TELEVISION OPINION: Playing With Reality. Character used to be who you were when no one was looking. Now it’s only what you portray when you’re being watched. People change when they know eyes are on them. A new series takes a look at people who seem to live for an audience.
IF YOU ARE BEING ABUSED, PLEASE VISIT WWW.THEHOTLINE.ORG OR CALL 1(800) 799-7233 (SAFE)
Author’s note: As a survivor of domestic violence, I have never questioned another woman’s claims of abuse. However, in this case, it is impossible not to do so. Ms. Armstrong has a history of perpetrating fraud, has been caught in numerous lies, and has told glaringly ridiculous tall tales about this situation with obviously false details that change almost daily. To not question her claims would be to stick my head in the sand and completely relinquish all critical thinking skills that I possess as a human being. I may as well just turn over my purse and bank account to her if I am going to do that. And as you can tell from this article, that will not be happening any time soon.
As the Internet meme goes, Something in the milk ain’t clean.
Taylor Armstrong, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has been on one impressive press junket as of late, promoting her tell-all book Hiding From Reality, in which she basically crucifies her husband Russell Armstrong, who killed himself (or did he?) around approx. August 13, 2011 - his body was found August 15, 2011 (Note: thanks for asking me to clarify this -CB). RadarOnline announced on September 3, 2011, that she had signed the deal for this book, and for that reason, among many, many others – most of which are Taylor’s own stories not matching up – there are many viewers of the show that doubt Taylor’s claims of abuse, and feel that if there was abuse in the relationship, the victim may have actually been Russell Armstrong.
Much has been made of the only piece of evidence of abuse Taylor is able to present, which would be the infamous black eye photos that she sold to Entertainment Tonight immediately after Russell’s death (when he was unable to protest their validity?) These photos are in question for the following reasons:
Originally, she presented the black-eye photographs to ET as being the result of Russell striking her. However, in more recent interviews, she has been forced to state that these images were bruising because of her surgery due to the orbital collapse. So which is it? It is, of course, due to something other than Russell striking her, as the timeline does not add up. During the period when Russell allegedly struck Taylor, she made many public appearances without a black eye.
Why, then, did she show up at SUR with a black eye as “proof” that she was being abused, attempting to pass this off as being the same injury? She actually never came out at that point and said, “Russell hit me.” She said, “Russell and I had an argument and it got physical and I got hurt.” The timing of the SUR episode is pretty important, and it does NOT match up at all to when Taylor says Russell threw the “roundhouse punch” that allegedly caused this orbital collapse. The bruising would, however, coincide with her surgery, which she conveniently does not mention. The only record Taylor posted online was a CT scan report by a radiologist, for a CT scan taken June 22. Her book, however, states she had an MRI scan on June 26. Again, things don’t match up. Interestingly, the CT report she posted did not have a recommendation in it for surgery; it listed no recommendations at all and was merely a report on the scan, and stated not a “collapse”, but a 4mm depression.
During Season Two, Russell Armstrong sent an email out to Lisa, as well as a couple of the other ladies, that contained a magazine cover with Taylor and the lede, “I TOOK IT TOO FAR”. The article contained within spoke of how Taylor had an “event” and had been taking diet pills to whittle away her already extremely thin figure. Russell sent the email to defend Taylor against remarks about how thin she was, apparently wanting to prove she had intended to be so thin, and that it was not a result of their relationship problems as everyone was assuming (partly because of Taylor, of which Russell was unaware). During the Second season, Taylor’s behavior is very erratic and she is very moody – hell, let’s face it, she’s a powder keg ready to blow at any moment – and her swings in mood, loss of weight, etc, could be signs of hypoglycemia, or just plain not eating. Her hair is also extremely thin. Thinning hair is a symptom of malnutrition. So are fragile bones.
Also in the second season of the series, Taylor goes to see Dr. Paul Nassif for filler injections to fill out the deep hollows in her face at her temples, cheeks and jaw. She has done interviews with Andy Cohen of Bravo speaking about her heavy Botox use and joking about how she cannot move her forehead and must open her mouth in an exaggerated fashion to express a look of surprise when she feels that emotion, as she cannot express it using her frozen forehead. So she is obviously 1)a heavy Botox and filler user and 2)so dangerously thin that her face is hollowed out to the point of unattractiveness and has to be cosmetically altered in order to look somewhat normal. (see picture below for a good shot of her concave cheekbones)
So why would the issues of bone fragility and Botox be so important? As it turns out, an orbital collapse can be caused by too much Botox, a sinus infection, or even a sneeze (imagine that – a forceful sneeze, and fragile bones.) And while rare, orbital blowouts do occur from a condition caused by a reaction to the toxin in Botox. Called “Silent Sinus Syndrome“, it is a rare presentation after Botulinum Toxin Injection:
Silent sinus syndrome is a unique diagnosis characterized by spontaneous enophthalmos and hypoglobus resulting from collapse of the orbital floor secondary to chronic subclinical sinusitis. Although reported in the ophthalmology and otolaryngology literature, there is no mention of silent sinus syndrome in the plastic surgery literature. The authors present a case report, along with a brief overview of silent sinus syndrome, so that knowledge of this rare but potentially devastating clinical entity may supplement plastic surgeons’ differential to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
A chronic sinusitis infection can spread to the eye socket, causing an orbital blowout, reduced vision, and even permanent blindness. Additionally, anorectics are known to break bones easily due to malnutrition. And apparently, under the right conditions, even something as simple as a forceful sneeze can cause an orbital floor collapse.
