Taylor released the following statement through her rep: “Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded. 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.”
Sources tell RadarOnline Taylor has been “hysterical” since finding out about Russell’s suicide last night. The insider reveals Taylor “has been up all night. She is hysterical, and can barely speak. She has no idea why Russell would do this. She doesn’t know how she is going to be able to tell her daughter, Kennedy.” TMZ confirms Taylor has yet to break the news to her 5-year-old daughter Kennedy.
As for what might have led to Russell’s suicide, his attorney confirms it all had to do with his impending divorce as well as mounting financial and legal problems. Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards states, “I feel bad because his credit cards weren’t working … He had tremendous financial problems.” Ronald adds that even if Russell has a will, he had no assets.
Meanwhile, Andy Cohenand other Housewives also reacted to the tragic news. Below are some of the tweets -
Andy Cohen – “I am so very sad about today’s news. My prayers and thoughts are with Taylor Armstrong and her family.”
Camille Grammer - “My sympathy and condolences go out to Taylor and Kennedy. My thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Adrienne Maloof – “”My heart goes out to Taylor Armstrong and Kennedy during this devastating time. You will be in my thoughts and in prayers.”
Caroline Manzo - “So sorry 2 hear about Russell Armstrong’s death. I hope @taylorarmstrong’s privacy is respected during this difficult time.”
Jacqueline Laurita – “When I hear REAL problems like what’s happened w/ @TaylorArmstrong’s family,it puts everything else that I feel r problems into perspective.”
Jill Zarin – “Shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Russell Armstrong. My love and prayers to @TaylorArmstrong and her daughter.”
Ramona Singer - “My prayers and thoughts go out to Taylor Armstrong and her family.”
Countess Luann – “Such a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Taylor and Kennedy and the Armstrong family.”
Gretchen Rossi – “No words can express how much my heart is breaking for my fellow housewife sister @taylorarmstrong and her daughter. Please keep her and her family in your prayers and thoughts today. RIP Russell Armstrong.”
Alexis Bellino - “We are praying so hard for the Armstrong family. We can’t imagine what they’re going through. Take a minute today to hug everyone you love.”
Photo credit: WENN.
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UPDATE: Russell’s lawyer Ronald tells PEOPLE that Russell showed no signs of depression. The lawyer however adds that Russell was a loving family man who spent every dwindling dollar he had to finance Taylor’s lifestyle. “He was a good networker. But as a couple, they lived way beyond their means,” added Ronald.
Bravo executive and talk show host Andy Cohen is planning to write a memoir!
Andy, 43, himself made the announcement Monday on his blog. “It’ll be a memoir, of sorts, about my intersections with pop culture over the years, from growing up in front of the TV as a kid in St. Louis to my years at CBS News, all the way up to today,” he wrote.
The book will chronicle Andy’s journey from a closeted gay teen growing up in 1970s suburban St. Louis to a multi-hyphenate cable television powerhouse. The yet-untitled book, which is being published by Henry Holt and Company, will be released next summer.
In other news, Huffington Post columnist Rob Shuter tweeted days ago that the Real Housewives of New York City will find out this week who will be returning or getting the axe.
Filming on the new season will reportedly begin by labor day. And judging from recent comments by Andy Cohen, it’s safe to assume there will be a major shake-up with the cast.
Rob also tweeted last week that two of the RHONY housewives are so desperate to remain on the show that they told Bravo they are willing to take a huge pay “cut in $270,000 per season they make.” Wowzers. Of course, we will report on the latest the minute the cast announcement is made.
TELL US – WILL YOU READ ANDY’S MEMOIR? THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST WITH THE RHONY CASTING?
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter states Andy received a “low seven-figure” amount for his forthcoming memoir.
On last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey the year may have changed, but everything is still exactly the same. Teresa can’t get along with anyone she is related to, by proxy or otherwise; Jacqueline can’t deal with Ashley, Caroline just wishes she had never gotten involved, and Melissa tries in vain to reason with crazy. Oh yeah, Kathy was there too – kinda.
The Caroline is back on the radio and she’s tawking about New Year’s Resolutions and Ashley calls in and said her resolution is to leave reality TV. I wish! The Caroline gets a call from a person who is being nice to someone who just won’t be nice back; Caroline encourages this person to continue to be good and pure. Guess who is coincidentally listening while wearing her fur coat? Melissa! Melissa, thinking – I’m a good and loving person dealing with someone who just won’t reciprocate, I will not be intimidated – calls Teresa to extend the Swarovski encrusted olive branch, and arrange a playdate between their girls.
