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Russell Armstrong Suicide

Following her stint in rehab, Kim Richards stepped out for the first time last night with big sister Kathy Hilton.

The two were snapped as they dined at the popular Mr. Chows restaurant in Beverly Hills. The photo of Kim and Kathy is below. If you recall, Kim checked into rehab back in early December for what sources described as “alcohol addiction along with other substance abuse problems.” After spending about 40 days at the Betty Ford Clinic, Kim ultimately checked out early this week.

Meanwhile,  Kyle Richards is making the rounds following the latest episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which featured another blow-out with her troubled sister Kim Richards. It seems these two will be going back and forth forever, long after the spotlight of Bravo cameras stops charting their every dispute.

Speaking to Extra, Kyle discussed her decision to go on RHOBH and answers what regrets she has about airing all of her sisterly grievances in the public spectrum. “It’s nothing like what I thought,” Kyle explains, “but we are having fun.”

As for those regrets, Kyle “of course” has some. “You know, last season the fight with my sister Kim, I regret that. But I don’t regret it as much as I regretted this season’s game night. I regretted that a lot more because that just wasn’t me. I wasn’t true to myself.”

“Season one, that was when I was dealing with my sister. A lot of people didn’t understand that and that is what I was feeling,” Kyle elaborates. As for why she is always in the middle of all the drama, “A lot of the Housewives will come to me when they have an issue,” Kyle claims, “so I’ve kind of been their sounding board a lot of the times.”

“Plus I’m not someone who can keep things to myself. If I’m thinking something or feeling something I have to get it off my chest. Which doesn’t always go over well,” she adds. We’ve noticed Kyle.

Giving an update on Kim’s life post-rehab, Kyle shared that Kim is doing “really well.” “She’s really strong right now, happy, she’s looking forward to moving on in her life.” Good for Kim! You can see the complete interview with Kyle in the video below!

Kyle also recently talked to Life & Style about her new house, which she calls her “dream home.” Kyle moved into the home at the beginning of this season and it was the site of the infamous White Party blockade starring Taylor Armstrong.

Located in exclusive Bel Air, the newly renovated seven-bedroom, eight-bath mansion has a screening room with personalized chairs, five fireplaces and a chandelier in every room. I guess Kyle’s hit the big leagues! “I love the sparkle in each room,” Kyle exclaims. Some photos of the new digs are below.

There’s no rest for the wicked, right Kyle? The reality star who is constantly in defense mode also appeared on Good Day LA. Kyle was asked about having the “narcissistic gall” to partake in a reality show and not expect criticism from the Internet. Kyle relented that she does “expect” to hear negative comments about her life, but it’s still “hurtful”

“I think that sometimes people see me as someone that I’m not and that’s what hurts,” Kyle clarified. Additionally, Kyle reveals that she “absolutely” regrets putting her personal life on TV for public consumption! While Kyle makes it perfectly clear she knew her privacy would be invaded when she signed up to do the show, she wasn’t prepared for constant scrutiny from fans and the media.

“Just with a reality show there’s a lot of negativity sometimes… people dissecting my relationship with my sister Kim and thinking they know exactly what’s going on between us after only two seasons, when in reality its decades in the making.” I totally agree with Kyle’s statement. Family relationships — particularly ones with addiction involved — are incredibly complex and probably not a good thing to be airing on national television.

Kyle is planning to take a break from putting her real life on screen, instead letting her faux life take center stage because she is turning her story into a sitcom!

Kyle’s new sitcom is based upon her recently published book, Life Is Not A Reality Show. Of the new sitcom, Kyle tells the Associated Press, “I just sold a pilot, a half-hour sitcom. I can’t say which network, but it’s about my life. It’s basically my life being a juggling mom, wife and being on a reality show.”

And Kyle isn’t planning to star in the show (surprisingly), but wants somebody that’s “really funny and could capture the humor of being a mom and all the humor that comes with being on a reality show,” to play her. “Maybe Jennifer Aniston or Jenny McCarthy,” she suggests. I can only imagine who will play the role of kooky Kim!

