During Monday night’s episode, Taylor discovered an unflattering portrayal (is there any other kind?) of her marriage and her figure in a gossip column and accused Ms. Vanderfabulous of pedaling the story to the press! The indignity!
Taking to her Bravo blog, she calls out the notorious liar Taylor! “I had no idea that Taylor was accusing me of something so sneaky and despicable as going to the tabloids with her personal information,” Lisa fumes!
“That is deplorable, and as a woman with a conscience, who has many celebrity friends (where secrecy is crucial), and who also owns restaurants and is therefore privy to many situations shall we say, is an absolute insult, and I must say hurtful.” Wow!
Responding to Taylor’s accusations that Lisa may have had an ulterior motive for wanting to help, despite their rocky relationship, Lisa makes it clear she had no ill will in mind! “I knew Taylor to be in a situation that, from what she had told me, was a very difficult one. I have many times said to her, “I know we are not that close but if you ever need me, call me at any time of the day or night.” I always worried about her,” Lisa declares.
“Each time I saw her she was extremely emotional. She told us in Colorado that she didn’t eat and was losing weight at an alarming rate.” And she slams Taylorexic for misleading the ladies about the reason behind her drastic weightloss. “I feel foolish now as she later gave an interview regarding some new diet pills she’d been taking,” Lisa quips!
Lisa also insinuates that perhaps those with enormous elephantine skeletons in their closet should avoid the reality TV spotlight, as she describes why she chose to appear on RHOBH. “I have nothing to hide. I am honest and straight forward and not in the habit of being disloyal, and I try to be as supportive as possible of those close to me.”
Taylor has not responded to Lisa’s statements, as it appears she may have bigger issues to contend with. Star is reporting that Taylor’s drinking has become “out of control” since husband Russell Armstrong’s suicide. A source reveals “A pal told Taylor that she drinks too much,” and encouraged her to “go to rehab for the sake of her daughter.” The source also continues, “Taylor agreed and said she is open to going to some kind of rehab center.”
“Taylor doesn’t know that friends and family will have a real intervention with her if she doesn’t follow through with some kind of treatment,” the source adds. Gee… I wonder if Lisa is the “source”? Kidding, kidding.
Especially considering that Lisa describes the current state of her relationship with Taylor as being “much closer.” Why do I believe Lisa is more of a friends close, enemies closer kind of a girl?
And in some Lisa news I am truly excited to report, the in-the-know lady of all things fabulous has written a book! Oh my gosh – is it true? A housewives product I am actually interested in purchasing?!
The book which is touted as a guide to “easy elegance” the style for which Lisa is known, features “tips and tricks for creating the perfect gathering,” and “offers simple décor ideas and more than 50 recipes in mix-and-match menus for any kind of ‘Day’.” Fun!
Thoughts on Lisa’s blog? Do you believe she and Taylor are “much closer” or is this blog an indication of her true feelings? Do you think Taylor will seek help for her drinking problem? Are you excited about Lisa’s new book or is that just me?
We all remember that very first episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when Taylor Armstrong shocked the viewing public by describing her marriage as “80% business, 20% pleasure,” well apparently there is more truth to that statement than initially suspected.
In the continuing tragedy ofRussell Armstrong’s life and death, The Daily Beast conducted an in-depth investigation into Russell and Taylor’s financial dealings, interviewing legitimate sources who actually identified themselves by name. Sadly, in light of the investigation, it seems Taylor was a driving force behind many of Russell’s business ventures and was an active player in allegedly scamming investors.
The Armstrongs, who married in 2005, welcomed their daughter Kennedy into the world soon after. Taylor, who was on her fourth name change by the time she became Mrs. Armstrong, apparently used her “maiden name,” Ford, to imply she was a wealthy member of the Ford Motor Company family. Tom Crosswaite, a long-time business associate of Russell’s who invested heavily in two of his companies, on Taylor’s ever-shifting identity: “She’s from Oklahoma, for goodness sakes! And she’s changed her name from Shana Hughes to Shanna Taylor to Taylor Ford to Taylor Armstrong. She wants you to think she’s a dumb blonde but she’s not!”
