Taylor Armstrong is returning to television on the second season of Peacock’s The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip. Taylor, 51, was an original cast member on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with the likes of Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump. When the long-running Bravo series premiered in 2010, Taylor was married to Russell Armstrong and they were living luxuriously with their daughter Kennedy Caroline Armstrong, who is now 16. However, Taylor’s co-stars, as well as the viewers, eventually learned that Taylor was secretly being abused by Russell. Their marriage ended in a devastating tragedy and the aftermath was explored on the show.
Taylor left RHOBH after the third season and got remarried years later to John Bluher. She’s stayed away from reality television since then, aside from this new season of RHUGT that premieres June 23. Here’s everything you need to know about Taylor’s two marriages and the heartbreak that occurred in the first.
What Happened To Taylor Armstrong’s First Husband?
Taylor met Russell, a venture capitalist, while she was waitressing at a restaurant in Beverly Hills in 2005. They got married less than a year later and then Taylor gave birth to their daughter Kennedy in 2006. When RHOBH started in 2010, fans instantly saw conflict between Taylor and Russell play out but she always put on a brave face and hid the truth from the cameras. There were rumors that Russell was experiencing financial issues and was abusing his wife, but Taylor didn’t confirm it in the first season.
In season 2, Camille Grammer exposed on-camera that Taylor was being abused by Russell. It was revealed that he hit her so hard he caused an orbital fracture that required reconstructive surgery. Taylor suffered a breakdown during the season, which years later spawned into the famous cat meme. In July 2011, after filming for season two concluded, Taylor filed for divorce and accused Russell of verbal and physical abuse.
On August 15, 2011, Russell was found dead after he committed suicide by hanging. Russell’s first wife Barbara Armstrong, with whom he shared two sons, blamed Taylor for the tragedy. “I don’t care for her at all. I think she’s the reason for this,” Barbara told Radar Online. Russell’s suicide happened before the second season of RHOBH premiered, so production partially edited him out. They also had the RHOBH cast, sans Taylor, react to Russell’s passing in a scene that kicked off the season.
Taylor Armstrong’s Second Husband
Taylor stayed on RHOBH for one more season in the aftermath of Russell’s death. Following the show, Taylor met lawyer John Bluher who was helping her deal with financial and legal issues. John was separated but still legally married to Stephanie Bluher, the mother of his three children, when he fell in love with Taylor. After John finalized his divorce, he proposed to the reality star in August 2013 in Mexico. They got married in April 2014 in a beachside ceremony in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. Taylor was escorted down the aisle by her then-8-year-old daughter Kennedy in front of over 100 guests, including some of her former RHOBH co-stars.
Taylor and John are still together today. He’s adopted Kennedy as his daughter and the family of three resides in Orange County, Calif. Taylor’s been open about how grateful she is to have found love after experiencing an abusive first marriage. “That’s why I believe I’m married now because I would’ve never trusted anyone again,” she recently told US Weekly. “After all the lies that were built in my previous relationship, having someone that just stood by me, it was the reason that I trust him so much, and we became best friends.” We’ll see if Taylor discusses either marriage on season two of Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip.