‘Ol Tom and Erikahave some explaining to do. Tom’s camp is trying to avoid explaining by diagnosing him with Alzheimer’s Disease, which is currently being challenged. Erika has remained unbothered as usual, filming RHOBH and playing the victim of a man who did her wrong. But not so fast, darling! We might have our first tangible kink in the system, and I’m not talking about Erika’s fondness for latex. It looks like some signatures have popped up. This could implicate Erika. The Pretty Mess is about to get a whole lot messier, you guys.
First, Russell’s sister Laurie also spoke to the Today Show, stating Russell always denied ever abusing Taylor. Laurie then stated she wanted to know why Taylor is releasing her tell-all memoir… now that Russell is no longer here to defend himself.
The Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie posed that question to Taylor who responded: “I don’t feel that his sister has much knowledge of what went on in our relationship. The last time I saw her, we had just taken her out of rehab for Meth. And she had been a Meth addict for about five years, and we were married for about six. So I’m not really sure that she had her finger on the pulse of what was going on.”
When asked if she ever considered not making the gruesome abuse details public, Taylor said: “I absolutely thought of that. You know, what should I do, what to write? What not? But those really raw moments are what’s going to allow me to make a conversation that could end up hopefully helping somebody else out there. I got out way too late and I’m hoping by others hearing my story, they might decide to get out sooner.”
Taylor continued: “You know I went as far as taking a polygraph test just to try and prove to him that I never had an affair on him. But he just had this constant paranoia. And as they were unstrapping me from the polygraph test, I thought why am I taking a polygraph for someone I love? But I was so desperate to keep it together that I would have gone to any extreme.”
When asked about her lowest point in the marriage, Taylor alleged it was when Russell “knocked my jaw out of the socket.” She added: “I would say whenever I was on my knees over a toilet with my jaw not in the place that it was supposed to be, there was saliva running out of my mouth and I was thinking to myself, ‘How am I not going to call an ambulance. How am I going to protect him? I don’t want him to go to jail. What do I do if I can’t get my jaw back in place?’ Just being over a toilet and feeling like the only thing I could think of was forget my jaw, I just want to protect him.”
Taylor once again stated she did the RHOBH reality show because she thought the cameras would protect her from the abuse. When asked if Russell was against her doing the show, Taylor said: “No no, he loved it. He loved being in the media. He would wake up everyday and go to his Blackberry. The first thing he would do is look at his Google Alerts with his name in it. He really loved seeing his name in the news. That’s just kind of the person he was.”
Taylor also insists that she still loves Russell despite it all. “I love him to this day and I miss him terribly.”
Taylor’s new book — “Hiding From Reality: My Story of Love, Loss & Finding the Courage Within” — is scheduled to be released tomorrow.
Meanwhile Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards sent out this interesting tweet last week: “The only way Taylor Armstrong can prove Russell A. battered her is by releasing her medical records that coincide with her plastic surgery.”
Ronald also tweeted this today: “It is not a coincidence that Taylor never filed a FALSE police report / decl. in her divorce she was a victim of DV. It is a crime to do so.” The video of Taylor’s interview is below.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TAYLOR’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS ABUSED? DO YOU AGREE WITH HER DECISION TO WRITE THE BOOK?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE VIDEO OF THE INTERVIEW –
Taylor Armstrongis 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 Hillsstar 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?
Taylor Armstrong and her now deceased husbandRussell Armstrong grace the latest cover of UsWeekly magazine under the heading “Reality Suicide Dark Secrets Exposed, Destroyed by Their Pursuit of Fame.”
While the mag touches on a lot of issues with the couple, perhaps the most shocking tidbit is the fact that Taylor, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, might have tried to capitalize on the tragic death of Russell. UsWeekly reports that Taylor’s rep “tried to shop her story to press outlets for $100,000.” Wow. One can only assume the rep was doing this with Taylor’s consent.
An insider also tells UsWeekly that in the days following Russell’s death, Taylor was asking how much money she would get from his estate. Russell’s attorney has however publicly stated Russell was broke and had no assets at the time of his death.
The mag touches on how the Armstrongs lived beyond their means while pursuing fame. In fact, family and friends of the duo paint a portrait of an ambitious, financially overextended couple desperate to be on TV and to live in the most coveted zip code at all costs.
Russell’s sister Laurie Kelsoe spoke to the mag stating that proud trophy wife Taylor was desperate to be on RHOBH: “It was all she wanted.” A show insider adds that the Oklahoma native, who bragged about her frequent cosmetic procedures and threw her daughter a $60,000 birthday party last season, “had a need to prove she was worthy.”
