Taylor Armstrong Talks In Detail About Being Abused

After the suicide of her estranged husband, Russell Armstrong, Taylor Armstrong of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” largely laid low. Then last week, a photo of Taylor with a black eye surfaced—apparently, she gave the evidence of the fact that she was abused by Russell to “Entertainment Tonight.” Last night, the show aired its segment with Taylor. In it, she talks in detail about being beaten. “The first time he ever really harmed me physically, I was pregnant with Kennedy and he grabbed me by the throat and held me up against a wall. Nothing had really happened to set him off, so I saw his ability to go from zero to 60 that quickly,” Taylor explained. “I had made pizza for his children before he got home from work, and he came into the master bedroom and grabbed me by the neck and shoved me against the wall and he said, `If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I’ll kill you.'”

How terrifying. Taylor explains that she lived in a state of fear with Russell. “You live your life constantly on eggshells waiting for the other shoe to drop,” she said, in tears. “You don’t know if you’re going to talk to your girlfriend too long at dinner and that’s going to cause someone to fly into a rage.” She estimates that there were about 20 incidents of abuse over the course of their marriage.

Taylor says that Russell was careful not to leave visible marks on her during his beatings. And she also said that he showed extreme remorse for his actions. “I don’t think he saw himself as an abuser until the last time he hurt me, when I finally ended our relationship,” Taylor explained. “My requiring surgery, he finally had to look it in the face. I had never seen my husband cry in all the years we were together. When I finally showed him the MRI he just put it down and started to cry. And I think it was him having to come to terms with the fact that this had gone on for too long, and that this time he really could’ve hurt me beyond what could’ve been repaired.”

Wow. Such a sad story on so many levels.

But I have such mixed feelings about this interview. On the one hand, I think it is hugely brave of Taylor to step forward and talk about being abused. To show that this can happen to anyone and can go on in relationships that seem—for the large part—normal. I applaud her for being open about why she decided to end her marriage and what it took to walk away. Hopefully she’ll be an inspiration to other women who are being abused.

But the other part of the story is that Russell committed suicide. Only a month ago. So I wish that Taylor had waited longer before telling her story, out of respect for the dead—who she clearly did love, even if their relationship was extremely troubled. I also hope that rumors she was paid $125K for the interview aren’t at all true, as that doesn’t seem right either.

What do you think—is it right for Taylor to step forward at this point and talk about being abused?

[Huffington Post]
[NY Post]

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