Taylor Armstrong is revealing all in a sit-down interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Over a month after the tragic suicide of her estranged husband Russell Armstrong, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star sat down with ET’s Nancy O’Dell. Taylor opened up on her marriage to Russell, details the abuse she experienced as well as the way she broke the news of Russell’s passing to their daughter Kennedy.
First Taylor, 40, describes what she says was the first time Russell, 47, abused her: “The first time he ever really harmed me physically, I was pregnant with Kennedy and he grabbed me by the throat and held me up against a wall,” she says. The reason for that abuse? He did not like the way she made pizza for his sons. “He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me up against the wall and he said, ‘If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I’ll kill you…I saw his ability to go from zero to 60 that quickly.”
Following that first incident, the abuse continued on in her 6-year marriage. “You live your life constantly on eggshells waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Taylor tells Nancy. “You don’t know if you’re going to talk to your girlfriend too long at dinner and that’s going to cause someone to fly into a rage.”
She also states Russell was usually careful in the way he abused her, trying not to leave visible marks.”He would grab me by one side of the hair on my head and bang the other side of my head against the car,” she discloses adding that these would leave knots in her scalp. She cries as she recounts, “He would say to me, ‘I’m afraid I’m going to kill you one day.'”
According to Taylor, Russell abused her about 20 times throughout their marriage, citing the last time (the same incident in which she took photos at the hospital) was one of the most brutal attacks. Taylor says Russell punched her in the eye after she came back home from filming her birthday party in Las Vegas. He had accused her of ignoring him and seeing another man. Taylor states she felt her “eyeball shift.”
After landing in the hospital, she states Russell told her to tell doctors 5-year-old Kennedy accidentally kicked her in the eye with her shoe. Taylor also adds that Russell was with her while she checked into the hospital and talked to doctors. She adds that the doctors were suspicious but never called the cops.
Following the final incident, Russell finally realized just how severe their problem was according to Taylor. “When I finally showed him the MRI he just put it down and started to cry. And I think it was him having to come to terms with the fact that this had gone on for too long, and that this time he really could’ve hurt me beyond what could’ve been repaired.”
Taylor goes on to reveal how she broke the horrible news of Russell’s death to Kennedy. “I just told her that daddy got sick and he died … ,” said Taylor adding she told the 5-year-old that “we could pick a star in the sky and it could be daddy, and that she could talk to him every night.”
As for why she’s going public with her story, Taylor reveals she’s doing it in hopes that she can help other women experiencing the same thing. When asked why she never called cops during the abuse, she states she never wanted Russell to go to jail. “I never wanted to call the police because I didn’t want him to go to jail. I loved him. And he would say ‘If you call the police, they’re going to send me to jail. And who’s going to take care of Kennedy? Who’s going to take care of you?'”
As for the criticism that Russell is no longer here to defend himself, Taylor responds: “I would say that they’re right Unfortunately. He is not here. And I’m mourning the loss of him if not more than anyone.” She adds, “But at the same time, I’ve put myself second in other to protect him and he doesn’t need my protection anymore. But there are a lot of women in this world that probably do. So I have to fight for the living now.”
And just this Wednesday, Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards claimed Taylor’s abuse photos were phony and that the injuries were not inflicted by Russell. “If Mr. Armstrong was the cause of those injuries he would have been arrested and prosecuted,” Ronald told TMZ adding that the injuries may have been from plastic surgery and noting that Taylor had not filed a police report.
Those close to Taylor however insist the pictures are very real and that she has others that make R&B star Rihanna‘s battered face “look like child’s play.”
Taylor is set to appear on the Dr. Phil Show today to further discuss things and try to get help for coping with this tragedy. Part of the ET interview is below —
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TAYLOR’S INTERVIEW AND THE COMMENTS MADE BY RUSSELL’S ATTORNEY? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS ABUSED OR STILL HAVE YOUR DOUBTS?