The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed that Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong, has died of an apparent suicide. Officials tell EW that Russell, who appeared on the show’s first season, died Monday. UPDATE: Read Taylor’s statement after the jump.
Portrayed throughout the first season as a relatively inattentive husband, Russell found himself back in the spotlight in recent weeks after the couple decided to split in July. Taylor told People that she decided to divorce Russell after suffering verbal and physical abuse during their six years together. Russell had said he once pushed Taylor “in the heat of the moment,” but denies her claims that he had pulled her hair. “It was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were,” he told People. “This show has literally pushed us to the limit.”
Russell had one child with Taylor, 5-year-old Kennedy. The second season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, in which Taylor will appear, is set to premiere Sept. 5.
Bravo, the cable network that airs The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, released the following statement: “All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time.”
Via her representation, Taylor herself released a statement this afternoon: “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” and sends her “thoughts and prayers” to Russell’s 11- and 13-year-old sons from previous relationships.