Fired 'Real Housewives' Star Jill Zarin, Show Is 'Toxic'


Zarin Gives Advice to Taylor Armstrong

The couple's failed marriage had been a central plot line in Season 1. Following his death, Russell Armstrong's friends and family accused the show of leading to his suicide, saying he crumbled under the spotlight and expectations he felt to perform for the show.

Bravo premiered Season 2 of the show this month as planned, just three weeks after Armstrong's suicide.

Taylor Armstrong, who has a five-year-old daughter with Russell, agreed to continue as a cast member on the show, and has since gone public with graphic allegations of her husband's abuse during their marriage.

"He would say to me, 'I am afraid I am going to kill you one day,'" she told "Entertainment Tonight" in an interview this week.

Ronald Richards, the attorney for Russell Armstrong, issued a statement to ABC News in response to the allegations from Taylor.

"The shameful exploitation of Russell Armstrong's reputation by others raises numerous ethical legal questions about tabloid journalism. At no time prior to Mr. Armstrong's death did Taylor Armstrong file a police or medical report indicating she was the victim of domestic violence. Specifically, the photos she sold to ET are undated, unauthenticated, and lack any indicia of veracity to support the contention by her that my client ever caused injuries like the ones depicted in those hawked photos. The fact that ET paid a lot of money for them or the fact that all of Taylor Armstrong's life is for sale by her does not transmogrify fiction into fact. The motive behind her attempts to connect those photos with abuse by Russell Armstrong is simple: The allegation increased the market value of those photos and ET was a willing buyer of her concocted and imaginary lifestyle as well as her fallacious claims against her former spouse," he said.

Zarin, after four years in the reality TV spotlight, would advise Taylor to stay out of the spotlight she now finds herself in.

"Honestly, I wouldn't talk to the press or anyone for six months to a year," Zarin told "GMA." "I would buckle down with my family and I probably wouldn't come back on the show. It hasn't been good to her."

"I can't imagine watching her crying as much as she does," Zarin said. "But if she needs the money, she's got to do what she's got to do to support her family."

Despite the wealthy pretense the "Real Housewives" franchise is built on, money is often what drives women like Zarin, and now Armstrong, to put their lives in front of the camera, despite the personal toll.

The real pay-off of reality TV stardom is not the paycheck, Zarin says, but the long-term branding opportunity the show presents.

"You don't get rich doing a reality show," she said.

Zarin has parlayed her four years on the show into her own veritable home network line of products, from endorsements, to a book, a jewelry line, on-air plugs for her family's fabric store and now a line of SKWEEZ COUTUR lingerie.

That opportunity to now squeeze her 15 minutes-of-fame even further has allowed Zarin to take her firing in stride.

"The show was my platform," she said on "GMA." "So if I look at it that it was a free infomercial, so be it."

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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