Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’Dell sat down with Real Houswives of Beverly Hills’ Taylor Armstrong for a candid follow-up interview to discuss her new book, Hiding From Reality. In the interview, Armstrong reveals more about her tumultuous marriage to Russell, how she and her daughter are coping with her husband’s suicide and sets the record straight on rumors of alcohol abuse and her sex life with Russell.
ON RUSSELL MAKING HER TAKE A POLYGRAPH TEST:
“He wanted me to take a polygraph that I didn’t have any form of sexual contact with anyone other than him since we met…he said he was under the impression that I had been with an NBA basketball player years prior to our marriage, which wasn’t true…he was obsessed with it and wouldn’t let it go — he had just created an entire scenario in his head about this relationship I had had with this basketball player which was completely fictitious…I felt that I wanted to do it by then because I wanted to just clean the slate, so I thought surely if I go take a polygraph test, it’s gonna end these discussions we’ve been having for years over points that are inaccurate. As I was entering the room for the polygraph, they were leaving with a shoplifter and I thought, ‘This is insanity. I’m getting ready to get hooked up to a polygraph machine to disprove things that my husband is saying. Really, this is how far we’ve gone.’ So, I took the test and after, I felt filthy like I needed a shower…filthy, like disgusted and heartbroken and sad. I felt worthless. I felt like a criminal.”
ON HER SEX LIFE WITH RUSSELL:
“Well, it’s hard because I couldn’t seem to gain weight and I was doing everything I could and he would remind me constantly that he didn’t find it attractive, and he would say critical things to me about it…I was such a bag of nerves all the time…it made me feel very unattractive. He would make comments when we were sexual and you know about my weight…no woman needs to be criticized in that moment…criticisms about having sex with me is like ‘having sex with a skeleton.’…You know anyone who is getting criticized for their personal appearance from someone that they love is so hurtful…I think you can see my eye has healed, but these things are going to stick with me a long time and sometimes, the emotional can hurt worse than the physical almost.”
ON WHETHER OR NOT SHE WOULD HAVE TERMINATED HER PREGNANCY IF THE BABY WAS A BOY:
“I don’t know. I was really fearful of that because I didn’t want to have to face that option. He was just very adamant about two boys…I would love to say ‘no’ but I don’t know. I may have made that decision in that moment in order to keep him if I thought I was going to lose him. I don’t like saying it, but it’s true. It’s embarrassing, but I’m not doing this to not be honest. I want people to know what it’s like when you’re really this wrapped up.”
ON HAVING TO HIDE HER BREASTFEEDING:
“His point was that he didn’t feel he could be physically attracted to me, to my breasts, if they were also a tool to feed our children.”
ON RUMORS OF ALCOHOL ABUSE:
“I found this really clever way to not feel anything, which is to get drunk…because what I feel in a day is sadness, guilt, anger, happy to be alive, but angry at Russell for leaving me with this. So, a few glasses of wine in and I’m not thinking about any of that. No, I don’t have a drinking problem.”
ON RAISING HER DAUGHTER IN AN ABUSIVE ENVIRONMENT:
“I have so many regrets over the last five years of Kennedy’s life, of times when I was in her playroom with her and having one on one time with her, but all I could focus on was the fight [Russell an I] had the night before or the fear we were going to have a fight later. So, although I was there and physically present with her, I wasn’t mentally present and it wasn’t fair to her…in looking at Kennedy’s life, I thought, ‘Ok we have this abusive component, but yet she’s financially secure, she goes to a good school, she’s protected, she has a two-parent household, she has a father to give her self-esteem. All these things I thought, this child has a fairytale I can manage this piece over here, the unhealthy piece — I’ll keep it away from her — I’ll take the brunt of that. I’ll do whatever I can to keep this fairytale going.’ And it was very evident in things that I did in the show you know, throwing her crazy over-the-top birthday parties…let me put as many band aids on this piece as I can to keep this fairytale going for her so she doesn’t end up like me.”
ON HER DAUGHTER’S CURRENT FEELINGS ABOUT RUSSELL:
“After he died, we spoke about the fact that we picked a star in the sky to be her dad and a couple of times when I was writing the book, I was able to get her to talk to him and say ‘I miss you’ and ‘I wish you were here.’ But since she’s not interested, we’re working with counselors and grief counselors…She doesn’t want to talk to the star and I’ll say ‘Do you miss your daddy?’ and she says, ‘No’….I say ‘Just because daddy used to get angry at mommy didn’t mean he didn’t love you and I can still miss him because there were so many good things about your daddy. Your daddy had a bad temper and he used to get a little bit too mad for the situation,’ but I just keep trying to enforce in her mind that he loved her so much. But I loved him, I loved him the day he died, I’ve loved him the entire time and I want her to remember him in a good way too.”
What do you think about Taylor coming forward with all these details now? About her book?