'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' to debut on Bravo as planned
By Reality TV World staff, 08/31/2011
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' new season will premiere as previously scheduled despite the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Housewives star Taylor Armstrong.
Bravo has announced that while it is re-editing the season's episodes in response to Armstrong's suicide, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will still debut Monday, September 5.
However, due to the suicide, the broadcast will feature a "brief interview" -- presumably the "special" that, according to an earlier Los Angeles Times report, the network filmed Monday -- in which cast members will "introduce" the premiere and also include several public service advertisements about suicide prevention.
"Bravo will proceed with the Monday, September 5 premiere date of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Bravo president Frances Berwick said in a Wednesday media statement.
"Given that these episodes were filmed months ago, the producers of the show taped a brief interview this week with several of the cast members to introduce the premiere. Re-editing of the episodes is still underway."
Earlier this month, the network had confirmed it was re-editingThe Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' upcoming season and considering delaying its debut after Armstrong's body was found hanging on August 16 in the Los Angeles-area home of a friend he had been staying with.
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 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."
Advance screeners of the season's premiere had also shown Taylor Armstrong discussing marriage counseling and attempting to spice up the couple's relationship with lingerie.
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.
"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."