Armstrong arrives at Bartels Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey
Taylor Armstrong, from the Bravo reality TV series 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', arrives at the unveiling of artist Jack Armstrong's 'Cosmic Starship' Harley-Davidson motorcycle at Bartels Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey, California October 21, 2010. Reuters

The ex-wife of Russell Armstrong, the late estranged husband of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, blames the reality TV housewife for Russell's apparent suicide.

"I don't care for her at all. I think she's the reason for this," Barbara Frederickson, who has a son with Russell, told "She's not who she says she is and I told him to please be careful with this woman... I warned him! She's bad news and she drove him into this.

"I think she drove him into financial stress and it just ruined him," Frederickson added.

The 47-year-old businessman reportedly hanged himself in a Mulholland Drive home and left no note behind.

Russell Armstrong's lawyer Ronald Richards told TMZ that his client had serious financial problems and was distraught over the breakup of his marriage. Apparently, Russell had been staying with a friend who lived in the home where his body was found.

"I feel bad because his credit cards weren't working," said Richards. "He had tremendous financial problems.

"He was also extremely bummed out about the divorce with Taylor," Richards added. "As far as a will, even if he does have a will, they don't have any assets, so I'm not sure what there would be left to leave."

Taylor Armstrong has asked to be left alone while she absorbs the tragedy.

"Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded. She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter," the reality star's rep said in a statement. "Her thoughts and prayers are also with Russell's 11 and 13 year old sons."

Earlier today, reported that "a source close to the situation" described Taylor Armstrong as being overwhelmed with grief.

She "has been up all night," the source said. "She is hysterical, and can barely speak. She has no idea why Russell would do this. She doesn't know how she is going to be able to tell her daughter, Kennedy."

TMZ reports that Taylor has not yet broken the news to Kennedy.

"She's not emotionally ready to do so just yet," an identified friend told TMZ.

Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce in July after about six years of marriage-- accusing Russell Armstrong of "ongoing physical and verbal abuse" -- the Huffington Post reported.

While the allegations of physical abuse took some of the reality show's viewers by surprise, Russell and Taylor's separation wasn't entirely unexpected. Toward the end of the show's first season, Taylor Armstrong became outspoken about her marital dissatisfactions, and questioned whether she should remain with her husband.

In one episode, Taylor Armstrong threw a lavish birthday party for Kennedy -- seemingly with little support from her husband -- and was shocked when he presented their daughter with the gift of a new puppy in front of their guests. The couple had previously agreed not to give their daugher a pet for her birthday.

Tension between the two was apparent in other instances, when Russell Armstrong wasn't enjoying himself at a particular party or event and Taylor was trying to have a good time. In these cases, Russell was portrayed as controlling and somewhat ill-humored.

While the Armstrongs appeared to be quite wealthy on the show, later reports surfaced that Russell Armstrong was having financial difficulties, and had been for some time. TMZ reported that the businessman filed for bankruptcy in 2005 -- the same year he married Taylor -- after losing much of the money he made in the boom. According to the documents, Armstrong claimed to have under $50,000 in assets.