Will ‘Housewives’ Husband’s Death Affect the Show?

by | August 17, 2011 at 7:08 AM | Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Taylor and Russell Armstrong in June 2011 (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Taylor and Russell Armstrong in June 2011 (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

By SANDY COHEN

LOS ANGELES — Bravo isn’t saying what might happen to the second season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” following the unexpected death of Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong.

The couple’s marital troubles were part of the drama on the first season of the reality show, which follows the lavish lifestyles of six women living in the posh neighborhood. Their problems were to remain part of the plot of season two, set to premiere Sept. 5.

Russell Armstrong, 47, an investment banker and venture capitalist, was found dead Monday night, hanging in a home on Mulholland Drive. Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said no suicide note was found.

Armstrong appeared on several episodes during the show’s first season, accompanying wife Taylor to various events. Taylor Armstrong often discussed the couple’s relationship on the show, and fellow housewife Kyle Richards said that would continue in season two.

Richards said in an interview last week that viewers could expect to see “Taylor’s situation, just seeing that unravel, and it’s a very emotional subject; a very difficult subject.”

Bravo provided an advance copy of the season premiere episode to the press last week that shows Taylor Armstrong telling the other housewives that she and her husband are going to therapy. Later, she bursts into tears at a dinner party when one of the other women’s husbands tells her that therapy is a sign of weakness. She is also shown shopping for lingerie to help spice up her marriage.

Court records show Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce on July 15 in Los Angeles. Russell Armstrong had not yet responded to her petition. There is no word on whether the couple’s divorce is to be reflected on the show, but it wouldn’t be the first.

Last season, Camille Grammer’s divorce from her ex-husband, actor Kelsey Grammer, played out on the reality series. Brandi Glanville, a new cast member for season two, is facing the aftermath of her public divorce from actor Eddie Cibrian, who recently wed singer Leann Rimes after an apparent affair documented in tabloids and gossip websites.

Relationship dramas are a staple of the “Real Housewives” franchise, which documents the lives of affluent women in cities such as Miami, Atlanta and New York.

Bravo, home of the “Housewives” shows, said in a statement Tuesday that “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.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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