Russell Armstrong's family reportedly believes he was murdered
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/07/2011
Russell Armstrong's family is reportedly convinced the estranged husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong did not commit suicide and was murdered instead.
While the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has ruled Armstrong's death a suicide, his relatives believe he was not responsible for his own death and are hiring a private detective to investigate the case, TMZ reported.
According to TMZ sources close to Armstrong's family, his relatives believe he had financial problems which got him involved "with the wrong people." They reportedly suspect he was in dire need of money and may have taken advantage of someone who in turn sought revenge and killed him.
Armstrong's body was found hanging on August 16 in the Los Angeles-area home of a friend he had been staying with, but a suicide note was not discovered.
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, a 47-year-old venture capitalist, in July and alleged verbal and physical abuse during their marriage.
According to a July press release in which Bravo had announced The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' September 5 second-season premiere, the season was set to include the timeframe prior to the divorce filing and showThe Real Housewives star "struggl[ing] with her loveless marriage."
However, while is has not revealed specific details, the network has confirmed it is re-editing The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' second season in response to Armstrong's death.
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 money 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.
"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."