Taylor, described as more than “arm candy” by sources, was part of a complicated scam to rope in potential investors using fraudulent information about her past; thus misrepresented her affiliations. Russell and Taylor whose history of grifting came out in the press during the first season of RHoBH soon became embroiled in lawsuits and accusations about their shady dealings and manipulative ways from former acquaintances and business partners, including a history of filing bankruptcy and misappropriating investor money.
Currently MyMedicalRecords.com (MMR) has filed suit and complaint against the Armstrongs in Superior Court of California alleging: “Russell engaged in “self-dealing” and, “in concert with Taylor,” the couple “secretly funnel[ed]” money to themselves to fund their “lavish lifestyle, redecorate their mansion…and become business colleagues of (actress) Eva Longoria, in an upscale restaurant.” (The couple openly bragged about owning 51% of Beso, the restaurant owned by Eva Longoria, but documents show Taylor invested $11,000 – or 2%.)
“Taylor’s most blatant tactic was to tell people that she was a member of the prestigious Ford family and by implication put a stamp of approval on her husband’s proposed investments.” Through this pseudo-affiliation with a prestigious family, she ” falsely claimed others in the family were major investors in Russell’s business dealings.”
Through her attorney, notorious celeb lawyer, Martin Singer (whose clients include Charlie Sheen); Taylor, denies that she ever portrayed herself as a member of “the Ford Motor Company family,” and Singer maintains that his client has always represented herself as coming “humble beginnings.”
A long-time friend of Russell’s, Dr John Franks, remembers Russell as “happy go lucky” before Taylor:
“After Taylor came into Russell’s life, however, with her expensive tastes and demands for costly jewels, clothes, and fancy vacations, Russell’s carefree days were behind him, and Franks says his friend submerged himself in more investment plays. Once The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills came into their lives later, Taylor required cosmetic enhancements, a stylist, a maid, a nanny, landscapers, and pool attendants—all designed to showcase her in the best possible light for the TV public.” Franks continues, asserting that Taylor required an “$11,000 a month nut for the house and staff.”
To help garner capital to support her expensive requirements, Dr. Franks reveals of Taylor: “She’d go around working the crowd, especially the guys, mentioning her Ford family connection. She would set up the presentations at the Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, rent the room, make sure there were hors d’oeuvres and drinks. And he would make the presentation”
According to Beverly Hills real-estate entrepreneur, Philip Elghanian, Russell and Taylor attempted to purchase a home from him through a lease to own type deal and the keys were turned over to them with the promise of payment. After months of waiting for a signed contract that was never returned he attempted to evict them and was immediately served with papers from the couple demanding he pay them $75,000 for renovations they made to the home, despite never being given permission to make said reservations.
Elghanian reports: “Taylor said, ‘My best friend is the decorator on this house. We’ve already paid him $50,000. We’ve already bought the wallpaper.’” According to Elghanian’s account, “My lawyer finally said to pay them because they’ll tie you up in court forever at a huge cost.”
The supposed decorator and best friend, John Wiltgen; well the Armstrongs defrauded him too – with Taylor at the helm! “They were telling people I was their designer but they never signed the contract I sent them. They picked out furniture and fabrics … but they never paid for any of it. They never paid me a dime [but] they did offer me some more MMR stock. And Taylor can’t say she didn’t know because she was standing right there smiling.” Oops, busted again, Tay-Tay.
Robert H. Lorsch, a wealthy LA businessman who invested in MMR, the most recent company Russell was attempting to start, recounts that Russell left the partnership “under a cloud of missing money.” An investigation into their shady dealings with the company attracted attention when another associate’s wife was confronted by Taylor in the ladies room at a restaurant, where Taylor “completely broke down … [She] told her how Russell was in a bankruptcy and she was unsure about how it would affect her friendships with people who had invested with them.” Lorsch hired a private investigator to track down this bankruptcy and discovered over $1M that never made it into the company’s accounts. Including $10,000 from a elderly widow Taylor had deposited into the account of a separate company headed by Russell, “which utilized Taylor’s services.”
