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HOME > The Real Housewives > The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Russell Armstrong lawyer: He had serious financial problems

By Reality TV World staff, 08/16/2011 

Russell Armstrong's lawyer has confirmed the estranged husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong had been having money problems prior to his apparent suicide on Monday night.

"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 about the 47-year-old venture capitalist, whom Taylor Armstrong had filed for divorce from last month, alleging verbal and physical abuse.

"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."

In addition to his financial issues and marital problems -- which had been chronicled on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' first season last year and set to be featured as the show's upcoming second season as well -- Armstrong was also reportedly recently sued by for allegedly misusing more than $1.5 million in funds.

However, Richards told People that Armstrong had not shown any signs of depression prior to his apparent suicide in which his body was found hanging at the Los Angeles home of a friend.

"I'm very shocked by this," Richards said. "Besides being upset about his divorce and its effect on his kids, he didn't show any outward signs of depression."

However, according to a People source close to the couple, Armstrong had been suffering from depression.

"He was depressed," the source said. "He had a lot going on these past few months. The split from Taylor was a long time coming but it still took a big toll on him. He had no money; he was failing in business. It all added up."

During his interview with People, Richards also suggested the couple's The Real Housewives participation had contributed to their marital problems.

"When his wife and him first started the show, I warned them that it would cause undue stress on their marriage," he said. "Being thrust in the spotlight didn't do any favors for Russell and Taylor."

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' second season had been previously scheduled to premiere September 5 on Bravo and include Taylor Armstrong struggling with her loveless marriage and leaning on new The Real Housewives cast member Dana Wilkey for support.

Bravo has not disclosed whether it plans to delay or re-edit the season in light of Armstrong's death, but the network has issued a statement expressing sympathy for his family.

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

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