Moving on to another RHOBH star with a life that’s crazier than fiction, Camille Grammer is giving her opinion on this season’s storyline and discussing her never-ending divorce from Kelsey Grammer!

Camille appeared on the Today Show where she talked about Bravo’s decision to air Russell Armstrong‘s storyline following his tragic suicide. “[Bravo] did a responsible job, ultimately, in the end,” Camille asserted. “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure we should air season two, but that’s not my decision to make.”

“I have no say whatsoever,” Camille revealed of her input in Bravo’s reasoning behind continuing with the season. “I was against it, but then after talking with the cast and producers, if we can bring awareness to anyone who’s gone through that and help people it was important to us.”

“At the end of the day we’re all there for each other,” she said of her relationship to her castmates. While Camille was fairly tight-lipped about revealing how things are with Taylor, she says Taylor seems “happier” lately and has “put on some weight.”

[Photos Credit: WENN.com]

THOUGHTS ON KYLE’S COMMENTS ABOUT THE SHOW AND HER SISTER? WOULD YOU WATCH KYLE’S NEW SITCOM? ARE YOU SURPRISED CAMILLE ADMITTED SHE DIDN’T WANT BRAVO TO AIR FOOTAGE OF RUSSELL?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR THE PHOTOS!


Oh Bethenny Frankel, your hour long product promotion otherwise known as Bethenny Ever After is soon to return to us and I would say I’ve missed you but you’ve hardly been out of the spotlight for a moment this year!

The most notorious Housewife to ever grace the screens of Bravo; known as much for her wit, meltdowns and domesticity as she is for her cocktails and everything else Skinnygirl — including her endlessly dwindling waistline — spoke during the Bravo press tour panel (covered by E!) about appearing on reality TV, Russell Armstrong‘s suicide and how the drama on Housewives came to a fever pitch.

When asked if the network that made her famous had crossed the line in choosing to air Russell’s storyline after his tragic passing, Bethenny did not speak about the allegations of abuse surrounding him but admits that things have definitely changed since she initially signed onto Real Housewives of New York. She believes the shows are now attracting “more dramatic women” all angling to “be more dramatic than the next.” I totally agree with Bethenny on that one and it was a thoughtful way to dodge the question on whether or not she sees Taylor Armstrong‘s storyline as credible.

“When I came on the show, it was called Manhattan Moms. Real Housewives wasn’t even a franchise. There was one city,” Bethenny says of the early days. “We were all very new to it and we didn’t even know what it was. It was very fresh.”

“Now, people who sign on to do reality shows, they have a preconceived notion. They’ve seen it already and some people probably show a more dramatic side of their lives and are more dramatic because they want to up the ante. Certainly on Bravo the shows are real. It’s really happening.”

Luckily, the drama on-screen has prepared her for the drama in her personal life as she faced a plethora of scandals and allegations in 2011, along with some incredible successes and much happiness. “I’d say I’m definitely a survivor because of [my background],” Bethenny shares.

While she concedes that the negative media attention has been “challenging,” she doesn’t feel the need to explain herself! “There was a period when I felt that I really had to react and explain and that period has passed. A lot of that gets addressed on the show.”

In season three of her semi-popular reality show, viewers will continue to see Bethenny confronting many challenging aspects of her life. “This season is about working through it, whether it’s in your relationship or in your business,” she reveals.

“The minute that I sold part of my business, it was like someone was waiting at my door to hit me with a baseball bat in the back of the head. I do tend to thrive when I need to survive, when I’m up against adversity.”

And with the new season airing next month Bravo has just released the first preview, which features a clip of lost at sea-gate as well as showcasing some of the struggles Bethenny and husband Jason Hoppy face in their second year of marriage as they juggle parenthood with finding time for each other. You can view the video below!

Season 2 of Bethenny Ever After premieres on Bravo, February 20th (9/8c).
[Photo Credit: Chris Haston/Bravo]

DO YOU AGREE WITH BETHENNY’S STATEMENTS ABOUT THE SHOWS ATTRACTING MORE DRAMATIC WOMEN WHO COME WITH AN AGENDA? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE SECOND SEASON OF BETHENNY EVER AFTER?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE PREVIEW!

