The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills's Taylor Armstrong is in seclusion at her Los Angeles home in the wake of her estranged husband's apparent suicide. Her rep released this statement: "Taylor is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded. She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter."
Taylor was reportedly there when Russell Armstrong's body was discovered at his friend's home in the Hollywood Hills. She came to the house when he failed to show up for a meeting. Then the homeowner found the body in a bedroom and immediately called 911. He'd apparently hanged himself.
Now there's a national debate about whether the portrayal of the couple drove Russell Armstrong to kill himself.
In the season premiere, released before Russell's death, it's clear his crumbling marriage would be a main focus of the second season.
In recent weeks, Russell had said, "This show has literally pushed us to the limit," and reality TV "destroyed my life."
Russell's friend William Ratner tells INSIDE EDITION he was apprehensive about the second season focusing on his marriage problems.
"Season two, he said, was basically, he told me, it was a nightmare. He was going to look like a nightmare couple and towards the middle of the season he said to me, 'I have a producer friend on the show and he said that, "You didn't hear it from me, but they picked you guys to be a couple that would explode," ' " said Ratner.
A representative for Bravo, which airs The Real Housewives franchise, says, "Production has assured us that there is no truth to these claims."
After Taylor accused Russell of physical and verbal abuse in their divorce papers filed just last month, she was photographed with a cut above her eye. But her friends say she was simply injured during a game of football.
In a recent interview with People magazine, Russell had this to say about the abuse allegations: "Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were."
Russell was also having major money problems. The pressure of trying to maintain a Real Housewives lifestyle had driven the venture capitalist to financial ruin, according to his lawyer, Ronald Richards.
"They ended up trying to finance a lifestyle of millionaires that they were not even close to that economic bracket," said Richards.
No one is more familiar with the pressures of reality TV than Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House crashers who then appeared on The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C.
Michaele told INSIDE EDITION, "I would hear things about myself and sometimes I felt like, 'Gosh, how can I endure this?' It is a lot to go through."