“Russell Armstrong was found in a bedroom last night and was pronounced dead at 8:16pm. He had hanged himself and there was no suicide note. At this time no foul play is suspected. An autopsy is pending, there will possibly be one done on Wednesday or Thursday,” Ed Winter of the Los Angeles Coroner’s office tells HollywoodLife.com.
Winter adds, “We are hearing reports that Russell Armstrong had been staying with a friend when his body was found hanging in a bedroom. He was not at his own home. Apparently it was his friend who called 911.”
Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce from Russell in July 15 — exactly a month before Russell’s suicide — citing irreconcilable differences. The pair have a 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy.
“Taylor is shocked, devastated and beside herself. Her friends are flying from all over to be with her right now. Her daughter is safe and with her,” a source close to Taylor tells us.
Bravo also released a statement to us: “All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time.”
In the days leading up to Russell’s suicide, Taylor showed no sign that relations between the pair had deteriorated more than usual. Another source who hung out with Taylor and a group of her girlfriends over the weekend tells us, “She was as cool as sh** this weekend. There was nothing wrong with her. She didn’t even bring up Russell during our conversation. She was happy and everything is great. It’s so shocking. It’s such a surprise. It’s so crazy he hung himself.”
Russell himself was under a lot of pressure, his lawyer told TMZ. “I feel bad because his credit cards weren’t working … He had tremendous financial problems,” Ronald Richards said.
Ronald added that Russell was upset over the end of his marriage. “He was also extremely bummed out about the divorce with Taylor. 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. I am extremely saddened … I had no idea he was depressed.”
On the show, Russell and Taylor’s marital strife was on full display. They fought constantly — over things like their daughter’s birthday party — and Taylor never felt like she could talk to her husband the way that some of her co-stars could.
Russell had an abusive past. Two of his exes accused him of domestic violence and both filed restraining orders.
— Reporting by Sandra Clarke, Chloe Melas and David Caplan
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