After being confronted quietly by the board of directors at MMR, Russell AND Taylor signed a settlement agreement requiring them to list every investor they had gotten money from and relinquish all their shares of MMR stock. “It’s very rare to have the wife of an executive sign a settlement—but we had to,” recounts Lorsch. “Her fingerprints were everywhere.”
An additional internal audit conducted by MMR which led to the pending lawsuit against the Armstrongs, revealed that Taylor did a lot of spending while Russell was supposedly in bankruptcy. The audit uncovered that in April and June of 2007, Taylor wrote a $20,000 check to a charity and put another large sum in an offshore Cook Island account for the “Taylor Family Trust,” meanwhile MMR was missing millions in unaccounted for investor money.
The article goes onto speculate that the couple might have come through the bankruptcy “with flying colors,” and Taylor could benefit mightily from some of Russell’s undisclosed financial investments (although his attorney, Ron Richards has previously stated he was virtually penniless at the time of death), including an investment in a film company Russell bragged to associates about receiving $200M from! I wonder if that money is in the “Taylor Family Trust,” as well?
Photo credit: WENN
Thoughts on Taylor’s involvements swindling investors? Are you surprised? Do you believe the couple was hiding monetary assets?
Dina, who is currently the star of her own show on HGTV, creatively titled: Dina’s Party, explains that being a part of RHoNJ was no longer fun: “I woke up one morning and [thought] ‘what am I doing? I don’t like doing this. I don’t have to do this.”
She adds, “I wouldn’t put my daughter on anymore [during] season 2, my husband never wanted to be on. So you have that choice. I don’t blame Bravo. I don’t blame production ’cause at any time you, you do sign a contract, but you can play chess. Say, okay fine come on over and film me washing my dishes.”
There have already been rumors that her sister-in-law, Jacqueline Laurita wants out after drama with her daughter, Ashley Holmes has been a major story-line for more than one season. Jacqueline’s younger children are basically never featured and excepting the issues with Ashley, her involvement has been a little, ummm…bland, as of late.
And with Teresa Giudice’s family joining the show, airing even more of her dirty laundry, she may want to leave as well! Dina, who is rumored to have a “made for TV” friendship with her former co-star, recently attended Teresa’s daughter, Audriana’s second birthday party (Dina is her godmother), and both women maintain that they have a genuine friendship. I don’t see Caroline Manzo leaving, especially since it is rumored that Caroline and Dina are no longer on good terms!
Putting Bravo on blast over their decision to air The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills almost immediately after Russell Armstrong’s untimely death, Dina laments that Bravo should have “postponed a bit,” musing: “I thought they would wait a little bit longer but my god, what a situation.”
Dina reminds the viewers that being part of a reality show, well, on some level it’s actually real life. “People forget that it’s really our lives it’s not just a scripted show,” she describes. “So it’s a very hard thing for the audience to remember for that second. This really happened in someone’s life … ”
Photos from Teresa’s daughter Adriana’s birthday below! Courtesy of Teresa’s official website.
Photo credit: PR Photos
Do you think there is some truth to what Dina is saying? Who do you think wants to leave the show? Do you agree that Bravo aired RHoBH too soon?
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,” revealedJohn 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?
It looks like Real Housewives of New York didn’t start filming this weekend as earlier speculated. In fact, none of the ladies know yet whether they’ll even be returning for the new season. Has anyone checked on Jill Zarin? She has to be freaking out just a tad.
Sonja Morgan took time out of her star-studded schedule to speak to the New York Post before flitting off to a party for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. And wow…throwing Sonja in with the Kardumphries–there’s a show I’d watch! But, I digress. Sonja told the Post, “None of us should be unhappy where we are. It’s really up to Bravo and what they want to do.” She continues, “If it happens, it happens. But none of us should be unhappy because of the success we’ve already earned. If I’m not back next season, it’s not bad. We’re still all stars.” Um, okay.
Bravo hasn’t given an official reason for the delay, but a rep for the network provided a statement, saying, “Production for Real Housewives of New York was pushed as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.” One can assume that the network is still dealing with the aftermath of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, hopefully trying to realign the franchise with its original premise, which was free from most of the drama and ugliness we are currently glued to multiple times a week.
