Bravo confirms 'The Real Housewives' being re-edited after suicide
By Reality TV World staff, 08/19/2011
Bravo has confirmed it is re-editing The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' upcoming second season in response to the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Housewives star Taylor Armstrong.
However, despite reports claiming otherwise, the network says it has not yet decided whether to delay the season, which it had already previously scheduled to premiere Monday, September 5.
"Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision to change our original premiere date but we are in the process of re-editing the show," Bravo president Frances Berwick told Variety on Friday.
Berwick declined to specify exactly how the series is going to change, however is likely Bravo will reshape or eliminate Armstrong's presence over the course of the season, according to Variety.
Despite rampant media speculation about the season's fate, Berwick's statement are the network's first official comments since Bravo executive Andy Cohen's Wednesday acknowledgement that executives were "looking at how to proceed with the series."
Taylor Armstrong -- whose unhappiness about her marriage had been chronicled on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' first season last year -- had filed divorce from her husband last month, alleging verbal and physical abuse during their marriage.
According to a July press release in which Bravo had announced the premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' second season, the season was set to include the timeframe prior to the divorce filing and show The Real Housewives star "struggl[ing] with her loveless marriage."
Armstrong's body was found hanging in the Los Angeles-area home of a friend he had been staying with on Monday evening. According to reports, he was found hanging fully-clothed from an electrical cord.
While a suicide note was not found, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled Armstrong's death a suicide after completing an autopsy.
"The cause of death is hanging and the final manner of death is suicide," Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told Us Weekly on Wednesday.
Armstrong was last known to be alive on Friday, according to Harvey.
"It was the last time the roommate had a conservation with him," he told Us.
In addition to his marital problems, Armstrong -- who was also reportedly recently sued by MyMedicalRecords.com for allegedly misusing more than $1.5 million in funds -- had been having significant financial problems prior to his death, according to his lawyer.
"As a couple, they lived way beyond their means... Each month was a challenge for him to cover their lifestyle," attorney Ronald Richards told People earlier this week about the 47-year-old venture capitalist.
"Russell was in a lot of debt and he had legal problems. His credit cards were used up. He had serious financial problems. And that no doubt caused him a lot of stress."