. One key one: will the content of the upcoming second season of “Real Housewives” need to be revisited to make sure that it doesn’t seem insensitive in light of Armstrong’s death? I raised that one in an e-mail to a Bravo spokesperson but have not yet received a response.

In the meantime, people who knew Armstrong are trying to piece together what caused him to take his own life.

His lawyer, Ronald Richards, told People he was shocked by the news because his client didn’t seem depressed even though he was dealing with the challenges of a divorce. (Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce from her husband last month.)

Richards added that Armstrong was struggling financially to “cover their lifestyle,” referring to the means by which the “Real Housewives” couple lived.

“His credit cards were used up,” the lawyer said. “He had serious financial problems. And that no doubt caused him a lot of stress.”

Richards also did not hesitate to point out that appearing on a reality show may not be the healthiest decision for anyone to make.

“When his wife and him first started the show, I warned them that it would cause undue stress on their marriage,” he told People. “Being thrust in the spotlight didn’t do any favors for Russell and Taylor.”

By  |  04:05 PM ET, 08/16/2011

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