Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong has released her memoir Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss and Finding the Courage Within, and says that she didn’t feel comfortable sharing her story of abuse until after her husband’s death.
This past August, Russell Armstrong hanged himself in their home, a suicide that shocked not only their family but a nation who watched the Armstrong marriage unfold on reality television. Taylor sat down with ABCNews.com last Thursday and talked about her new book and why she didn’t feel safe, until now, to share her story of domestic abuse.
“I wish I would have been able to tell my story before now, but, until my husband Russell’s suicide, I didn’t feel safe to tell anyone for fear of my own safety and the safety of my daughter. (5-year-old Kennedy) With Russell’s passing, I now feel safe to bring my story into the light, to help all battered and abused women, and men, and aid them in their struggle.”
“I discussed my book Monday night for the first time on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live.’ The overwhelming response from viewers and their outpouring of support has been gratifying. From the bottom of my heart, I believe if my book can help others find the courage to deal with the pain and fear of their abusive relationships, I will have made a real difference in their lives.”
Do you think Taylor is strictly sharing her story or that she’s capitalizing off of her husband’s death?
Taylor Armstrong appeared on KTLA this morning, in a candid interview. She’s very open about the fact that she believes had it not been for the cameras filming ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’, Russell would have killed her and possibly her child in a murder/suicide. Taylor’s husband killed himself in August after amassing an enormous debt.
‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ star Taylor Armstrong is opening up about her estranged husband’s suicide and defending her decision to do the show.
Armstrong tells KTLA that she was in “an abusive relationship for six years,” and the presence –or absence — of cameras would not have altered that “reality.”
She also calls the show her “saving grace” and says she and her 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy, would likely have fallen victim to domestic violence, had it not been for the program.
“If the cameras were not in my life, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be sitting here today because a lot of domestic violence situations end in murder-suicide versus just suicide.”
Armstrong says she spent five weeks in her house after her estranged husband, Russell Armstrong, 47, committed suicide. The troubled investment banker and venture capitalist was found hanging in a bedroom at a home on Mulholland Drive.
Many questioned whether being on the show contributed to his death.
Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce in July, claiming Russell physically abused her.
She says she has a titanium implant holding her right eye up as a result of the alleged violence.
“That’s a pretty significant situation,” she said.
Armstrong says the show gave her the platform to help other women in similar situations.
“I’m thankful to be here, especially for my daughter,” she said. “Imagine if she had two less parents instead of one. It’s been hard enough for her and I… I feel thankful at this point.”
I definitely think it’s horrible that Russell abused Taylor. I’m finding it hard to stomach, however, that Taylor’s going this route following his death. The one thing that sits wrong with me in this interview is when she talks about how Russell could have killed her if not for the RHOBH cameras. It’s one thing to call him out for the abuse you suffered at his hands – it’s another to call him a murderer. He still has three children, and I think it’s a low blow to say he “could have” killed you.
Entertainment Tonight paid good money for their interview with Taylor Armstrong – and so they continue to draw the ordeal out. Today more information from the interview is being released. Nancy O’Dell’s interview with Taylor Armstrong continues, revealing more details surrounding Russell Armstrong’s suicide.
Taylor Armstrong on whether or not she saw Russell at the time of his suicide: “I did not. I asked the…and I’m sure a lot of people won’t understand this…but I asked the emergency workers if I could go in and hug him before they took him away but they wouldn’t let me. I just felt like I needed to see him one last time, but they wouldn’t let me.”
Armstrong on the two wedding rings she is wearing: “I’m now wearing his wedding ring and mine together. Right now I’m still doing anything I can to figure out how to get close to him. I still have the last shirt he wore before the night of and sometimes I sit in my closet with it ’cause maybe I think I’m gonna get insight or maybe I just need to feel close to him.”
Armstrong on whether or not Kennedy saw her father following the incident: “Kennedy was (in the car) sitting on Julie’s (Taylor’s assistant’s) lap pretending to steer and she said ‘Julie, did my daddy do something dumb?’ ”
Armstrong responds to reports that the first person she asked for following the 911 call was her psychiatrist: “I haven’t heard the call but I understand you hear me screaming I need to talk to my psychiatrist and reason for that obviously was I needed not only his support but he had been counseling both Russell and me for some time. I knew if anyone had any insight to what just happened, that maybe he could shed some light on the circumstances.”
TUNE IN TO ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST for the full interview!
First we saw the pictures, and now we have the interview! Here is the interview ET got with Taylor Armstrong in the wake of her estranged husband Russell Armstrong’s suicide.