It’s the holidays and in the spirit of goodwill towards all, I will try my best to keep the snark out of this post about the ever present Taylor Armstrong and her plight to remain in the spotlight while playing the role of doting mother and grieving widow in light of estranged husband Russell Armstrong’s suicide. Because honestly, who am I to say that she’s not? And FYI, that wasn’t sarcasm it was me attempting objectivity. Weird, I know.

Hollywoodlife.com caught up with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ star on December 22 as her five-year-old daughter and friends decorated cupcakes at a Beverly Hills bake shop. Taylor told the site, “My daughter Kennedy is doing good, we are both getting stronger every day. We are just taking it one day at a time. We know we are going to make it.” Taylor also revealed that young Kennedy wants an iPad for Christmas. Me too! #nosnark

Taylor explains that it is difficult for her to watch this season unfold knowing how everything plays out in the end. She admits, “It’s difficult watching the show because we taped it so long ago. But I do get to see other people’s perspectives so I understand them better. But it’s difficult doing reality TV because you experience the drama in your life when you are experiencing it and then when you watch it months later on TV you re-live it.” And then you keep doing interviews about, thus reliving it again, and again, and again.

On the most recent episode, Taylor and Russell were turned away at the door of Kyle Richards’ annual white party. No hard feelings, according to Taylor. Really? Not one to burn the bridge with her strongest, and perhaps only, ally hold grudges, Taylor shares that she’s remained close with most of her cast mates. She reveals, “We are all pretty good about keeping in touch. I talk to Kyle the most because we live close to each other and our kids play with each other. I see her a lot. I saw Lisa [Vanderpump] the other night.” So the ladies are still socializing — nothing skips a beat in Beverly Hills, it seems!

Taylor also takes the opportunity to promote her upcoming autobiography discuss her latest project which is near and dear to her heart. She hopes her book, which will be released on February 7, 2012 (she must write fast!), will serve as a catalyst to help others discuss the sensitive and extremely important subject of domestic violence. “I want my book to inspire people to talk about [abuse] — to make it a conversation, because if it’s not talked about, there can be no change,” explains Taylor.

Radaronline.com also reports that the reality star wants to prioritize her life before she hits the dating scene. While volunteering for the 1736 Family Crisis Center, Taylor told Star Magazine, “I’m learning to love myself. I’m OK being by myself and just being a mom.”

Taylor reveals that a new romance isn’t in the cards yet for her, as she’s focusing her efforts elsewhere, continuing, “I’ve got to make sure that my little girl is in the best place possible before anything else. I am having a blast with my little girl. I need some Taylor time for now.”

Also on her agenda is bringing more awareness to abuse victims. “I have a domestic violence background from my childhood,” Taylor explains. “The subject is something that is very near and dear to me.”

WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S DIFFICULT FOR TAYLOR TO WATCH THE CURRENT SEASON OF RHOBH? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE’S MENDED FENCES WITH THE LADIES? WILL YOU BE BUYING HER NEW BOOK? THOUGHTS ON HER DATING AGAIN?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, SAFE TRAVELS, AND BEST WISHES TO ALL OUR WONDERFUL RT READERS! :)

I remember idolizing the California rich and famous with their million dollar convertible cars, diamond encrusted watches and Peach Pit lunches alongside Color Me Badd. Things Beverly Hills used to be known for: ridiculously lavish lifestyles (thank you, Robin Leach!), Rodeo Drive, a snobby yet endearing Girl Scout troop (hats sashes off to you, Shelley Long!) and 90210.

Things Beverly Hills is known for now: Kyle Richards’ White Party (#sosorrybevhills), Jiggy as well as the Taylor Armstrong and Russell Armstrong tragedy. Whatever happened to “Donna Martin graduates!” and the iconic Pretty Woman mantra, “You work on commission, right? Big mistake. Huge!” Simpler times, I guess.

Because she’s not going anywhere one celebrity site is shedding more insight into Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Taylor Armstrong’s life… and the decision she may have hoped would secure her a spot on the potential third season of Bravo’s hit show. I’m exhausted writing about it, so she surely has to be tired living it. One would hope…don’t I wish.

