This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Stars Discuss Russell Armstrong's Suicide on 'Today Show'
Since the suicide of Russell Armstrong on August 15, Bravo has been answering questions about how it will proceed with the second season of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," set to air tonight. The network announced on August 19 that they would re-edit the show, but didn't clarify whether footage of Russell, the estranged husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong, will stay in or not.
To address the controversy surrounding tonight's premiere, cast members Adrienne Maloof, Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, along with executive producer Douglas Ross, gave an interview on "The Today Show" this morning.
Richards said that Russell's death was "a complete shock" to the cast, and that "no one could ever have anticipated something like this."
All three women said that they didn't feel as though the show contributed to Russell's suicide, but rather that the tragedy reflects the real highs and lows of their lives. When asked whether they ever thought that the season shouldn't go forward, Maloof said that she felt it was important to talk about the suicide rather than pretend it didn't happen.
"I think we all had to reflect," she said, "but then it would really be sweeping suicide under the rug and that's what we didn't want to do, we wanted to bring it to the forefront."
As far as whether Bravo will edit Russell out of the show completely and how the decision was made to go forward with the season, though, Ross remained vague.
"We took a hard look at the show and...decided to make some adjustments where appropriate," he said. "In the first few episodes that we've completed editing, Russell is not included...but it is important to note that Taylor's story is told throughout the season."