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August 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Taylor and Russell Armstrong

The impact of reality TV shows on the ordinary people appearing on them is again under scrutiny following the apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Taylor Armstrong of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Armstrong’s lawyer, Ronald Richards, told People magazine: “When his wife and him first started the show, I warned them that it would cause undue stress on their marriage. Being thrust in the spotlight didn’t do any favors for Russell and Taylor.” William Ratner, a friend of the Armstrongs, told the Los Angeles Times that he had talked to Russell Armstrong recently about his impending divorce becoming a topic of the series. “And he said, ‘I don’t know why she’s doing this. Why can’t she do this off the show?’ He said there were still two weeks left of shooting and he didn’t want to be in it. … He said the producers at Bravo told Russell and Taylor that they picked them as the ‘disaster couple,’ and if they weren’t going to have drama in the second season, they would cut them and replace them with someone else.” A Bravo spokesperson told the Times that “there is no truth to these claims.