Russell Armstrong Suicide: Real Housewives to Blame?

Media offer up quite a few theories

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2011 9:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – After Russell Armstrong's suicide, one question is apparently on everyone's mind: Is Real Housewives to blame? The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, and two separate Daily Beast stories all delve into that question, noting that Armstrong's marriage troubles were splashed all over television during the first season of the franchise's Beverly Hills version. Sources say the show pressured the Armstrongs to live beyond their means—they were actually millions in debt and being sued by investors—and also pressured them to ramp up the drama in their relationship. Radar reports that Armstrong told a friend, days before his death, that reality TV had ruined his "entire life."

But Armstrong's ex-wife blames estranged wife Taylor, from whom Armstrong was getting divorced. "She's bad news and she drove him into this," the ex tells Radar. "I don't think it was the show. I think she drove him into financial stress and it just ruined him." Radar offers up another possible reason: A tell-all was about to be published, and would reveal that he was bisexual and may have had affairs with men. As for the second season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, no word yet on whether its Sept. 5 premiere date will be pushed back.

In this Feb. 5,2011 file photo, Taylor Armstrong and husband Russell Armstrong attend a Super Bowl party in Dallas, Texas.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini,File)
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