Russell Armstrong’s suicide Monday night has unleashed a flurry of speculation on the future of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” as well as emerging accusations on whom or what circumstances are to blame for his tragic demise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bravo is deliberating whether or not to postpone the season premiere, which is currently slated for September 5. On the network’s blog, Andy Cohen made this announcement: “We’re all still trying to process yesterday’s very sad news, and looking at how to proceed with the series, which has finished primary production and was set to premiere on Labor Day. We’ll let you know what we decide when we do. In the meantime, we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to Taylor and the rest of Russell’s family.”
In July, Taylor filed for divorce from the 47-year-old venture capitalist and accused him of verbal and physical abuse. “It got really overwhelming,” Russell told People about the couple’s relationship just weeks before his death. “When you get a TV show involved and all the pressure, it just takes it to a whole new level. We were pushed to extremes.”
Ronald Richards, Russell’s lawyer, reaffirmed his client’s duress, telling TMZ that he felt tremendous pressure to front a lavish lifestyle on-camera, while trying to hide the reality of his and Taylor’s financial situation: According to the Calgary Herald, Russell accrued $12 million in debts from the tech bust, not to mention the couple recently got slammed with a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit for an alleged Internet scam.
While some may blame Russell’s risky business dealings for the couple’s financial ruin, his ex-wife, Barbara Frederickson, blames Taylor for not just their money woes but ultimately, his death.
“I don’t care for her at all. I think she’s the reason for this,” she told RadarOnline. “She’s not who she says she is, and I told him to please be careful with this woman…I warned him! She’s bad news, and she drove him into this.”
She added: “I think [Taylor] drove him into financial stress, and it just ruined him.”
In addition to five-year-old daughter Kennedy, Russell leaves behind two sons from past relationships.