Suicide of ’Housewives’ Husband, Outed & Broke: Has Reality TV Gone Too Far?
The facts, as we now know them, are these: Russell Armstrong, the husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Taylor Armstrong, was found hanging by a rope in his bedroom on Aug. 15. A month before, Taylor had filed for divorce, citing physical abuse.
After the death, private details of Russell Armstrong’s life began pouring out. He had had two restraining orders from two previous marriages -- both, again, citing physical abuse. He also had declared bankruptcy in 2005 and was undergoing severe financial stress.
Then there’s the question of his sex life.
Rumors are rife on the Internet that Armstrong was gay. His wife has purportedly written a memoir in which she discovered an account on the gay hook-up site, Adam4Adam. The day after Armstrong hanged himself, Alan Schram, a close friend and business associate committed suicide by shooting himself in his car on Mulholland Drive.
Immediately, speculation began that Schram was Armstrong’s lover. And, not to be outdone, the National Enquirer has published an interview with another of Armstrong’s purported lovers. This one, a celebrity assistant; the Enquirer apparently gave a polygraph test to the man but won’t name him.
Going one step further, the New York Post claims that Armstrong’s on-air behavior toward his wife could be explained by the posthumous exhuming of his "kinky, gay sex life." Executives at Bravo, which cablecasts the reality show, "now believe his cold and callous demeanor can be traced to the fact that he was in the closet while playing the role of a ladies’ man," according to the newspaper.