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Season four of the show has finished airing, capped off by three hours worth of hateful and hostile reunion footage. While these two ladies are schooled in the art of cat fighting, especially with each other, things got even more heated during the reunion when Ramona’s love affair with Pinot Grigio was addressed. In the aftermath of both ladies’ allegations of alcoholism, the women continue to speak about their feelings. And speak about their feelings. And speak about their feelings.
In an interview with People, Jill says she was hoping to help her friend (sure, we all buy that) by accusing Ramona of having a problem. “During the reunion, [Ramona was] hitting below the belt. I tried to be a friend to Ramona. And I thought that she was acting a little bit erratic, more so than before. I was trying to help her and point it out. A lot of times people who have problems don’t see it themselves. That’s why there are interventions … I really wanted to try to help her. And instead she tried to turn it around on me.” Cue the violins.
Jill is, of course, referring to the fact that Ramona called her out for being an alcoholic and going to AA. Jill contends, “Whether it is true or not, is irrelevant.” She reiterates that she went to the meeting with a friend to show support, but is appalled that Ramona would out anyone for attending something that is supposed to be anonymous for a reason.
Jill hopes that Ramona’s irresponsible statements won’t deter others from getting help through Alcoholics Anonymous. Ironically enough, Jill has since seen an example of her worries on the subject. A fan of Jill’s has reached out to her. Jill reveals, “The mother tells me the daughter is scared to go in the program because she’s worried that a friend of hers might out her. It’s destructive to people and the damage that [Ramona] caused is going to prevent people from getting help.”
As for Ramona, she stated in her Bravo blog that she was embarrassed by the reunion show. “To say I was embarrassed by everyone’s behavior on the reunion, including my own, would be an understatement,” wrote Ramona. “Who would ever think that we are a group of educated, sophisticated, polished, New York women? This was not evident in what I watched. The reunion was mostly negative energy. I, myself, made a few comments that I am not proud of.”
Jill however wants Ramona to make things right. Jill asserts, “She should really retract that and try to figure out how to go back out there and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ So will this deter Jill from famewhoring filming another season of the show? She admits, “The damage is done. I don’t know if I can film with these girls.”
She may not have to, if recasting reports are true (oh please let them be true!). According to the Huffington Post, season five of New York is scheduled to begin filming around Labor Day, meaning that cast members must be secured ASAP. An unidentified Bravo housewife reveals, “No one knows at the moment who is in or out, but the second the contracts go to our representatives we all email and call each other immediately. So if someone does not get a letter we know within hours. All the cast will now be glued to their iPhones as they wait for the call from Bravo on whether they are being invited back.”
Another housewife chimes in, adding, “What’s happened with other casts in the franchise is offers go out to the women they want and those [they] don’t do not hear a word. Technically no one gets fired they are just not invited back.” Sounds a lot like sorority rush…no wonder the ladies seem so catty!
If the show is recast, the bigger question is whether it will be able to hold the viewers’ attention. Former fans seem turned off by the ladies’ negativity and mean girls mentalities. Ratings for the show took a nosedive from the first half of the reunion to the second half, plummeting from 2,325,000 viewers to 1,781,000 in a mere week. Numbers don’t lie…and that can’t be good.
And finally, Bravo’s own Andy Cohen posted the following cryptic message on his facebook page yesterday morning: “Thank you for all your comments on the reunion and the future of RHNYC. Consider yourselves heard loud and clear. There is work to be done!!!” Wonder what that means?
Photo by: Brad Barket/Bravo
ARE YOU ON JILL OR RAMONA’S SIDE REGARDING THE AA DEBACLE? WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE RECAST? MORE IMPORTANTLY, ARE YOU EVEN STILL WATCHING???
Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City Reunion, Part 2: Where The Wild Things Are was equally beastly, equally catty, and equally spiteful as these ladies just cannot stop ripping each other to shreds! And for all the arguing about what a dirty word Class is, I hoped one of these housewives would find an ounce of it!
Things resume with Jill “storming off” the Brunette sofa to prove a point against Ramona snarking on LuAnn’s “weekend parenting.” LuAnn is frustrated that Ramona seems to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how she raises her children, instead of spending time with her own child; she is also frustrated that Sonja would participate in such a discussion with Ramona. Sonja insists that she defended LuAnn but it was not on camera. Uh-huh – that’s the oldest line in Reality TV, but actually I DO believe Sonja would defend LuAnn, because she seems to be very loyal to her friends.
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In a new interview with Hamptons Magazine, Bravo’s Executive Vice President, Original Programming and Development Andy Cohentouches on a number of topics.
