Taylor Armstrong secretly revealed to cast members she was beaten so badly by Russell Armstrong she had to undergo surgery– and when he found out she spilled the beans, he sent Camille Grammer a threatening email…this according to multiple sources connected with the show.
The story goes on to report that Armstrong was hospitalized as a result of the beating. She tried to keep the abuse a secret but, because her face was bruised, she couldn’t show up for work and worried she’d be fired. Apparently, Armstrong confided in Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards who urged her to tell Bravo the truth about the abuse. When Taylor told Russell about her talk with her costars, he sent Grammer a threatening email.
The source for this story is TMZ which we all know is not the New York Times. But the New York Times also probably considers itself above following ‘gossip’ about Reality TV, even if the story is really about domestic violence, a drastically under-reported crime. If the TMZ story is true, it shouldn’t be hard to prove– there would be medical treatment, an email, and the reports of others on the show.
Yesterday, after reading so much media demonizing Reality TV for its role in making private ‘marital strains’ public, putting undue pressure on a quiet man who didn’t care about fame and helping to lead him to suicide, I posted: Did Reality TV save Taylor Armstrong?
Did being on Reality TV– the exposure, money, fame, and power, that came with it– help to make Taylor one of the rare women to speak out? Because she was not invisible but exposed, was she, on some level, more protected against further violence than the millions of other women? As the stats above cite, three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
Obviously, I have no idea what was going on in Russell Armstrong’s head or in Taylor’s. Obviously this is all sad on many levels, but Reality TV’s role in bringing public awareness to the ‘private’ issue of domestic violence is not the tragedy in this story.