Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Taylor Armstrong is opening up about the death of her late husband Russell Armstrong. While appearing on the August 3 episode of SiriusXM’s Jeff Lewis Live, Taylor spoke candidly about her husband’s 2011 suicide.
The day after Taylor discovered Russell’s body in his LA home, his business partner was also found dead. The L.A. County coroner ruled Alan Schram’s death a suicide.
“I’m not sure exactly what day [Russell] ended up taking his life, but … that same day is when his business partner took his life,” Taylor explained. Due to his religion, his family asked that the news remain private until they were able to properly bury him.
Was Russell in business with the “wrong people?”
The Flipping Out star then asked, “Is it possible that they were in business with the wrong people?”
“There’s a lot of speculation that that was the case,” Taylor confessed.
“Okay, and is it possible that both of these men could have taken their own lives to protect their families?” he continued.
“I think that’s highly likely as well,” the Real Housewives of Orange County “friend” admitted.
Only 47 at the time of his death, Russell took his life just days after Taylor had filed for divorce citing alleged physical and verbal abuse within their marriage. Their daughter Kennedy was five years old when her father died.
An unusual season premiere
Bravo kicked off Season 3 of RHOBH with a somber introduction just three weeks following Russell’s death. The Housewives gathered at cast member Adrienne Maloof’s home to share their feelings about his suicide.
At the time of his death, Russell was more than $1.5 million in debt. His lawyer blamed it on his efforts to keep up with the lavish lifestyle portrayed on the show. It was no coincidence that the first time we met Taylor on the show, she was laughing about hiding the amount of money she spent on clothes from her husband. The reported $50,000 price tag for the tea party Taylor hosted for Kennedy’s third birthday didn’t help either.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org