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'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

August 16, 2011 | 10:55 am

"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" couple Taylor Armstrong and Russell Armstrong

For one of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," things just got a lot more real: Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of Taylor Armstrong, was found dead Monday night in what appears to be a suicide.

According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, Russell Armstrong, 47, hanged himself in a bedroom of a Mulholland Drive home and left no note behind, L.A. Now reported Tuesday.

He was pronounced dead shortly after 8 p.m. Monday. No official cause of death has been given.

Russell Armstrong's lawyer, Ronald Richards, told TMZ that his client had "tremendous financial problems" and was "extremely bummed out" about his pending divorce. Armstrong, who'd moved out of the family home months ago when it was clear he and his wife were splitting up, had been staying at a friend's place.

Taylor Armstrong, who filed for divorce on July 15 after six years of marriage, told OK over the weekend that the split was being handled amicably, with the two cooperating in co-parenting Kennedy, their 5-year-old daughter. Radar Online, crediting an unnamed source close to the situation, reported Tuesday that the 40-year-old reality TV star had been up all night and was "hysterical" over Russell's death.

In her divorce filing, Taylor alleged that Russell had been physically and verbally abusive for years.

"Did I push her?," Russell told People in late July, denying additional allegations that he'd pulled her hair. "Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were. This show has literally pushed us to the limit."

"All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news," the network said in a statement Tuesday. "Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time." Members of various "Real Housewives" casts also expressed their sympathy.

"I am so very sad about today's news," Bravo's Andy Cohen said on Twitter. "My prayers and thoughts are with Taylor Armstrong and her family."

The Armstrongs also were hit in late July with a $1.5 million lawsuit alleging they'd scammed investors. In the lawsuit, MyMedicalRecords.com alleged the couple diverted money from NuWay Digital Systems investors who were led to believe they had shares in MyMedicalRecords.com, pocketing about a million dollars for themselves, Gossip Cop reported.

An autopsy, which will include toxicology and other tests, is pending, People said. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that no drugs or alcohol were found in the room where the fully clothed Russell was found dead.

The new season of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is set to premiere Sept. 5.

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-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

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