However it wasn’t just Taylor, whose opening credits for season 2 was intended to be “I fought too hard for this zip code to go home now,” who wanted fame. Russell was also on board for the ride. “He thought it was a good way for them to make money,” adds the source. This falls in line with a comment Russell made in one of his last interviews in which he called Bravo “bastards” while stating publicity from the show was good for his businesses.
And in other to get on the show, Taylor and Russell exaggerated their wealth. “Bravo cast them because they claimed they owned their house and had a real estate portfolio and major businesses. None of it was true,” says a source. The Armstrongs apparently pretended to own their modest $9,000-a-month rental house in L.A.’s Bel Air Crest neighborhood.
Once she joined the show, Taylor tried to keep up with the Joneses. “She was jealous of the way the other women on the show were living,” says a Taylor source. Laurie goes on to add that Taylor racked up a $90,000 American Express bill in July alone. “Russell was spending more than he made,” says his lawyer Ronald Richards. “He maxed out his credit cards.”
Russell’s grieving business partner John Indelicato however brings up a good point in the article when he wonders why Russell ever sought the spotlight: “If you have skeletons and don’t want them out there, you don’t go on a reality show.” Very valid point.
While it appears there were no takers for the $100,000 interview Taylor’s rep was shopping around, the NY Post is reporting today that Taylor is in talks with Bravo about doing an hour long sit-down interview.
“Bravo wants to do a sit-down, one-hour special with [Bravo exec VP and host] Andy Cohen,” said a source. Another source added, “They’ve been discussing options for a week, but no programming has been formalized.”
And while a Bravo rep tried to deny the report by stating, “It’s not true, there are no plans like that,” it seems they forgot to send a memo to Taylor’s rep who confirmed there had been talks. “There is dialogue with Bravo, but no decisions have been made. Anything would be conjecture,” said Taylor’s rep.
The Post used the words “negotiating for an interview” so it would appear there is money involved. Taylor’s rep however makes it clear her client is still grieving over her loss. The rep states Taylor is “still devastated” and hasn’t personally engaged in any talks.
And finally, the current issue of the National Enquirer posted some older photos of Taylor and Russell together including photos of Russell’s sons from his previous relationships. Those photos are below. You can read more about the couple in the current issues of UsWeekly and the National Enquirer. Photo credit: WENN.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE PHOTOS –
Russell and Taylor Amrstrong with Prince Charles in 2007
Russell Armstrong’s sons from previous relationships alongside Taylor and daughter Kennedy at a family Christmas outing.
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.”
According to a shocking new report by RadarOnline, Russell was not only bisexual, but might have taken his own life because a third party had informed him they would be making that revelation in a tell-all book about him.
“When Taylor found out about Russell’s gay explorations, that was the final straw for her and it prompted the divorce,” an insider close to the situation states. “She could put up with the fights about money and being sued, but the fact that Russell might have been cheating on her with a man was just too much for her.”
“About six months ago Taylor confided in a close friend that she’d found history for a gay website called Adam4Adam.com on Russell’s laptop,” the insider continued. “He was also spending a lot of time at the gym, but his body wasn’t changing, which she claims led her to believe he was meeting with men he’d met off the website and not spending time working out as he claimed.”
Another insider adds that Russell was approached for comment about the impending tell-all book, which included great detail about what he liked in the bedroom. “Not only was it going to come out that Russell was bisexual, but there were people on the record that were going to talk about the kind of sex he liked,” the source said. “He was into S&M type stuff; choking, rough-housing and slapping.”
Russell’s attorney Ronald Richards however ademantly defends his client citing the report is a total fabrication. Ronald states he was not aware of any tell-all book or adultery when it came to Russell. And unfortunately Russell is no longer here to defend himself.
Meanwhile, Russell’s mother John Ann Hotchkiss revealed yesterday that she blames the Bravo network for her son’s death. During an interview on HLN on Wednesday evening, Ann stated Russell suffered from being criticized on the show by other cast members, and was anxious about the new season.
“’Mom they’re just going to crucify me this season,’” he told his mother recently, Ann said. “I don’t know what to do. I’ll never survive it.’” She added: “I thought he meant business-wise.”
In fact Radar is reporting Russell’s family is seriously considering suing Bravo. “Bravo is at fault and somebody needs to pay,” Russell’s step brother Wade Jackson revealed. “Russell’s whole family was very close and they’re considering suing Bravo.” “I’m sure somebody will sue them,” Jackson added about the Armstrong family plans to litigate against the network.
