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Frances Berwick


According to a new report, Barbara Walters will likely get the first interview with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong.

Since the tragic suicide of her estranged husband Russell Armstrong, Taylor, 40, has managed to stay out of the spotlight while mourning her loss. A source close to her however indicates she’s being sought out by the media for the first interview.

The source tells RadarOnline that while Taylor is more than willing to sit down and tell-all, she’s only willing to do that when the time is right, and more importantly, she wants to do the interview with someone she can trust.

“Taylor would likely feel the most comfortable with Barbara Walters,” the source says. “Taylor expects to be asked the tough questions, and will answer them… The interview will most likely happen in the next month or so, and not sooner. Taylor needs a bit more time before she is ready to talk about the suicide.”

UsWeekly reported days ago that Taylor’s rep was shopping her first interview around for $100,000. But to my knowledge Barbara Walters doesn’t do paid interviews so it will be interesting to see how this all works out.

Meanwhile, Bravo announced today that the second season of the RHOBH will premiere on Sep. 5 as scheduled. In a statement released to the press, the network states a quick special featuring interviews with some of the BH housewives will air right before the season premiere episode.

“Given that these episodes were filmed months ago, the producers of the show taped a brief interview this week with several of the cast members to introduce the premiere. Re-editing of the episodes is still underway,” Frances Berwick, the President of Bravo said in a statement before adding that the network plans to air several anti-suicide PSAs throughout the show.

The statement continues, “Bravo has partnered with the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) to raise awareness about suicide prevention. The network will air various PSA’s during the The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We will also provide additional information and resources on Bravotv.com, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Our thoughts continue to be with the Armstrong family during this difficult time.”

And finally, RadarOnline is reporting this morning that Taylor is considering going to the FBI after a business associate of Russell’s, Alan Schram, also committed suicide 24 hours after Russell’s body was discovered.

Taylor is reportedly puzzled and wants to talk to the FBI to determine if there was a criminal motivation for the suicides. TMZ reported days ago that Russell and Alan were both members of an exclusive club called Tiger 21 — a group of investors who critiqued each other’s financial portfolios. The two guys also became friends.

“Taylor is leaning towards turning over some information that might be of interest to the FBI, which could shed some light as to why both men killed themselves,” reveals a source close to Taylor. “Taylor’s instincts are absolutely telling her that something much more was going on with these two men, than anyone knows about.”

The source adds, “Russell was a very secretive person. Taylor was unaware that he had stopped taking his anti-depressant medications in the two weeks prior to his suicide, even though he swore to her he was taking them.”

Taylor is now reportedly sorting through Russell’s things and paperwork, and putting aside items that she thinks are out of the norm to possibly turn them over to the FBI.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?

The Bravo network is now officially confirming it will in fact edit the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 2 in light of Russell Armstrong’s death.

In a statement given to Variety, Bravo’s president Frances Berwick states: “Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision to change our original premiere date but we are in the process of re-editing the show.”

A report by the Hollywood Reporter however states Bravo is indeed planning to push back the Sept. 5 premiere at least one week and possibly longer. The cast and crew of the show were reportedly informed by Bravo of the delay earlier this week. Insiders reveal that some close to the production of the show are actually encouraging Bravo to scrap the season altogether. “People are concerned about being associated with the show and his passing,” a source states.

As of the moment, Bravo however has no plans to cancel the season. And while the crumbling marriage of Russell and Taylor Armstrong was set to play a key storyline this season, it appears Russell might not have had many appearances on the show. THR reports Russell does not appear in the premiere episode sent to television critics, though Taylor is seen agonizing over attending marriage counseling with him and is shown shopping for lingerie to help heat up their sex life.

One person who is making it crystal clear that she wants Bravo to cancel the new season is Russell’s mother. John Anne Hotchkiss sent a stern warning to the TV network on Thursday during an interview on HLN. “Better not air one frame of my son — or else!” said Anne. Russell’s family reportedly feels Bravo is to blame for his death and are said to be considering suing the network.

In other news, just two weeks after the National Enquirer first reported that the alleged beatings of Taylor in the hands of Russell were much more brutal than what she told PEOPLE magazine, TMZ is now confirming the same story, citing Taylor had to be hospitalized following one of those beatings.

According to TMZ, Taylor secretly revealed to cast members that she was beaten so badly by Russell to the point that she had to undergo surgery. Even worse, when he found out she she told her castmates, he sent Camille Grammer a threatening email.

This described incident reportedly occurred right before filming for season 2 of RHOBH was set to began. Sources say Taylor was severely beaten when Russell hit her in the face so hard he cracked the bones in her cheeks. Sources add that there are pictures of the injuries and they are “horrific.” Wow.

Taylor, who was hospitalized as a result of the beating, tried to keep it a secret, except she couldn’t show her face for weeks, and feared Bravo would fire her for being uncooperative and flaky. She eventually decided to confide in Kyle Richards and Camille, who both urged her to tell Bravo the truth.

Taylor eventually went back home and told Russell about her conversation with her costars. Russell reacted by sending Camille a “very threatening” email with one source who read it saying it read like “the rantings of a lunatic.” Taylor’s injuries were reportedly so bad that shooting was delayed for several weeks.

As we reported a while back, Taylor attended two events on June 4 and June 5 with Russell. On both days, she had on giant sunglasses. If these reports are true, and in light of this recent tragedy, Taylor should be thankful she and her daughter Kennedy still have their lives.

Photo credit: WENN

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BRAVO EDITING THE SHOW & DELAYING THE PREMIERE? AND THOUGHTS ON THE TMZ STORY? DO YOU BELIEVE TAYLOR WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSED?


