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Category: Real Housewives

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' reunion teases epic drama

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are coming back for a three part reunion
When it comes to the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," the Ministry can't decide what it enjoys more -- the weekly saga of Botox, badmouthing and booze or the epic reunion special that provides all that mess. Exponentially

Bravo has released a teaser, below, for the second season reunion special that will air in three (three!) parts featuring the first post-rehab interview with Kim Richards. This is followed by a good ol' fashioned nuclear meltdown with cast members Kyle Richards, Taylor Armstrong, Lisa Vanderpump, Adrianne Maloof and Brandi Glanville.

What can you expect from revisiting the season, struck with tragedy before it began airing, come part one on Monday?

Class all the way: Glanville translates her favorite expression, "I'll ... kill you," when used in a social context, as well as her affinity for Vanderpump's husband, Ken. Kyle Richards will spell out obscenities for female anatomy as received via text message. Armstrong's lips will just...keep happening.

Revelation: Show champion and major benefactor from the success of the franchise Andy Cohen will sit down with Kim Richards to discuss her time in rehab -- and the addiction she was treated for. "I'm an alcoholic," Kim confesses. 

Cringe: From what the teaser offers, we see Taylor Armstrong confronted about potentially exploiting the suicide of her husband, the possibility she believes his death was a murder, fixing a dislocated jaw over a toilet and various attacks from her cast members for, like, whatever. 

As this is a teaser, trust us -- there's just so much more. And we'll be here watching. 

  

RELATED:

'Real Housewives' will address Russell Armstrong's suicide

Michaele Salahi: Kidnapping, no; Journey guitarist Neal Schon, yes.

Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Real Housewives' husband's suicide by hanging  

-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: The cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Credit: Bravo



Taylor Armstrong spills secrets about married life with Russell

Taylor Armstrong reveals all in a new ET interview

What a mess. Taylor Armstrong's cathartic chat spree is unearthing a lot unpleasantness surrounding the suicide of her husband, Russell Armstrong -- and the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member isn't the only one chiming in.

First, Taylor gave details of how she told Kennedy, her daughter with Russell, that her father was gone.

"I just told her that daddy got sick and he died ... ," she said in a sit-down with "Entertainment Tonight." She told the 5-year-old that "we could pick a star in the sky and it could be daddy, and that she could talk to him every night."

Taylor brought Kennedy with her Aug. 15 when she and a friend went to check on Russell at the house where her estranged husband had been staying since they separated; Russell had not responded to phone calls and texts for days, and had missed a planned meeting.

She recalled "laying in the street screaming" when Russell's body was found. "I realized that my little girl was there and I had to pull it together to get her out of there." 

Armstrong also painted a picture of a marriage rife with trauma, including alleged physical abuse dating back to when she was pregnant.

"You live your life constantly on eggshells waiting for the other shoe to drop," she said. "You don't know if you're going to talk to your girlfriend too long at dinner and that's going to cause someone to fly into a rage."

A cringe-worthy photo of Taylor sporting a black eye and other injuries she said came at the hands of her late husband would seem to be in line with her accounts; however, Russell's attorney Ronald Richards disputed the relevance of the images, which were sold to "ET."

"If Mr. Armstrong was the cause of those injuries he would have been arrested and prosecuted," he told TMZ on Wednesday, saying the injuries may have been from plastic surgery and noting that Taylor had not filed a police report.

Joining the chorus, fellow "Housewives" franchise member Jill Zarin, recently cut loose from the New York series, had plenty of opinions about Armstrong and her future.

"Honestly, I wouldn't talk to the press or anyone for six months to a year," Zarin said on "Good Morning America." "I would buckle down with my family, and I probably wouldn't come back on the show."

How refreshing of Mrs. Zarin to suggest an appropriate grief timeline for Taylor before returning to the marketplace, perhaps with some sort of noble, worthy product for the masses. 

Watch Taylor's "ET" interview below, and leave your thoughts on her PR tornado in comments.

  

RELATED:

'Real Housewives' will address Russell Armstrong's suicide

Michaele Salahi: Kidnapping, no; Journey guitarist Neal Schon, yes.

Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Real Housewives' husband's suicide by hanging 

-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Russell and Taylor Armstrong in February. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images



Tareq Salahi to divorce Michaele; he's reportedly banned backstage at Journey

SalahiStory
Tareq Salahi has filed for divorce from wife Michaele. Not exactly shocking news after the media blitz the couple caused last week.

The scandal started on Tuesday when Tareq reported his wife missing and tweeted his fears that she had been kidnapped. Soon it all became clear. Michaele was safe, but she had run off with someone else -- Journey guitarist Neal Schon no less.

