The Tragic Irony of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'

On August 15, 2011, Russell Armstrong, husband of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, took his own life. 
Besides the obvious tragedy that his family and friends had to deal with, Bravo was faced with setting a precedent about how to deal with the dark issues of real people in a reality TV medium that is often full of manufactured, lighthearted drama.

After making the decision to salvage the footage they had been shooting since June 2011, Bravo aired a special ahead of the RHOBH season 2 premiere that showed fellow housewives Kim and Kyle Richards, Adrienne Maloof, Camille Grammer and Lisa Vanderpump along with their husbands gathered to discuss some of their feelings on Russell's death. By doing this, Bravo proved that they were not classless enough to ignore the entire situation or merely capitalize on the viewers the "drama" would bring in. They also pushed back the premiere date in order to edit some of the scenes that contained Russell and Taylor arguing.


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