NY Post reported this morning that Taylor was paid $125,000 for the interview and accompying pictures. I think it’s pretty disgusting, if you ask me. I know not all of you will agree with me. During last night’s episode of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Taylor broke down, and talked about how she grew up poor, without anything. She went on to cry that being poor was her biggest fear in life. She NEVER wants to go back there. She basically offered the information up as reason why she married Russell, financial security. So when Russell’s finances finally went down the toilet near the end of his life – Taylor finally got the balls to divorce him? Then – following his suicide she releases photos of abuse suffered at his hands – for money!? It’s disgusting. I actually DO believe Russell was a crummy guy – and beat her. With that said, I think it’s pretty tasteless to release the pictures after his death. Had his finances stayed in line with what she was comfortable with – would any of this be happening?
In a sitdown airing tonight on Entertainment Tonight, in addition to delivering what’s being billed as a “minute by minute” account of her experience of the suicide, the widowed Real Housewife of Beverly Hills also details some shocking allegations of abuse against the father of her child.
In one particularly harrowing instance, Taylor recalled, “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.’”
In between tears, the reality star—who conducted the interview from the same Beverly Hills home she shared with Russell—told ET of yet another example of when his violent ways made her fear for her life.
“He would grab me by one side of the hair on my head, and bang the other side of my head against the car. He would say to me, ‘I’m afraid I’m going to kill you one day.’”
As for the inevitable question from critics who may condemn her for lobbing such damning allegations against a man who isn’t around to defend himself, she had an answer ready:
“He doesn’t need my protection anymore, but there are a lot of women in this world who probably do.”
She also took time during the obviously emotional interview to rehash the day she discovered Russell’s body in his shared Mulholland Drive home. Along with a male friend, she and daughter Kennedy were present when the body was found.
“As I was laying in the street screaming, I realized that my little girl was there,” she said through tears. “And I had to pull it together and get her out of there.”
As for how she explains the suicide to her 5-year-old, “I just told her that daddy got sick and he died, and that we could pick a star in the sky to be daddy, and she could talk to him every night.”
Last week when Taylor Armstrong released pictures of herself in a hospital room, with obvious signs of abuse, I thought something seemed fishy. The only explanation I could come up with in releasing the photos now (after Russell’s suicide) was in order to get money. I got a lot of flack from some of you guys, for implying that Taylor was releasing the photos for the wrong reason. One comment read:
Why shouldn’t she publish them? If she had while he was alive she would probably be with Nicole Simpson. He deserves to be exposed, dead or alive. And I am sure if he was doing this to his wives, his family is very aware of his what type of “man” he was. I say good for her and more power to her. Weak spineless man beating up on women, hope satan is giving him some beatings and black eyes while he is burning in hell.
My only thing with releasing the photos – was what good does it do now? The guy is dead!? The only reason I could see why Taylor would publish the photos now – is for monetary purposes. And it looks like I’m right. According to the NY Post, Taylor was paid $125,000 for the pictures. If you ask me – that’s disgusting.
Taylor Armstrong raked in up to $125,000 for the sale of a picture she says was snapped after a brutal beating by her late husband, Russell. The “Real Housewives” star sold the picture — showing her lying in bed with a gruesome black eye — to “Entertainment Tonight,” which aired it last week to tease an upcoming interview with Armstrong, the first since Russell’s suicide a month ago. “Most shows that were offered the picture did not want to pay anywhere close to that,” says a source who pegs the amount of Taylor’s haul as “definitely six figures.” “ET” licensed the shot and will air its interview between Armstrong and Nancy O’Dell on Tuesday. Sources added that Armstrong is desperate for money. “She’s broke,” said one who’s familiar with the sale. A rep for “ET” had no comment, and Armstrong’s rep did not return our requests for comment. “Taylor will reveal details … about the bruises that she says were caused by her late husband,” says a promo for the interview on the “ET” site.
What’s your opinion now?
PS: Wasn’t last night’s ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ so saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad? Man, I’m finding it really hard to watch this season. Last night’s episode was pretty much entirely devoted to Taylor Armstrong’s breakdown. I know Bravo was trying to edit Russell out of the season, but I’m finding it hard to watch Taylor fall apart as well. It seems sick and voyeuristic to watch her break down. I don’t know how long I can handle watching it. It’s just all so sad!
ET’s Nancy O’Dell has the exclusive sit-down interview with Taylor Armstrong inside her Bel Air home which will air starting next Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011. In this exclusive interview with ET, she reveals the details about her bruises that she says were caused by her late husband, Russell Armstrong.
A source close to Taylor reveals that she underwent Lasik eye surgery on July 5. Days later, the source claims that she was hit by Russell so hard that her corneal flap was dislocated.
For the rest of the month of July, Taylor was not seen in public as her injuries healed. Her first public appearance after that was on August 1, at a press tour promoting season two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.