"She continually exposes our friends and acquaintances to her adulterous relationship and has flaunted the same throughout the community, the nation and indeed the world, and thus caused ... me to suffer great harm, humiliation and embarrassment," Tareq stated in court documents filed Friday in Warren County, Va.

The pair isn’t playing nice either. TMZ reports that Tareq is no longer allowed backstage at Journey concerts, despite having an all access pass! And he’s blaming Michaele’s departure for putting their Doberman Pinscher in a major funk.

The Salahis, married for eight years, started their 15 minutes by allegedly crashing a state dinner at the White House.  They quickly landed spots on “The Real Housewives of D.C.,” but the show was short-lived. Now in bankruptcy, the pair is scheduled to auction off the goods from their Virginia winery, Oasis Vineyards, on Sunday.

RELATED:

Michaele Salahi: Kidnapping, no; Journey rocker Neal Schon, yes.

Michaele Salahi sings "Bump It" on purpose amd sexy-poses in a white bikini

"Housewives" Michaele Salahi breaks down on TV, revealing she has multiple sclerosis

-- Emily Christianson

Photo: Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Credit: Robert Devaney / Reuters


Michaele Salahi: Kidnapping, no; Journey rocker Neal Schon, yes.

Michaele Salahi wasn't kidnapped, authorities said.

Few people roll like Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq, late of "The Real Housewives of D.C." and originally infamous for allegedly crashing a state dinner at the White House.

Depending on when a person checked in on the Salahi drama Wednesday, Michaele was either kidnapped, according to Tareq, or just fine, according to police. Then there was the part about Michaele running off with a guy from a rock band.

But more about Journey guitarist Neal Schon later. Seriously. After the police stuff, and before the Montel Williams stuff.

Tareq reported Michaele missing very late Tuesday night, telling law enforcement that his wife had been gone for six hours, the North Virginia Daily reported. She'd called him from a cellphone with an Oregon number, he said, to tell him she was fine and on her way to her mom's house.

He said that after talking to his mother-in-law, who according to TMZ told Tareq she didn't know what was up with Michaele, he feared a kidnapping. The former house-husband of D.C. told NBC that his wife's "cryptic" behavior during the call made him think she was trying to convey a message to him in code, the way they'd play-acted in the past in case either one were, you know, kidnapped.

"I swear to God," Tareq told NBC, denying that the kidnap report was a publicity stunt. "I'm missing my wife," he sobbed, breaking down in tears that you can see in the video embedded below.

The Sheriff's Department in Virginia's Warren County then issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying essentially not to worry -- officials had been in touch with Michaele and were confident nobody had been kidnapped.

"She seemed calm, was engaged in conversation, and assured the deputy that she had left the residence with a good friend and was where she wanted to be," authorities said. She allegedly didn't want her husband knowing where she was.

Tareq Salahi told NBC a different story. "I think she's being forced by, whatever this Oregon phone number is, she's being forced to say she's OK," he said. "She's being forced to to say this to the local authorities." The couple had frequently dealt with stalkers and death threats, according to Tareq.

But the best was yet to come.

Continue reading »

Three 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' set a stage for premiere

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

With "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" set to premiere Monday night, Adrienne Maloof, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump spoke out for the first time since the suicide of Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of "RHOBH" cast member Taylor Armstrong.

The suicide came as "a complete shock to all of us," said Richards, appearing Monday on the "Today" show with her fellow "Housewives" and executive producer Douglas Ross.

Ross said that the "RHOBH" team and Bravo "took a hard look at the show ... and we decided to make some adjustments where appropriate in light of the circumstances."

One adjustment: The cast members, minus Taylor, participated in a taped sit-down in late August to discuss Armstrong's Aug. 15 death. That discussion will air ahead of Monday's premiere.

"In the first few episodes that we've completed editing, Russell is not included in those episodes," Ross said, "but ... Taylor's story is told throughout the season." The show, he said, tells the stories of all six women, not only the Armstrongs' situation.

Maloof said she'd never felt pressured by producers to create drama. "We lead and they follow," she said. "We kind of create and they document."

Richards said she doesn't think "Housewives" pushed Russell Armstrong over the edge. "He also signed up for this, season one," she said, "and came back for season two."

Lisa Vanderpump said the women never considered shelving the season, which was shot over the last six months or so.

"We all had to reflect at some point" after the death, 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."

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" premieres Monday at 9 p.m. Watch the full interview below.

