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Russell Armstrong Funeral

Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of Beverly Hills Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong, was honored yesterday at a memorial service at Forest Lawn in Burbank, California a week after his apparent suicide. Taylor reportedly gave the eulogy while wearing her wedding ring, telling the crowd, “People didn’t know the Russell, I knew.”

Taylor told the story of Russell’s proposal, and how he had one of his son’s present her the engagement ring so she knew she was accepted by his children. She also discussed the cross Russell always wore which was engraved with his children’s initials. He added Taylor’s initials to the cross as well, hoping she would help him keep his children close. “I will keep that promise,” Taylor said in her speech.

Neither Russell’s two sons from a previous relationship or Kennedy, his daughter with Taylor, were in attendance. Radaronline reports that Taylor thought her daughter would be too young to understand what was happening.

An insider reveals, “Taylor doesn’t think it’s in Kennedy’s best interests to go to the memorial. It’s very hard to grasp as a 5-year-old, and given the way in which Russell died, well, Taylor doesn’t want Kennedy to accidentally overhear someone talking about Russell’s suicide. Taylor is protecting Kennedy, period. This little girl has been through enough with her parent’s divorce, and now having to deal with her dad’s death.”

Russell’s family was absent from yesterday’s funeral, which was not filmed by Bravo. A second service is planned in his native Texas. Russell’s body was cremated, and his ashes were divided between Taylor and his parents.

While her daughter was absent, Taylor had the support of her fellow Beverly Hills cast mates. UsWeekly reports Lisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif and husband Dr. Paul Nassif, Kyle and Kim Richards, as well as New York Housewife Ramona Singer. Even though some of her relationships with the ladies were rocky, she decided to invite all of them to the memorial service.

A source claims, “A lot of thought and consideration went into Taylor’s decision to invite the entire cast. In the end, Taylor didn’t want to exclude anyone, and even though she doesn’t get along with all of them, Taylor wanted them there. The girls have been very supportive to her throughout this entire tragedy. Taylor needs her friends around her more than ever.”

Photos are below of the RHOBH cast attending the funeral.

Meanwhile RadarOnline is now reporting today that Taylor is telling her close friends Bravo is not to blame for Russell’s death and that she wants the network to go ahead with its scheduled Sep. 5 premiere.

A source close to Taylor states that Taylor feels “Russell’s suicide wasn’t caused by the show or Bravo. Russell just simply cracked over ongoing legal and financial issues. The show bears no responsibility for his death, neither does the network.” The source continues, “In fact, Bravo has been extremely supportive of Taylor during this tragedy.”

And despite a report that stated Bravo had decided to postpone the premiere, the source states the network will likely go ahead with the scheduled premiere. “It looks like the show will indeed premiere on September 5. Editing is still being done on the show. Russell is either going to be edited down, or completely out of the show. However, Bravo and the show won’t be ignoring the Russell’s suicide. They simply can’t, to do so, would be disrespectful to the situation and what Taylor is going through. It will be addressed in a manner that is dignified and appropriate,” the source adds.

Photo credit: WENN

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CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE HOUSEWIVES AT THE FUNERAL -

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong made her first public appearance days after her estranged husband Russell Armstrong took his own life.

Taylor, 40, was pictured above Friday as she attended Russell’s memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in L.A. Taylor tried not to be photographed as she hid under a shawl, sunglasses and a fur blanket.

A source who was present told Us Weekly that Taylor “was clearly distraught.” An onlooker added, “The people traveling with her were comforting her and wanted to get her inside the building as quickly as possible.” Taylor reportedly spent almost two hours inside the chapel, before quietly exiting from a side door into a black SUV.

Meanwhile, there seems to be trouble brewing between Taylor and Russell’s family. Despite the fact that Taylor recently filed for divorce, she was still legally married to Russell at the time of his death and therefore has authority over his funeral arrangements.

Russell’s attorney Ronald Richards tells RadarOnline that Russell’s parents and sister have been left in the dark about his funeral plans. “I am deeply disgusted that Taylor would use her family law attorney to create cover, by lying to me over a period of days, on her behalf in writing that she would share the funeral location and time with my client’s mother, father, sister and other family members,” said Ronald.

“Instead, no one has contacted them and it is apparent now that Taylor is using this death to further injure the Armstrongs. As if filing for divorce was not enough, this act of cutting out his mom, dad, and sister is frankly, despicable… Laws need to be changed that a spouse who files for divorce should be removed at the time of filing from control over someone’s remains to prevent the grotesque second tragedy that is occurring here,” Ronald added.

After RadarOnline posted that story, Taylor’s family law attorney, Troy Christiansen, denied Ronald’s claims to TMZ, stating Taylor is “outraged” at his statements.

While Troy admits there was a conflict over whether Russell’s body would stay in L.A. or be taken to Texas, he adds that it’s all been resolved and everyone is in agreement. Troy states that both Taylor and Russell’s family are all in agreement over the arrangements including Russell’s wish to be cremated in the case of his death.

After TMZ posted their story, Ronald told RadarOnline: “They [Taylor's reps] have now provided one relative in the family the information [about the funeral plans]. They still have not called the mother, father, or sister. An hour and a half after after this story ran, they provided the information.”

Photo credit: INFphoto.com

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