The apparent suicide of a man featured in the Bravo unscripted series “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has left the network with tough decisions to make about the show’s upcoming season, set to bow next month.
Russell Armstrong, 47, was found dead on Monday at his Los Angeles home on the 14300 block of Mulholland Drive in Bel Air. Police do not suspect foul play, according to LAPD officer Bruce Borihanh, who said the case is with the coroner’s office. No suicide note was found at the scene, according to media reports.
Armstrong was featured in the first season of “Housewives” as the husband of Taylor Armstrong, who filed for divorce last month. Their marital troubles were a recurring storyline in the first season.
The network extended its condolences in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
It is unknown whether Armstrong appeared in the second season of “Housewives,” which is scheduled to premiere Sept. 5. Regardless, Bravo may need to re-evaluate the series given that his marital strife was clearly going to be addressed in the coming episodes.
The network has not yet determined what actions, if any, it will take, according to a Bravo spokeswoman, although there was speculation that the preem may be delayed. While shooting has wrapped on the second season of “Housewives,” editing hasn’t been completed for the entire season. Future shoots were planned to assemble footage to be used for unspecified reasons beyond the episode order, but none of it was scheduled to occur this week.
In addition to splitting with his wife, with whom he had a 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy, Armstrong’s financial and legal problems were widely reported. He also confirmed in July to People magazine allegations leveled by Taylor Armstrong that he was both physically and verbally abusive to her, though seemed to blame the series for being stressful.
“This show has literally pushed us to the limit,” he told the magazine.
While Russell Armstrong isn’t believed to appear in the first episode, Taylor Armstrong’s marital woes are clearly addressed. There’s a scene in which she acknowledges being in marital counseling with her husband, and she is seen dissolving into tears over the stress of the situation.