Late Night: Taylor Armstrong talks about abuse, husband's suicide
On Monday's episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Taylor Armstong, whose estranged husband Russell committed suicide in August, suffered the latest in a string of emotional breakdowns that have erupted all season long.
Afterward, she stopped by "Watch What Happens Live" for a post-meltdown debriefing with Bravo mascot Andy Cohen. It was a decidedly somber interview on what's typically a boisterous, irreverent talk show.
Armstrong admitted that it was difficult to watch the episode. "I see a woman who was out of control ... about to go off the deep end," she said. "My biggest fears were unraveling. For me it was as though I lived my life for quite a long time with a boiling pot I was holding a lid on top of, and it was starting to boil over."
She also explained her seemingly irrational anger toward Camille Grammer, who brought up the subject of Armstrong's abusive marriage on camera, after the two women had discussed it in private. "For me admitting that I was being abused on national television was something that I didn't think would ever happen," she said.
The interview also provided an opportunity for Armstrong to plug her book, "Hiding From Reality." Breaking into tears, she told Cohen that she hopes that by sharing her own long personal history with abuse, she might be able to help other women "break the cycle."
"The cycle of violence in domestic violence is so hard to understand and I wanted people to see me for who I really am," she said. "And to understand that this started at a very young age for me, I ended up in this situation because of my own flaws and my own insecurities.”
Cohen asked Armstrong how her daughter, Kennedy, is coping in the wake of her father's suicide. "We each have good days and bad days, but we have amazing friends and loved ones around us, and we have great psychological support, so we're very fortunate," Armstrong replied.
For most of the interview, Armstrong spoke with the studied vocabulary of someone who's obviously been spending a lot of time in therapy. But she did drop at least one bombshell, admitting to Cohen that her daughter was with her the night she found her husband's body. "She knew something was bad. The first thing she said was, 'Did Daddy do something dumb?'" Armstrong recalled.
Understandably, the 5-year-old is still struggling to come to terms with her father's death. "We talk about it a lot.... It hasn't been easy."
— Meredith Blake
Photo: Taylor Armstrong on "Real Housewives." Credit: Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo.