'Real Housewives' Gather to Discuss Husband's Suicide

Cast of reality series gathered to discuss the suicide of Russell Armstrong.

ByABC News
September 6, 2011, 3:05 AM

Sept. 6, 2011— -- "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" got off to an unconventionally somber start when the cast of the hit reality TV series got together to discuss the recent suicide of cast member Taylor Armstrong's husband Russell Armstrong.

Monday night's season premiere kicked off with an introduction that was taped last week, which had the cast gathered at housewife Adrienne Maloof's home. The controversial episode, which aired on the Bravo network just three weeks after Russell Armstrong took his life, featured cast members sharing their feelings about his suicide and speculating on reasons why he killed himself.

"I mean there's plenty of men that you know their wives hate them," Kyle Richards said on Monday night's premiere. "But you know they don't kill themselves. She cannot feel responsible for that. Nobody can. It was his choice."

Richards, an actress and the aunt of fellow reality television star Paris Hilton, went on to speculate on the reasons for the venture capitalist's suicide. There was no note found when Armstrong's body was found at his Los Angeles home August 15 after he apparently hung himself. He was 47.

"Financial status is so important [here], you need to keep this front of what you have. "That's all he ever wanted to be -- be successful and be a venture capitalist … when it all went down the tubes it was too much pressure," she said.

At the time of his death, Armstrong was more than $1.5 million in debt as a result of trying to keep up with expectations for the lavish lifestyle portrayed on the show, his lawyer told ABCNews.com.

Richards' husband Mauricio Umansky also shared his feelings on the death of his friend.

"I've gone from you know feeling really sad, to at times you know … have felt very angry, wanting to think that it's … a very selfish act," he said.

After Armstrong's suicide there was much speculation as to whether Bravo would air the upcoming season of the show, which was said to heavily focus on the unraveling of the marriage of the Armstrongs.

After adjustments, Armstrong will reportedly not appear in the first four episodes, producer Douglas Ross told NBC today.

"When we heard about the tragedy, of course all hearts went out to Taylor," Ross said. "But we, with all of the network, took a hard look at the show and … we decided to make some adjustments where appropriate in light of the circumstances."

Though Taylor Armstrong did not appear on the season premiere's introduction, she was featured on one of the episode's tensest moments, filmed before her husband's death, when she discussed her rapidly unraveling marriage.

"We're knee deep into so much psycho therapy that I'm sick of myself," Armstrong said.

At that point, housewife Lisa Vanderpump's husband Ken Todd tells here: "If I had to go to see a therapist to make my marriage better, I would feel weak."

Melanie Bromley, West Coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine told ABC News that there will most likely be similar moments coming down the pipeline.

"They think it's the right decision to continue on with the show but to make some changes in the edit room. And that means to edit out a lot of Russell's appearances, she said. "They're already showing us that they're not going to cut out every single part of this story."