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'Housewives' premiere to air despite suicide

Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. Armstrong's autopsy results were released on Wednesday, confirming that his death was suicide. On Monday, Los Angeles authorities found the 47-year-old hanging from an electrical cord in a bedroom at a Hollywood Hills home where he had been staying, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned. No suicide note was found. 'The cause of death is hanging and the final manner of death is suicide,' Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told Us magazine, adding that Armstrong 'was last known to be alive the 12th, Friday. It was the last time the roommate had a conversation with him.' The L.A. Coroner's Office said on Wednesday that a toxicology test is pending. 'Taylor Armstrong is devastated at the tragic events that have unfolded,' her spokesperson said in a press statement. 'She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter.' Taylor Armstrong, 40, had filed for divorce a month earlier, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking legal and primary physical custody of their 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy. She also claimed that her husband had abused her physically and verbally. At the time, he did not comment on her accusations. He and Taylor Armstrong married in 2005 and are said to have separated about two months ago. Their troubled relationship was documented on the first season of 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' which aired in 2010. The second season of the Bravo reality show is scheduled to debut on September 5. 'My condolences go out to the Armstrong family,' Dana Wilkey, who just joined the cast and is set to make her debut on the show during the upcoming season, said in a statement to OnTheRedCarpet.com. 'I am shocked and devastated, I am here for Taylor Armstrong and Kennedy Armstrong in any capacity that they need me and will do anything in my power to support them as they move through this difficult time.' A Bravo statement posted on the cable network's Twitter page said: 'All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of Russell Armstrong. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time.' Camille Grammer, who starred on the show's debut season and who is the ex-wife of 'Frasier' actor Kelsey Grammer, also expressed her condolences. 'My sympathy and condolences go out to Taylor and Kennedy,' she Tweeted. 'My thoughts and prayers are with them.' Cast member Lisa Vanderpump expressed her condolences through her Pomeranian, Giggy's Twitter account writing, 'A very sad time...I look at life a little differently today..my heart aches for @TaylorArmstrong.' Russell Armstrong worked as an investment Banker and venture capitalist and was the founding managing director of Crescent Financial Partners. He filed for bankruptcy in 2005, records show, and in July of this year, he and Taylor Armstrong were sued for more than $1.5 million by MyMedicalRecords.com for alleged breach of contract. The firm accused the couple of pocketing some $1 million from people who had invested in a company called NuWay Digital Systems, claiming that the pair misused the funds to 'live a lavish lifestyle.' Russell Armstrong's lawyer has denied any wrongdoing by his client, according to People magazine. (Pictured: Taylor Armstrong and her husband Russell Armstrong appear in this photo posted on her Facebook page on Nov. 26, 2010.) (facebook.com/pages/Taylor-Armstrong)

August 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The season premiere of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" will air as planned next Monday despite the suicide of a cast member, according to Bravo.

The network's president Frances Berwick said Wednesday that producers taped interviews with other cast members to introduce the premiere.

Bravo will also air several suicide prevention public service announcements during the show.

Russell Armstrong, whose wife, Taylor, is one of the "Real Housewives," hanged himself on Aug. 15. He left no note. The couple's marital strife was a story line in the reality show's first season, and was expected to be a feature of the upcoming second season.

Berwick did not go into detail about what type of editing would be done on the series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.