'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Talk About Russell Armstrong's Suicide

| by Michael Allen

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' executive producer Douglas Ross confirmed on the 'Today' show that Russell Armstrong, the late husband of star Taylor Armstrong, would not be appearing in the first few episodes.

Ross stated: "In the first few episodes that we've finished editing, Russell is not included in these episodes. But it is important to know that Taylor's story is told throughout the season."
Media reports of the series premiere said that some elements of the couple's deteriorating relationship would be aired, but Ross confirmed that Bravo had made "some adjustments" in order to be "respectful and responsible."

Cast members Adrienne Maloof, Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump also appeared on the broadcast to lend their thoughts about Taylor and the situation.

"She was very beside herself," said Maloof. "I think her concern is her little girl now. It's heart breaking."

"We spent a couple of evenings with her this week," added Vanderpump. "She's trying to digest everything. We've tried to be as supportive as possible but her priority is her little girl. It's been very very sad."

Kyle Richards shared: "I always saw him as being reserved and quiet. I knew that they had their issues. But no-one could have anticipated something like that."

'Today' host Savannah Guthrie asked if appearing on the reality show had "racked up the pressure" on Russell.

"We lead and they follow," said Vanderpump. "We create and they document. I've never felt any responsibility to bring drama. If you follow the lives of six people over a year, and we've all had some major issues in the last year and a half, they just tell the accurate story."

Their responses came just days after Russell's mother Jo Ann Hotchkiss released a statement expressing her dissatisfaction that the season would not be delayed: "When I was informed of this, I thought, "I hope Bravo will take the high road and keep it tasteful. Let's not murder my son twice."

Hotchkiss claimed: "I began to notice things starting to fray when the television thing came into being, and I was very concerned. The program itself really brought him down."

However, Kyle Richards reiterated that Russell had signed up for season one and came back for another: "When we started the show, they cast six women and they didn't really know anything about our story."