Russell Armstrong, 'Real Housewives' Husband, Dead of Apparent Suicide

Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:51am EDT

Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead in Los Angeles of an apparent suicide, the city's coroner's office said. He was 47.

He appears to have died by hanging himself, but no cause of death has been finalized, the coroner's office said. No note was found at the house on Mulholland Drive where his body was discovered Monday morning.

Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce last month after six years of marriage to the venture capitalist. The show frequently showcased their on-air fights and she told People he would sometimes grab her, shove her, throw things at her and pull her hair. He told the magazine the show had hurt their relationship.

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"Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were," he said. "This show has literally pushed us to the limit."

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Bravo, which airs the show, said in a statement, "All of us at Bravo are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time."

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The couple were also defendants in a lawsuit seeking $1.5 million, TMZ reported. Armstrong was CEO of a company called called NuWay Digital Systems, Inc., which had an interest in another company, MyMedicalRecords.com. MMR accused Russell of collecting more than a million dollars by selling NDS shares to investors who were told they were getting shares in MMR -- then using the money to invest in a restaurant with Eva Longoria and to redecorate their mansion, according to TMZ. The site said the couple settled with MMR, which then accused them of violating the agreement.

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Russell Armstrong's attorney called the suit a "shakedown."

TMZ reported that Russell Armstrong filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005.

Armstrong said he supported numerous charities, including the 1736 Family Crisis Center, which helps domestic violence survivors, at-risk youth, low-income people, and others in crisis.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by their daughter, 5-year-old Kennedy.

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