Monday marked the premiere of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and if you’re anything like me, you may have been wondering if Taylor Armstrong was even able to watch it in light of the recent suicide of estranged husband Russell Armstrong.
Well for starters, the show premiered to high ratings for the Bravo network. While some were concerned over what impact Russell’s passing would have on the show, it appears there was no reason for that as over 2.2 million viewers tuned in for the season debut. That is a 42% increase from the season one premiere last year. Those numbers are even more impressive considering Monday was a holiday.
But back to Taylor as Radaronline is reporting that Bravo executives gave her an advance copy of the show which had been re-edited due to the recent events. She was able to watch it before it aired on Labor Day. An insider reveals, “Taylor watched the entire episode several days ago. She was very moved by the heartfelt comments that each of the Housewives made regarding Russell’s suicide. There were a lot of tears shed as she watched the episode.”
The source continues, “Taylor didn’t watch the season premiere with any of the Housewives. Kyle, Adrienne and Lisa are in New York City doing press for the show. However, Kyle did call Taylor to check-in with her. Kyle and Taylor are very close. Taylor was very emotional watching it, but she is very supportive of how Bravo is handling Russell’s suicide. Taylor believes that watching the show now will be cathartic and healing for her.” As for Kennedy, Taylor’s five-year-old daughter with Russell, the insider says, “[She] has started school, and doing well. Taylor is now trying to put her life back together.”
And while it may be healing for Taylor to watch the season, it will no doubt be hard. According to one source, Bravo plans to air footage of the couple’s marriage counseling, parts of which were filmed for the series. The insider reveals, “Bravo has made the decision to air their marriage counseling sessions. Taylor is supportive of the network airing the therapy sessions. Bravo will be looking at those sessions and doing any necessary edits if needed, given Russell’s suicide. Both Russell and Taylor were filmed individually during their sessions. Taylor’s will definitely be airing, although it’s likely that Russell’s individual sessions won’t be.” Both Taylor and Russell agreed to let the network document their sessions.
However, some reports say otherwise. A mouthpiece for the network commented, “The producers and Bravo are in the process of re-editing the entire series. As a result, any report regarding the content of upcoming episodes is mere speculation.” The couple was seeing Dr. Charles Sophy for help with their crumbling marriage. Before Russell’s suicide, the pair’s marital problems were set to be a big story line of the season. However, Bravo has since edited the season, so some speculate that the sessions will not be included. The premiere episode cut original footage of Taylor shopping for lingerie in an effort to spice up her love life with Russell. However, it aired the tense dinner party at Adrienne Maloof’s where Taylor felt attacked by Ken Vanderpump after revealing her and Russell’s decision to seek counseling.
While we are watching a show filmed pre-tragedy, those closest to Russell are still trying to cope with his decision to take his own life. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Russell’s family is speculating that his tragic death may not have been at his own hands. TMZ reports that the Coroner’s Office recently released Russell’s toxicology results, which revealed no alcohol or drugs where in his system when he died. Russell’s family is hiring a private investigator to look into the possibility of foul play. However, neither the Los Angeles coroner nor Taylor herself believe Russell was murdered.
And finally, Russell’s family continues to speak out against Taylor. The latest accusation comes from Russell’s mother who alleges Taylor charged over $90,000 to Russell’s credit card after filing for divorce.
“$90,000 was put on his credit card in June, not by him,” revealed John Ann Hotchkiss during an interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN Wednesday. “Taylor put $90,000 on there,” she said. “She put $90,000 on his credit card in June after she separated.” It doesn’t seem like this drama will be ending anytime soon.
Photo credit: WENN
SURPRISED BY THE GOOD RATINGS? SHOULD BRAVO AIR FOOTAGE OF THE COUPLE’S MARRIAGE COUNSELING SESSIONS? DO YOU BELIEVE THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST TAYLOR?