On Saturday (Jan. 7), Bravo’s Andy Cohen — the exec turned “Real Housewives” reunion mediator turned talk show host — refused to accept any responsibility for the death of Russell Armstrong, the late husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” co-star Taylor Armstrong, who committed suicide in August 2011, just days before the premiere of the show’s current season.
“He was given the option to not come back or come back and he chose to come back,” Cohen said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “He had spoken to producers a lot vocally about how it had helped his business being on the show, so you know, I can’t speak to that.”
Police ruled Armstrong’s death a suicide by hanging. He was reportedly suffering from legal troubles and had filed for divorce a month before his death.
“We had many discussions as you can imagine for a long time about how to do the serious discussions,” said Cohen when asked about Bravo’s decision to go ahead with the season after Armstrong’s death, “and I think what emerged is the story of a woman trying to extricate herself from a bad, broken marriage in which she was unhappy and in which domestic violence played a part. And that was the story that wound up emerging from the season.”