Also in the wake of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills tragedy, new precautions are being taken with the reality stars’ contracts. Discussing reality show contracts in general, one source tells the Huffington Post, “I’m ashamed to admit I work on a show that once had in writing that contestants agreed we could humiliate them.” The source continues, “I have even seen contracts for dating shows that say if you contract a sexual disease on the show the producers were not responsible. What’s the amazing part is that the people that go on these shows are so desperate to be famous, and have no real talent, that they actually sign these deals.” Wow.
So what do these changes mean for Bravo specifically? It potentially means that Bravo will be more stringent in enforcing a psychological testing clause already present in its contracts with those involved in the Housewives franchise. One of Bravo’s New York Housewives reveals, “We all have in our contracts that Bravo can force us to take a [psychological] test. To my knowledge nobody did, but moving forward any new cast members will for sure. This isn’t to protect the talent but rather to protect Bravo for the next time something horrid happens.” I have to say it doesn’t sound like a horrible plan. In fact, I can think of a few current Housewives they may want to consider testing…
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE RETURNING TO THE NEW YORK CAST? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING? WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE TESTED FIRST?
In the wake of Russell Armstrong’s sad passing, several media outlets are gathering more information about the events that transpired that could possibly explain what he was thinking when he took his own life. E Online has compiled a timeline charting some of Russell’s legal woes, substance abuse issues, and abuse allegations. The entire situation is truly tragic.
October 10, 1995 – Russell’s legal woes begin in the mid 1990′s. On October 10, 1995, he is charged with felony tax evasion and is sentenced to five years probation and 150 hours of community service. Two years later, in December of 1997, he finds himself in trouble with the law again. After being charged with misdemeanor spousal battery after a fight with first wife Barbara, Russell must attend mandatory therapy and bi-weekly AA meetings while awaiting trial.
March of 1998 – After Barbara shows up at Russell’s house, the couple gets into another altercation in March of 1998. Russell pleads no contest to a charge of misdemeanor battery and is sentenced to three days in jail. He receives three years probation and must complete 50 hours of community service. Additionally, Russell must spend at least a year being counseled for anger management, attend 50 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and donate $1000 to a local women’s shelter.
August of 2004 – Barbara seeks a temporary restraining order for the couple’s then six-year-old son Aiden and files for divorce, citing, “His physical abuse of me was one of the major reasons that we separated only months after Aiden was born.” Included in the TRO filing was a sworn statement from Claudia Haro, Russell’s ex-girlfriend, who alleged that she saw Russell slap his son. She also claimed to be the victim of Russell’s abuse. In a sworn declaration from Russell, he claimed that Child Services had investigated the allegations and could not find any evidence of “inappropriate conduct.”
October 16, 2005 – Russell files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and marries Taylor Armstrong a mere eleven days later. On March 22 of the following year, his bankruptcy is converted to Chapter 11.
July 15, 2011 – just two months after her rep issued a statement denying break-up rumors, Taylor announces that she has filed for divorce. She believes the split will be in the best interest of the couple’s five-year-old daughter Kennedy. Her petition requests primary physical custody and joint legal custody of Kennedy, as well as restoration of her maiden name. Less than two weeks later, on July 29, a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit is filed against the couple, claiming Russell’s company misappropriated funds, which Taylor helped him to spend.
Russell commits suicide on August 15, the day Bravo sends out the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills press release. The release cites Taylor’s “loveless marriage” as her main story line. The following day, Russell’s first wife Barbara speaks out, expressing her disdain for Taylor and basically blaming her for Russell’s actions. She tells an online media source, “I don’t care for her at all. I think she’s the reason for this.”
Meanwhile, the 911 tape of the call that was made moments after Russell’s body was discovered has been released today by TMZ. The call was made by Russell’s friend though Taylor was present during the call. “My friend just hanged himself, do you understand? Come over here and stop asking questions,” stated Russell’s pal.
