August 16th, 2011
03:51 PM ET
Real life is often sloppy, tragic, ugly, embarrassing, unglamorous and not made for TV.
That is the sad truth that lurks just outside of camera range, waiting to reveal itself to today’s reality TV culture. Unfortunately, it just got revealed.
This just in: It appears Russell Armstrong killed himself. His beautiful, blond wife, Taylor Armstrong, of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fame had filed for divorce just last month. She claimed he was physically abusive to her. The celebrity gossip sites had a field day.
News reports claimed other women from his past had gotten restraining orders against him and that he had a rap sheet. And then there were the reported money problems that claimed this former venture capitalist was deep in debt.
This can be a symptom of trying to appear wealthy in that parallel universe known as Beverly Hills. It doesn’t take a forensic psychologist to do the math. Public downfalls are more painful and humiliating than private ones. This man appeared to be on a long, slow-motion tumble down a steep hill in D-lister country.
Fame is often called a deal with the devil. Reality show fame is a really bad deal with the devil. At one point Russell even told People magazine, “This show has literally pushed us to the limit.” Cast members, meanwhile, are tweeting their condolences.
My heart goes out to his 5-year-old daughter, whom he had with Taylor, and his son from a previous relationship.
We're talking more about this shocking twist in what once appeared to be a fairytale, Hollywood romance. What could have led to this tragedy? Was it the pressure of reality TV? That’s tonight on "Issues" at 7 p.m. ET.
Watch ISSUES with Jane Velez-Mitchell Monday through Sunday at 7pm ET on HLN. For the latest from ISSUES click here.
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