Russell Armstrong says “Bravo bastards” created “bullshit,” but he liked the publicity

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Russell Armstrong, who killed himself last week, said in an interview before his death that Bravo was “evil” and that he had been turned into a “pathetic stock character”–but he also admits the publicity was helpful, which may explain why he’d agree to do a second season.

The interview was with The Fix, a web site about addiction and recovery that Russell wanted to invest in and promote using the Bravo reality show, in part because his younger sister previously had an addiction to crystal meth.

“Everything you see on that show is bullshit. Those Bravo bastards take every little argument out of context and just magnify it. They think that tension drives ratings, and of course they’re right. At first I was angry about all the bullshit, but then I realized it’s not so bad to be a celebrity. The thing is, all the publicity has been great for my business. Taylor and I lie in bed watching these stories about our terrible marriage, and we laugh,” Russell said during the June interview.

Russell described Taylor as “sensitive, sweet woman…kind of like an angel. She is everything to me” and also said “We are really, really happy.” The interviewer notes that it seemed like he was trying too hard to make their relationship seem good, and just two weeks later, Taylor filed for divorce.

Russell’s sister, Laurie Kelso, told The Fix that Russell is “not the man they’re saying he is” and added, “My brother is not gay. He’s not into S&M. His biggest mistake was falling in love with Taylor, which is a form of masochism, I guess.” She also said “Taylor is a liar and a thief. Her entire life’s ambition was to become a Housewife–you know, she was pregnant when they got married. She wanted a man, she wanted tons of money. and she wanted to be in the limelight. She’s just a gold-digger who reinvented herself and dragged my brother down in the process.”

Her family says they will sue Bravo for $50 million, and Laurie told The Fix, “I hold Bravo absolutely responsible for Russell’s death. When the show first started, he thought these people were his friends, but they ended up stabbing him in the back.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.