In the tape, the caller can be heard comforting Taylor. “Come here Taylor, it’s alright. It’s alright, it’s alright.” A sobbing Taylor then says, “I need my psychiatrist.” Even more heartbreaking is the fact that Taylor & Russell’s 5-year old daughter Kennedy was also at the house. At one point the caller says, “Taylor, have your daughter go away please.”
And finally, Los Angeles Times is reporting that Bravo plans to address Russell’s suicide in the form of a special. The network reportedly shot the special on Monday and it included several RHOBH cast members — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards, and Adrienne Maloof. Taylor apparently was not included in the filming.
There’s no word yet on when Bravo plans to air the special. The report also adds that the new season is still set to premiere next Monday on Sep. 5.
The entire situation is tragic, and my heart goes out to Russell’s children, family, friends and colleagues.
About Taylor’s impending divorce, Kyle tells People,”She’s going to pull through. She’s a beautiful girl, she’s a smart girl; she’ll get through it.” Kyle has been trying to take her cast mate’s mind off of the currents situation with fun distractions like a recent beach day for the pals and their daughters. Commenting on Taylor and Russell’s five-year-old daughter Kennedy, Kyle continues,”Kennedy’s doing well. She’s doing great. She’s kind of oblivious to what’s going on.”
As for the long-term, Kyle believes that her friend will make it through this a stronger person. And as for Kyle, she’s just doing what any good girlfriend would do. She says, “I’ve seen her a lot lately. I love Taylor, and I know she’s going through a hard time right now. I’m just being there as a friend.”
Kyle is about to get a lot busier as well. RadarOnline reports she is returning to her acting roots, and I for one, was a HUGE fan of her in Disney’s frightening (well frightening for Disney) Watcher in the Woods. Kyle will be starring in an upcoming Lifetime movie entitled Deadly Sibling Rivalry. Should her sister Kim Richards (the bigger of the two as far as child stars go…need I remind you of the awesomeness of the Witch Mountain movies?) watch her back? “Don’t think too much into the title,” jokes Kyle.
Also on the horizon for Kyle is a handbag line and a book, a la niece Paris Hilton. However, nearest and dearest to Kyle’s heart is the housewives franchise. She is very excited about the upcoming season, despite ending on a sour note with some of her cast mates. Kyle admits, “The reunion was absolutely torture: It’s absolutely torture because you see things that the girls are saying that you never knew they said about you, and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Wait a minute! I thought that we were friends? I thought we were OK?’” Nevertheless, it’s her favorite business venture.
And just because it’s too cute/strange not to mention, Kyle’s precious toddler Portia, with hottie husband Mauricio Umansky, is the newest member of the Twitterverse. You can follow Kyle’s youngest daughter as she spouts sweet sentiments such as “Dear God, I love u in the morning like a diamond ring.” A collective “awww” please!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KYLE’S NEW ACTING CAREER? WILL YOU BE FOLLOWING PORTIA ON TWITTER?
Taylor, 40, makes the shocking revelations in an all new interview with PEOPLE magazine. While all that talk about an amicable split came about after Taylor filed for divorce following six years of marriage, she is now telling a darker tale of her relationship’s demise.
“I felt like I was dying inside,” she says. “Now, there’s some sense of peace.” Taylor claims Russell was both verbally and physically abusive, with name-calling, hair pulling, and shoving being a staple of their marriage. She also alleges Russell threw things at her when enraged. As a child of domestic abuse, Taylor was an advocate for battered women, and her efforts were highlighted on the first season.
Taylor reveals, “I’m mad at myself for tolerating things I should not have tolerated from the first moment. Allowing this to happen in my own relationship was something I felt very ashamed of.”
After several months of counseling, Taylor realized she needed a better environment for the couple’s five-year-old daughter Kennedy and decided to end the marriage, adding the decision was a difficult one. “When I knew the filing had gone through, I just started to cry,” she says. “We tried hard to fix our marriage, but it wasn’t healthy.”
For his part, Russell, 47, admits, “Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were. This show has literally pushed us to the limit.” Russell, however, denies ever pulling his wife’s hair.
The viewers of the reality hit will watch the couple’s marriage implode on the upcoming season which premieres September 5 on Bravo.