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Bravo faces fallout from 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' suicide

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Tragedy struck Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Aug. 15 when Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of series star Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide. But the big question since has been how the cable network will deal with his onscreen portrayal in the upcoming, already-shot second season, scheduled to premiere Sept. 5. The short answer is that Bravo plans to ”reedit the show,” but declined to elaborate on whether mention of the Armstrongs’ marital troubles will be eliminated completely. The bigger question is what responsibility — if any — a network has for the emotional well-being of its reality stars. It’s currently common practice in the industry to prescreen contestants for psychological issues and to give them the option of counseling upon being eliminated from competition shows. (On ABC’s The Bachelor, for example, the castoffs have a doctor riding with them in the exit limo.) Bravo didn’t return calls seeking comment, but a source close to RHOBH says the network offers ”psychological support for the ladies” before production, and also for all participants ”during production, if they are struggling or need support.”

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