RadarOnline.com is citing Taylor’s timing for her divorce filing from the late Russell Armstrong as a necessity to keep her in the network’s good graces. The site is reporting that Taylor “finally decided to file for divorce from her then-husband… because executives at Bravo had implemented a ban prohibiting the couple from appearing on the hit show after Russell sent executives legal letters threatening to sue.”

We all watched awkwardly (insert typical metaphor here — it’s a train wreck… you don’t want to see it, but you can’t look away) on the most recent episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You recall that Taylor and Russell were turned away from Kyle’s annual White Party by the teary hostess (and a bada$$ Paul Nassif!) after Russell threatened fellow cast mate Camille Grammar with a lawsuit via e-mail for alleging abuse against his wife.

However, it seems Camille wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of Russell’s litigious barrage because a source close to the show claims, “During filming of the show, as the season progressed, [he] started sending blistering letters and e-mails to Bravo and NBC Universal executives threatening lawsuits. Russell was furious that Taylor had discussed their serious marital issues, including the fact that he hit her on multiple occasions.”

The insider continues, saying that Russell was irate “the fellow housewives were now talking about it on the show.” The insider reveals, “Russell would have had no legal leg to stand on because it was Taylor who was telling the girls this stuff. Bravo and NBC decided that Russell and Taylor were more trouble than they were worth, and decided to end filming with them, as soon as it became apparent that Russell was going to continue down that path.”

So what’s a girl to do?  Her spotlight in jeopardy and her husband an alleged ticking time-bomb, the Bravo star did what needed to be done.  The source says, “Taylor decided to pursue the separation first, but then she thought to get back on the show, she would need to file for divorce, so that she could appear on the show again, if she promised executives that she was leaving him for good.” Despite all the clauses the insider throws out in that statement, the entire scene is just plain sad. Whether you believe a woman was so desperate to remain on a television program that she would throw her marriage under the bus or that she was saving herself and her young daughter from terrors to come, the whole situation was/is/and will continue to be horrific and heart wrenching.

The insider continues, “[F]or a very long time [Taylor knew] that she needed to leave Russell because of the verbal and physical abuse. Being taken off a show that she loved doing because of his actions was the catalyst that finally made her pull the trigger on her marriage. Russell knew he was going to be exposed and was in full damage control mode. Ultimately, there was nothing he could do to stop it.”

Taylor won’t be seen on the show again until the new year according to the source who reports, “The episode that will air on Monday night will show all of the girls except Taylor going to Hawaii. Taylor will call the girls, and tell them on speakerphone while they are on their Hawaiian holiday that she had decided to leave Russell.”

Again, regardless of your opinions on this tragedy (and I have my own, believe me) it’s nothing but awful given Russell’s suicide, the fact that an innocent five-year-old is involved, and the notion that it’s all playing out for our “entertainment.” So sad, and yet please know the irony of me writing about it isn’t lost on this gal. Here’s hoping that outside the world that is Beverly Hills (past and present) you and yours revel in family and friends this holiday season.

THOUGHTS ON THIS NEW REVELATION?  DO YOU THINK TAYLOR FILED FOR DIVORCE TO STAY ON THE SHOW?  WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RUSSELL THREATENING THE NETWORK WITH LAWSUITS?

Photo credit: [WENN.com]

In the world of Beverly Hills, people have some real problems… not just the regular petty problems you and I have. I mean, if you suffer from Beverly Hills problems sometimes your friend and neighbor will accept an invitation to have her daughter’s over-the-top bachelorette party at a rival Vegas hotel and casino, when you yourself own a perfectly nice one for those type of events. The nerve!

Then, if your issues are really severe, said friend may get upset that you’re angry over casino-gate ’11 and insult your luxury shoe line.  Hopefully she won’t go as far to create her own competing line of stilettos, because let’s be honest, if that’s the case you should just pack it up and move to the Midwest. #realpeopleproblems!

