Russell Armstrong sober at time of death: coroner

LOS ANGELES Wed Sep 7, 2011 6:52pm EDT

1 of 2. The cast of Bravo's new reality series 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Camille Grammer, Adrienne Maloof, Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Lisa Vanderpump and Taylor Armstrong (L-R) pose at the premiere party in Los Angeles October 11, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Russell Armstrong, the husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he committed suicide, authorities said on Wednesday.

The toxicology finding by the Los Angeles County coroner's department comes three weeks after Armstrong, a venture capitalist, was found dead on August 16 after hanging himself in the bedroom of his Los Angeles home.

He was reported to be deeply in debt, and Taylor Armstrong had filed for divorce. Their marriage troubles were expected to be a key storyline in the new season of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," which debuted this past Monday with an opening segment in which the women discussed Armstrong's suicide.

A toxicology report is routine for Los Angeles coroner's investigations, which require time to complete tests to uncover any alcohol and drug use.

Aside from not being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, Armstrong also was not using prescription medication when he hung himself last month with a piece of electrical cord, said assistant chief coroner Ed Winter.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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