Bethenny Frankel’s butt might be skinny, but her bank account certainly is not! In an article by the Hollywood Reporter we learn that everyone’s favorite housewife ,Jill Zarin – I mean, Mrs. Hoppy – is now worth $120 million dollars! Ummm… what?! That’s alotta margaritas and diet books! Seriously – that means that besides the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Bethenny is the richest person to be on Bravo ever! Vicki Gunvalsun is probably working overnights RIGHT NOW upon this discovery!

So just how did Bethenny, a former natural-foods chef who just a few years ago was the poor, unmarried cast member of Real Housewives of New York City become a multi-millionairess? According to Bethenny: “Everything I create is a solution to a problem that women have,” referring to how she came up with the concept of Skinnygirl Margaritas and her new lingerie line for lazy women whose men like sexy underwear. Here’s the breakdown:

- Bethenny decided to join RHONY after appearing on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and trying to make her business BethennyBakes a more successful venture: “I didn’t know where I was in my life,” Bethenny says of her pre-Housewives days. “I was still taking the subway to events because I couldn’t afford the $20 for a cab.” When Bravo came a’knockin she told them no for TWO MONTHS because: “”I was worried that it would ruin what I had going,” recalls Bethenny, who at the time had signed on as a Pepperidge Farm spokesperson and had appeared on NBC’s Today show for a cooking segment.” After finally deciding she could use the platform to advertise and promote her brand, she became RHONY’s resident career girl and the pioneer of a whole new genre of “Bravo-lebrities” creating brands and businesses because of their successes on Housewives shows: “When I went on the show, no one was going on for business, no one had done anything.” Gee thanks, Bethenny – because of you we are now forced to endure COUNTLESS – pun intended – bad pop songs, weaves, terribly written books and cookbooks, and now SHAPEWEAR!

- Bethenny was able to parlay her success as the most recognizable and well-liked housewife into an enormous empire of products and brand endorsements, starting with her cookbook, Naturally Thin, and expanding to Skinnygirl Margaritas and beyond! Bethenny recently sold the Skinnygirl Cocktail line to “the world’s fourth-largest spirits company, Fortune Brands’ Beam Global — which distributes the likes of Jim Beam bourbon and Sauza tequila — for a price tag insiders have placed at $120 million. It’s a feat never before seen in the spirits marketplace by a single celebrity.” People apparently really really love their low-cal margaritas!

- Bethenny also claims that despite sleeping in a bed with sheets made of freshly ironed 100 Dollar bills, she is still down to earth and cheap! Describing a sweater she is wearing to lunch with the reporter: “It’s Club Monaco,” she notes without prompting. “I love their tops. I don’t have a lot of tops, but everything I buy is on sale. I never pay full price.” She buzzes on for a few minutes about her controlled spending and how her husband of one year, Jason Hoppy, recently encouraged her to purchase an $800 Chanel handbag she was eyeing. “I couldn’t do it,” she says. “I didn’t need it.” Wait – does anyone else remember when even in Season 1 of RHoNY that girlie was carrying around a Hermes Birkin and wearing Louboutins? Are those often on the clearance rack?

Also, according to Bravo, Bethenny’s reign as the most beloved housewife almost never happened since she was almost left out of the cast of RHONY! Bravo was initially hesitant about casting someone who had already appeared on a reality show: ” ‘She was one of the last, if not the last, woman we cast on the show,” says Bravo Media president Frances Berwick. “We had a few reservations and were a little on the fence since we don’t take reality stars and put them on the network.’’

Bethenny also admits she wants a talk show! The THR states Bethenny “aspires to parlay her on-air talents into more of a “conversation” with her fans — a TV format that allows a dialogue beyond 140 Twitter characters.” As for Bethenny, she admits, “Yes, like a talk show.” According to a recent report, Bethenny is in fact in talks with Telepictures Productions (the company behind The Tyra Banks Show and Ellen) about the prospect of her own show though her rep would not confirm or deny the report. Oh, sweet Jesus. Obviously unlike Kris Jenner, Bethenny Frankel is NOT worried about over-exposure!

And despite the popularity of her spinoff show Bethenny Ever After — Bravo has expressed desire to keep her on air (“I’m hoping this partnership is a long one,” Berwick says), – Bethenny only anticipates another season or two of the show. “I like to leave a party when it’s in full swing,” she says. “I don’t want to be there at 3 in the morning with the scary guy in the bad sweater with no teeth. I like to leave when everyone still has their teeth.”

So that ladies, is how you parlay Saturday nights of binge drinking and talking crap about people into a multi-million dollar empire! When is The Apprentice: Bethenny Frankel coming to TV? I wonder if Jill Zarin is going to be sending Bethenny an invoice for a “finder’s fee” after introducing her to Bravo and discovery the true cost of Bethenny’s success?

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY EARNING $120 MILLION? ARE YOU SHOCKED?

NY Housewives' Bethenny FrankelTop Chef Fabio Viviani

Bravo is currently developing new shows for three of their network stars, reports Variety.com.

Those networks stars include Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City, Fabio Viviani — a season five finalist of Top Chef, and Christian Siriano – winner of season four’s Project Runway.

Bethenny’s show has been rumored for some time now, and this is the first official confirmation that the show is indeed coming soon. According to Bravo VP/general manager Frances Berwick, the shows will be docuseries that focus on the lives and careers of all three reality show vets.

The untitled show starring Bethenny will showcase her career as a natural foods chef, as well as her love life.

Fabio will star in “Fabio: A Catered Affair,” which will chronicle the challenges he faces as he and business partner Jacopo Falleni look to expand their restaurant and catering business in Los Angeles. Christian’s show will focus on him setting up his new clothing line.

Tell Us – Which Spin-off Reality Show Are You Most Excited To See? Do You Think Bethenny Can Carry a Show By Herself?

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