RELATED:

'RHOBH' will address Russell Armstrong's suicide

'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Real Housewives' husband's suicide by hanging

-- Christie D'Zurilla

twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: The cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Credit: Bravo


'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' will address Russell Armstrong's suicide

Russell Armstrong and Taylor Armstrong

The suicide of Russell Armstrong will be the subject of a Bravo special reportedly taped Monday with "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast members Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Adrenne Maloof and Kyle and Kim Richards sitting down to discuss the recent events.

Word of the Bravo special came Monday, a day before the 911 call made after Armstrong's body was found went public via TMZ and less than a week after the first of two funerals was held for the estranged husband of "Real Housewives" star Taylor Armstrong.

Taylor, 40, was not present at the taping, a show insider told Show Tracker, which also reported that the premiere episode has been reedited and is still on the books to air Sept. 5. The original version included footage of Taylor shopping for lingerie to spice up her troubled marriage to Russell, and getting emotional over marriage counseling.

Russell Armstrong's body was found Aug. 15; the 47-year-old had hanged himself in a bedroom at a friend's home where he'd been staying since he and Taylor separated. She filed for divorce in July.

Taylor Armstrong can be heard crying in the background during the 911 call, made by a friend who'd accompanied her and her daughter to check on Russell after he hadn't responded to calls or texts for three days.

With police on the way to the house on Mulholland Drive, the friend delivered details to the 911 operator, comforted Taylor and directed another person on the scene to get 5-year-old Kennedy away from the drama.

The first funeral sevice for Armstrong was held last Tuesday at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles, with Lisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, Dr. Paul Nassif, Kyle Richards and Camille Grammer among those in attendance. Still reportedly wearing her wedding ring, Taylor Armstrong delivered a eulogy, saying, "People didn't know the Russell I knew."

A second service will be held for the Dallas native early in September in Texas, according to People. His ashes will be divided between his estranged wife and his family in Texas, said attorney Ronald Richards. "They have a family cemetery there."

A guest list was strictly enforced and no photos were allowed at the private service, which ET said Bravo did not film.

RELATED:

How will 'Real Housewives' handle Russell Armstrong's death?

'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Real Housewives' husband's suicide by hanging

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Russell Armstrong and Taylor Armstrong in February. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images


'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': reediting and rumors

Bravo will re-edit "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" after Russell Armstrong's suicide

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

In the wake of Russell Armstrong's suicide, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" will be reedited, though Bravo isn't going into specifics yet about whether his role in the show would be eliminated or simply marginalized.

Show Tracker confirmed Bravo's decision Friday, noting that it was unclear whether the show's Sept. 5 premiere date would be moved.

One opinion expressed Thursday by attorney Ronald Richards and nephew Austin Kelsoe, speaking separately: All footage of Russell Armstrong or associated with him should be edited out of the show, out of respect for his estranged wife, Taylor, and his three children. Though Russell's stepbrother had spoken about filing a lawsuit against Bravo, Richards told Show Tracker that the parents, who wanted the edits, had no such plans, and the stepbrother had no legal standing.

At the same time, Richards denied anonymously sourced reports from the New York Post and from TMZ that Russell Armstrong was secretly gay and that he'd hit Taylor Armstrong in the face hard enough to crack bones in her cheeks, according to the Wrap. He accused Taylor's camp of starting a "posthumous smear campaign."

Her attorney, Troy Christiansen, said he'd heard no such allegations from his client. Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce in July, and a preview of the "RHOBH" second season — available before her estranged husband's body was found hanged on Monday — showed her crying over her marital problems.

Richards accused Taylor Armstrong of keeping Russell's parents in the dark about funeral arrangements she was making, an allegation Christiansen denied. Covered up to avoid being photographed, an "obviously distraught" Taylor kept an appointment Friday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in L.A., Radar Online said.

A friend said Russell Armstrong told him Bravo producers had picked the Armstrongs "as the 'disaster couple,' and if they weren't going to have drama in the second season, they would cut them and replace them with someone else." Speaking with the Times earlier this week, the friend, William Ratner, called the show Russell's "downfall."

However, a Bravo rep said, "Production has assured us that there is no truth to these claims."

"It will be interesting to see what they decide, since there is no denying that, even though participation in the show did not cause Russell Armstrong's problems, it certainly exacerbated them," Times television critic Mary McNamara said in an analysis published Friday.

"No one can, or should, keep Bravo from creating more 'Real Housewives,' and no one can, or should, keep an adult from participating in a reality show," McNamara added. "It's viewers who should take Armstrong's death as an opportunity to reflect on what it is they are watching and why."

[For the record, 6:15 p.m. Aug. 21: This post originally referred to attorney Ronald Richards incorrectly as Robert Richards.]

RELATED:

How will 'Real Housewives' handle Russell Armstrong's death?