I believe blaming Bravo might be a bit of a reach as the network did not force Russell to appear on the show. He could have easily walked away after the 1st season did not go so well for him. While the Housewives are typically under contract with Bravo, the husbands are not. Plus blaming reality tv or any network just seems unfair considering he had many other problems in his personal life, including financial issues and an impending divorce. So we have to ask –
Photo credit: WENN
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE THE REPORT ABOUT THE TELL-ALL BOOK? IS BRAVO OR REALITY TV TO BLAME FOR RUSSELL’S DEATH?
Taylor released the following statement through her rep: “Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded. She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter. Her thoughts and prayers are also with Russell’s 11 and 13 year old sons.”
Sources tell RadarOnline Taylor has been “hysterical” since finding out about Russell’s suicide last night. The insider reveals Taylor “has been up all night. She is hysterical, and can barely speak. She has no idea why Russell would do this. She doesn’t know how she is going to be able to tell her daughter, Kennedy.” TMZ confirms Taylor has yet to break the news to her 5-year-old daughter Kennedy.
As for what might have led to Russell’s suicide, his attorney confirms it all had to do with his impending divorce as well as mounting financial and legal problems. Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards states, “I feel bad because his credit cards weren’t working … He had tremendous financial problems.” Ronald adds that even if Russell has a will, he had no assets.
Meanwhile, Andy Cohenand other Housewives also reacted to the tragic news. Below are some of the tweets –
Andy Cohen – “I am so very sad about today’s news. My prayers and thoughts are with Taylor Armstrong and her family.”
Camille Grammer – “My sympathy and condolences go out to Taylor and Kennedy. My thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Adrienne Maloof – “”My heart goes out to Taylor Armstrong and Kennedy during this devastating time. You will be in my thoughts and in prayers.”
Caroline Manzo – “So sorry 2 hear about Russell Armstrong’s death. I hope @taylorarmstrong’s privacy is respected during this difficult time.”
Jacqueline Laurita – “When I hear REAL problems like what’s happened w/ @TaylorArmstrong’s family,it puts everything else that I feel r problems into perspective.”
Jill Zarin – “Shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Russell Armstrong. My love and prayers to @TaylorArmstrong and her daughter.”
Ramona Singer – “My prayers and thoughts go out to Taylor Armstrong and her family.”
Countess Luann – “Such a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Taylor and Kennedy and the Armstrong family.”
Gretchen Rossi – “No words can express how much my heart is breaking for my fellow housewife sister @taylorarmstrong and her daughter. Please keep her and her family in your prayers and thoughts today. RIP Russell Armstrong.”
Alexis Bellino – “We are praying so hard for the Armstrong family. We can’t imagine what they’re going through. Take a minute today to hug everyone you love.”
Photo credit: WENN.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST?
UPDATE: Russell’s lawyer Ronald tells PEOPLE that Russell showed no signs of depression. The lawyer however adds that Russell was a loving family man who spent every dwindling dollar he had to finance Taylor’s lifestyle. “He was a good networker. But as a couple, they lived way beyond their means,” added Ronald.
Russell, husband ofTaylor Armstrong, was found hanging in his bedroom on Mulholland Drive. Sources tell TMZ the L.A. City Fire Department arrived at Russell’s home on Monday night and pronounced him dead at 8:16 PM.
Authorities are saying they did not find a suicide note. This tragedy comes less than a month after Taylor filed for divorce alleging physical and verbal abuse. After Taylor revealed her abuse allegations, it was discovered that other exes of Russell (an ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend) had also alleged physical abuse and had filed restraining orders against him in the past. Russell also had other legal issues, including bankruptcy and several lawsuits.
Russell and Taylor have a 5-year-old daughter – Kennedy. Russell is survived by other children as well. Russell was 47-years-old. We will bring you more news once it becomes available.
UPDATE – Russell had been having a hard time dealing with his past issues becoming public as earlier this year, he had his attorney contact us about taking down a report we did about his past legal issues.
UPDATE #2 – RadarOnline is reporting Taylor has been “hysterical” since finding out about Russell’s suicide last night. Taylor “has been up all night. She is hysterical, and can barely speak. She has no idea why Russell would do this. She doesn’t know how she is going to be able to tell her daughter, Kennedy,” a source close to the situation reveals.
UPDATE #3 – Russell’s attorney tells TMZ Russell was at his wits end over his impending divorce from Taylor in addition to his mounting financial problems in the days leading to his death. Russell’s lawyer Ronald Richards states, “I feel bad because his credit cards weren’t working … He had tremendous financial problems.” Richard adds that even if Russell has a will, he doesn’t have any assets.