You may have guessed I’m referring to the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills former friends who live just a mile and a half driveway away from one another, Adrienne Maloof and Lisa Vanderpump.  When Lisa’s daughter Pandora accepted an invitation to have her pre-wedding party at somewhere other than Adrienne’s Palms Hotel and Casino, the bad blood between the former bev-hi-biffles began.  The drama only escalated when Lisa referred to Adrienne’s swanky show line as the “Maloof hoof” and promised to launch the “Vander-pump,” which will debut next year.

Star Magazine’s Radaronline.com is reporting that the ladies are no longer cooking chickens together… in fact they aren’t even speaking.  A source tells Star, “Now that the show is airing and they’re both finding out what was said behind each other’s backs, they’re both furious.”  It seems that the women “absolutely hate each other,” cites the insider.

The source continues, “Now, they’re never together unless they have to be for the show.  The friendship is done.”  Say it isn’t so!  I thought these ladies were such a hoot together… and the two of them totally encompass the ridiculously lavish lifestyles we want to see when tuning into the show.

Just so we won’t forget about her Adding her two cents about the ladies’ squabble, newbie cast mate and Adrienne pal Brandi Glanville gave a statement to RumorFix.com.  The whole situation like, OMG, totally sucks, according to Brandi who reveals, “There is a lot of tension between the two of them. It bums me out because they both are so great.”  Man, now I’m bummed out too!

She muses, “It’s hard for some of these women to share the spotlight and remember they are on a show with an ensemble cast and there isn’t just one star. There is room for both of them to be loved.”  Brandi makes a very good point… it’s too bad the ladies rarely listen to her.

Here’s hoping the ladies are able to air-kiss and make up soon.  They are much stronger together — and we viewers need their strength to make sure the franchise isn’t turned into “The Taylor Show,” as things quickly seem to be spiraling in that direction!

Taylor Armstrong was interviewed by Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood, answering questions about the program and chatting about getting her life back together. Lather, rinse, repeat.

As to whether she’ll be returning to the hit Bravo series, Taylor screamed, “Yes!  Yes!  Will they have me?  I lurve you, Andy Cohen!” stated, “We’re gonna see. We haven’t been picked up for a third season, so were gonna see how the year plays out.”

Taylor isn’t as concerned about her future on the show as she is about dealing with her estranged husband’s suicide.  Of Russell Armstrong’s tragic death, she reveals, “I spend sleepless nights trying to figure it all out.  I haven’t been able to put all the pieces together, but I think there were some bigger things at play… I’m gonna talk about a lot of it later.”

When asked if she would make her declaration on the show, Taylor replies, “No, just in life.”  I’m slightly worried about what that will entail. A twenty-four hour Taylor network?

She goes on to explain that sometimes the emotional turmoil becomes too much for her to handle. “Sometimes I’m just curling my hair and I start to bawl. It just comes out of nowhere. I’m just keeping myself busy to avoid feeling a lot of it… Sometimes you just break down and cry,” Taylor admits.

Of dating, Taylor is adamant that it’s not time yet. She says,“I’m not ready, I just need to focus on me and Kennedy and my friends. I’m just trying to get strong as a woman and sell my book.” Okay, so I may have added that last part.

While Taylor won’t be ringing in the new year with a special someone, she will be hosting an Ciroc Vodka/Bravo sponsored fete in Chicago to welcome 2012; while other Housewives will be attending similar events in New York, L.A., Miami and Houston.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LISA AND ADRIENNE’S FEUD?  IS ONE OF THEM IN THE RIGHT, OR ARE THEY BOTH JUST BEING PETTY?  THOUGHTS ON TAYLOR’S INTERVIEW?

Lisa Vanderpump, star and diva extraordinaire of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is firing back at co-star Taylor Armstrong’s accusations that she may have leaked stories about her to the tabloids!

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?!

Lisa’s first foray into writing, Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant, and Affordable Entertaining, is now available for pre-order on Amazon and you better believe I pre-ordered mine!

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 of Russell 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?

Former Real Housewife of New Jersey and long-time fan favorite, Dina Manzo who left the show amidst controversy is speaking out about Bravo and insinuating that some other NJ ladies may be following in her footsteps!

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?

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