'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Real Housewives' husband hanged himself

 -- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photo: The cast and crew of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" accept the best reality series award at the Critics' Choice Television Awards on June 20 in Beverly Hills. RHOBH tied for the award with "Hoarders." Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


Russell Armstrong autopsy confirms 'Housewives' husband's suicide

Andy Cohen, and Russell and Taylor Armstrong.

Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member Taylor Armstrong, took his own life on Monday, an autopsy has determined. 

The official cause of death was suicide by hanging, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter of the L.A. County Coroner's office said Wednesday. Though toxicology and other tests are still pending, no preliminary evidence was found of alcohol or drugs.

Meanwhile, "Housewives" network Bravo hadn't yet decided its next steps.

"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," Bravo executive and "Housewives" host Andy Cohen wrote Wednesday on his blog.

"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."

A report that filming set for Wednesday had been called off was erroneous, a source familiar with the situation told the Wrap, as no primary production had been scheduled in the first place.

RELATED:

How will 'Real Housewives' handle Russell Armstrong's death?

'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

Did 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' play a role in Russell Armstrong's death?

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Bravo's Andy Cohen, left. At right, Russell Armstrong and Taylor Armstrong marked her birthday in a past episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Credits: Getty Images, left; Bravo, right.


How will 'Real Housewives' handle Russell Armstrong's death? [Updated]

Taylor and Russell Armstrong with Kim Richards

After the death Monday of cast member Taylor Armstrong's estranged husband in an apparent suicide, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" faces more than an emotional challenge: The team must decide what role, if any, the tragic real-life event will play in the second season of the reality series, which has been in production for a couple of months.

In the meantime, cast members were reportedly told Tuesday not to talk to the media about the death of Russell Armstrong -- whose body may have been discovered after Taylor could not get in touch with him.

The women of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" each received a keep-mum phone call and email from Bravo soon after news of the death broke, a source connected with the show told TMZ, which also reported that production planned for Wednesday had been canceled.

The Season 2 cast includes "Housewives" Armstrong, Camille Grammer, Adrienne Maloof, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump, plus new faces Brandi Glanville and Dana Wilkey, announced in May as "friends of the returning cast."

"Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded," her rep said Tuesday in a statement. "She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter." In addition to Kennedy, his daughter with Taylor, Russell Armstrong was the father of two boys, ages 11 and 13.

Sources close to Taylor told TMZ that the couple had been in touch regularly and were supposed to meet Monday afternoon. She reportedly got worried after he didn't show and she couldn't get him by phone or text, and ultimately went with a friend to the house where Russell was staying. The homeowner made the 911 call after looking through a bedroom window, TMZ said.

Another person not keeping quiet: Family friend Lisa Gastineau, who last saw the Armstrongs about two months ago at a benefit hosted by Maloof and filmed for the show.

The intense "scrutiny of his business dealings and the financial hardships, and the dissolution of his marriage" was stressful for Russell Armstrong, Gastineau told HollywoodLife on Tuesday after describing a couple who "despite the fighting ... cared for each other. Their relationship was fragile, but Taylor was his love."

A death during reality-show production was previously handled deftly on Discovery's "Deadliest Catch," which lost Capt. Phil Harris, a fan favorite and father of two sons who also appeared on the series. Harris' illness and death were incorporated into the show's story line, with a large part of the audience well aware of the inevitable outcome by the time the season premiered.

But in dramatic contrast to Russell Armstrong's sudden death, possibly at his own hand, Harris died after suffering a stroke while on the job. Though no related "Catch" footage had aired at the time of his death, fans had been following Harris' condition in real time through updates on the Cornelia Marie's website.

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" was, as of Tuesday, scheduled to premiere on Sept. 5. A season preview released in late July showed Taylor Armstrong visibly distressed over her marital problems, saying tearfully at a dinner party, "I feel like I'm breaking."

[Updated, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 16: At the time this post was written, the preview video for Season 2 of "RHOBH" was no longer available on Bravo's website. Readers were instead directed to an article about the upcoming season.]

"All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news," Bravo said in a statement Tuesday. "Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time."

RELATED:

'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' stays, um, classy

'Deadliest Catch' episode reveals captain Phil and Jake Harris fighting over stolen pain pills

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Taylor Armstrong, left, with Russell Armstrong and fellow "Housewives" cast member Kim Richards at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood in March. Credit: Casey Rodgers / Bravo


'Real Housewives' husband Russell Armstrong dead in apparent suicide

"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.

RELATED:

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' stays, um, classy

'Real Housewives' star Teresa Guidice, Bravo, producers sued over bar brawl

Michaele Salahi sings 'Bump It' on purpose, sexy-poses in a white bikini. No, really. 

-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville


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