In the wake of accusations from Russell Armstrong's family that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is responsible for his suicide, Taylor Armstrong has made an eyebrow-raising claim of her own: That the Bravo reality show may have saved her life.
Armstrong gave an interview to KTLA on Tuesday, discussing the aftermath of her estranged husband's suicide and her continued participation on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which premiered its second season just weeks after Armstrong hung himself.
At the beginning of the KTLA interview, the host asked Taylor: Was it appropriate in light of the death of your estranged husband for the show to come back when it did, and/or for the show to come back at all?
I was so wrapped up in everything that was going on at the time, Armstrong said, that that was the last thing on my mind, you know, a reality show in light of everything I was going through?
But I feel as though when we signed up for the show...all six of us agreed that we would tell our...life stories, and it would be the good, the bad and the ugly. And this is obviously the extreme of that.
But at the same time, this is our reality, and that's what we agreed to do. So I feel as though the audience, they've gone on this journey with us. And they wanted to know what was happening in our lives.
There are five other women here, it wasn't just about me, so I don't fault anyone at this point...
The KTLA host pressed on, suggesting the show in part, and the cameras in part, amp things up...If somebody's fragile, arguably they're more fragile.
Someone watching this today might say, 'You know what, Russell Armstrong would still be alive today if not for that show.' Do you think that's a fair thing to say?
No. I don't, Taylor responded firmly.
You know there was a, as I've described, there was a storm happening in my life that was very separate from a camera being there. You know, I was in an abusive relationship for six years, and that was going on, and there was a camera over here filming that, Armstrong continued.
That was my reality and that would not have changed. The only thing I would say is if the cameras were not in my life there is a good chance I wouldn't be sitting here today. A lot of domestic violence situations end in murder/suicide vs. just suicide. I have my daughter with me today and by the grace of God and perhaps reality TV I'm sitting here and so is she.
One commentator then asked Taylor is she considered the consequences of her personal troubles airing on reality television.
I have said I believe that subconsciously I may have signed up for the show to try...try and allow my problems to be in the public eye to some extent because again, it was my saving grace, Taylor said.
You know, going through that for so long and then having the ability to find a platform of my own which is what I really want to focus on now which is helping women who are in dangerous situation find a platform, find a financial source to get them out of that situation so nothing tragic happens.
Another commentator expressed concern that the attention - which comes with more than its fair share of criticism - might be putting too much of a strain on Taylor in light of the recent tragedy. But Armstrong insisted she was doing what she felt was right by staying in the spotlight:
We're all put on this earth with a plan and with a mission and I was handed a very specific mission I feel through the grace of God and a traged... I feel now if I don't go and do something with it then I'm not doing the right thing by other women and men that could potentially be in a dangerous situation.
Another commentator asked Taylor why she would want to get in involved with something that's a train wreck, and just makes you look...you know...like a train wreck?
I guess part of my life was a train wreck for a while so I don't know that I was portrayed in a way that wasn't accurate, Armstrong responded.
When Taylor was asked about another alleged show in the works, she reacted with surprise. I don't have another show in the works, she said.
Towards the end of the interview, Taylor denied being involved with someone from another reality show. While he wasn't named specifically, rumors have been circulating that Taylor is involved with Matt Nordgren from Most Eligible Dallas.
He's adorable....but, no, she said, smiling.
Most Eligible Dallas is also on Bravo, and airs right after The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. This week, Armstrong plugged the show on Twitter.
So should we believe everything Taylor says, or is it fair to suspect the network of putting words in her mouth?
Someone who really does not like the reality star put together a montage of clips that show some of Taylor's inconsistencies -- like what her real name is, and whether Adrienne Maloof is the godmother of her daughter Kennedy. It's not the most objective presentation, but worth a look anyway:
And here's the KTLA interview quoted in this story:
Russell Armstrong, 47, was found dead in August at a friend's Mulholland Drive home. His body was hanging from a beam by an electrical wire, and Taylor was at the home whent the body was discovered.. The coroner ruled his death as a suicide by hanging.
Taylor Armstrong had filed for divorce a few weeks before Russell took his own life.