The interview was actually conducted by Andy’s friend Mark Consuelos who states, “My wife and I met him five years ago, and we feel like we have been lifelong friends.” Andy dishes on his most memorable WWHL guests, what he loves about each Housewives series, and which housewife has surprised him the most, hint – it’s a RHONJ! Excerpts from the interview below -
MARK CONSUELOS: Your show Watch What Happens: Live is ridiculously successful—you recently celebrated its 100th episode. What do you think it is about the show that everyone connects to? ANDY COHEN: I think it is just the weird combinations of people. You have Sandra Bernhard and Sonja Morgan on, and Nacho Figueras—actually, it was a little bit of a Hamptons fest. You don’t know what is going to happen. I think it is a Fellini movie mixed with Wayne’s World.
MC:I have been on your show a few times, and it is so much fun. I think alcohol plays a small part in that, actually. I think Kelly said that alcohol could be your cohost. AC: Alcohol could be my cohost, but I am not looking for a cohost.
MC: No, I don’t think you need one. The alcohol does help to make people a little loose. Which guest has gotten the loosest? AC: There was one time when Bethenny Frankel turned to me during a commercial break and said, “I am trashed.” And Ricki Lake was very drunk. Then we had Regina King and Jackée Harry—that was the most famous, that became something. I got off the air and said, “That show was terrible”; I really felt like it was bad, but they were really into it, the ratings were high, and the fans loved it.
MC: What you are doing right now is rare. I don’t think it has really ever happened before, where you are straddling this network executive role while hosting a late-night talk show. Which do you find a bigger challenge? Is this part of your evil plan to take over television? AC: I find my day job more challenging than my hosting job; I find that just a pleasure. I feel like I am hanging out with people that I know or have wanted to know, and everybody is invited to my party. And I love throwing parties. My day job is complex and complicated, and although I feel like I am good at producing television, it is challenging.
MC: Would you want to host five nights a week? AC: You know, somewhere in my mind, I would love to, but it would mean that I would have to make some kind of a Sophie’s Choice because this job that I have is a 12-hour-a-day job. By the way, Bravo has not asked me to do this five nights a week; I just want to be a good solider.
MC: You have had some big celebrities on your show, but who would be your ultimate get? AC: Michelle Obama. There is an election [coming next year]—maybe we should start working on this now. And Madonna. You know I am a huge Madonna fan.
MC:Whom would you rather save, Joe Gorga or Joe Giudice from Real Housewives of New Jersey or Mauricio Umansky from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? AC: Wow, this is a real brain twister. I would like to say Joe Gorga, but I am going to say Mauricio.
MC:Let’s talk Housewives—the show is great. If you had to keep only one of them, which is your favorite? AC: I can’t! It is usually whichever one I am watching rough cuts of. Right now I am watching Jersey and New York, but they each bring me a different form of love. The Atlanta ladies just make me laugh my ass off. Beverly Hills, I just feel draped in cashmere. New Jersey, I love the way it is shot, the storytelling and the music; I think they do a brilliant job, and I love the construction of that show. New York, I just love these women and it entertains me—these glam New York women fighting about why people didn’t RSVP to their party; I think it represents this slice of New York life that makes me smile. Miami, I am so in love with Mama Elsa [Patton], I cannot even handle it. And Orange County is Knots Landing, and I feel like there is some real-life drama that happens with those women.
MC:These women have become celebrities, and with some really thriving business. Which one has surprised you the most? AC: You know, Bethenny didn’t surprise me because I think she is so driven, but Teresa [Giudice] has a New York Times best-selling cookbook called Skinny Italian, and she has another one called Fabulicious. She really took me by surprise. Give it up to Teresa.
Last night’s episode ofReal Housewives of New Jerseywas all about Jesus’ Birthday and in the spirit of Christmas everyone got along except for the notorious Kim G. – who really is incapable of getting along with anyone so she got thrown out of Jesus’ Party by the Manzo’s – who don’t let no body mess with their family.
Things pick up where they left off at Jesus’ birthday party. Melissa lets Teresa know she “got that bitch outta there” meaning Monica Chacone, who was Kim G. ’s plus one for about five minutes until Melissa escorted her politely to the door. Teresa gives her brother and SIL props for handling it well, BUT she wants to know why Kim G. was invited in the first place? Melissa says Kim is harmless which ummm…. What?! Please re-watch season 2, Melissa! However, Melissa calls a spade a spade when she describes that Kim G. and Teresa are eerily similar – in fact, so similar they may be “secret sisters.”
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