LOS ANGELES — Bravo has opted to re-edit footage from the second season of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in light of the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband of one of the show's stars, Taylor Armstrong. The network has yet to decide if the premiere date, originally set for Sept. 5, will be moved.
Frances Berwick, President of Bravo Media, said in a statement: "Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision whether to change the original premiere date, but we are in the process of reediting the show."
A spokesperson from Bravo declined to specify if Armstrong's appearance will be eliminated completely or if his involvement will be restructured and marginalized.
"I have requested they edit out the entire story line," Ronald Richards, Armstrong's attorney, told the Los Angeles Times, who said he is waiting to hear whether the network would comply with his request. Doing so would mean taking out footage of Taylor and the couple's 5-year-old daughter Kennedy.
Armstrong was found dead at a Mulholland Drive home on Monday night; the cause of death was suicide by hanging, autopsy reports confirmed. His death prompted many to wonder how the network would move forward with the season, given Armstrong's role in wife Taylor's story line. Much of the second season was supposed to chronicle the couple as their marital woes played out.
In a screener of the upcoming season premiere, which was mailed to television media a couple of weeks ago, Taylor is shown buying lingerie in an attempt to spice up their love life and discussing their attempt at couples therapy. A source familiar with the situation told The Times that Bravo filmed the couple's therapy sessions — something a network spokesperson wouldn't confirm. Taylor filed for divorce in July.
Cutting footage of Russell, while still keeping Taylor in the show, would be a glaring reminder of Armstrong's death. And editing Taylor out completely seems almost impossible given how many group activities take place in the series.
A source close to Taylor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the "Real Housewives" star has been "too devastated to deal with any career or business matters just yet." He indicated Taylor's camp had been in talks with the network but could not elaborate on how Taylor's story line would be reorganized.