If this is not enough, consider:
Taylor has stated that she has given Russell’s sons each a suit of their father’s and is making them a scrapbook. Russell’s first wife Barbara has stated publicly that Taylor has done no such thing.
Taylor states that she is in contact with Russell’s father and that they exchange letters. To date, the elder Mr. Armstrong has not heard one word from her.
She has stated that there was a suitcase by Russell’s body with “all sorts of papers I’m afraid to touch lest I be sued for them”. There is nothing on the coroner’s report to indicate any such suitcase ever existed or was found near Russell’s body.
Originally the story Taylor told during the Housewives reunion regarding Russell knocking out Taylor’s friend’s teeth was told to Radar, and in that version the friend was a business associate of Russell’s, and the man needed all new teeth and mouth reconstruction; in the new version, he needs new veneers, he is Taylor’s friend, and it takes place near a pool with another friend of Taylor’s and two dogs present, along with a lot more drama (including “drownding” and pit bulls who “can’t swim” – pit bulls actually can swim and do not “sink to the bottom of the pool like a brick” as Taylor asserts in her book.) Also, that entire pool fight story was pretty unbelievable anyway. At the link, you can read an excerpt from her book describing this incident as compared to how she described it at the Housewives reunion. In the book, she says her friend Jennifer talked to the police, stating that Russell tried to kill Taylor. If this is true, why is there no police report, and why did the police do nothing? It does not matter if Taylor asked the injured man not to press charges, it does not matter if Taylor asked the police not to press charges on her behalf. When there is a domestic disturbance, especially one with injuries, there is most certainly a report and someone has to go to jail. This is the law, and is such because most abuse victims are too afraid of their abusers to press charges, or to even tell police they have been abused for fear of retribution. Police therefore determine who is at fault and someone is going to the pokey, if there has been an assault. So why did they not at least track Russell down and make a report?
Taylor repeatedly says that she left Russell, and says that her book is to help others to “get the courage to leave” like she did – but Russell left her. She even states this herself on the episode “A Day Late, An Apology Short (<-WATCH NOW)”. How many abusers willingly leave their homes when their victims request they do so? During the same episode she says they will co-parent. Why would she not seek sole custody of her child? Why would she allow an abuser to co-parent a five year old child?
She states repeatedly that she did not leave the relationship for financial reasons, and that she was financially abused. But of all the Housewives, it is Taylor that is seen spending the most frivolously. She insists she never had access to bank accounts and never even dared to ask Russell about finances, so as not to seem like a golddigger, but had no problem crowing about how she married Russell because he was “richer than Texas” on television. She never seemed to have a problem funding her shopping sprees, purchasing Barbie diamond necklaces for all twenty-five of her daughter’s $60K birthday party guests, as well as making sure to get a $4K rock for herself while she had the card out. (Yet oddly, for daughter Kennedy’s fifth birthday, while Taylor spent thousands for her daughter’s cake, and tens of thousands for her party, it was also the birthday of one of Russell’s sons. She got him a $15 cake from Costco, and his birthday was never acknowledged by the band there to sing a special birthday song to Kennedy, who also got a horse to ride for her Western themed shindig.)
Taylor’s resume also lists impressive degrees, and businesses she owns include a chocolatier and a greeting card company. In fact, she bragged at one point on camera to Linda Thompson that her wedding invitations were printed by her own company. This is a woman who was at a loss financially? A woman who was a SAP consultant for large Fortune 500 firms? A woman who owned several companies and was a Creative Director for BeautyTicket.com, for which she was nominated a Women in Business Award? A woman involved in philanthropic work? This clearly professional woman had no career prospects whatsoever to support herself and her child? How does this happen? She attempts to explain this in an interview with Fox Financial News, but as usual, says a lot of words without really saying much of anything, except “I didn’t know anything, I was controlled, I was a robot, I am from the moon, I speak with a moon accent.”
Although… in this interview, she does say, “I get a lot of letters from all over the world, from a lot of women all the time, you know, and they’re always asking me…”
Really? Since February 7, 2012, when your book came out, you get lots of letters from all over the world with women ALWAYS asking you?
Wow. That is some amazing hyperbole. I must say I am impressed. Is that Elliott Mintz? That sounds like one of Mintz’s. Who’s baby is that? I’ll buy that. What’s your angle?
Give me a break.
This article could continue to outline Ms. Armstrong’s many falsehoods, untruths, and flat-out lies, but the Internet is only so big, and there is only so much room allotted here.
The real question is not, is Taylor Armstrong telling the truth? About what, exactly? Did she say water is wet? That is true. I won’t argue that point with her. The real question is, what does Taylor Armstrong have to gain by discrediting the memory of her deceased husband, causing his surviving children, family, and friends unimaginable pain, and basically mocking the plight of victims of domestic violence everywhere? And what was this bullshit about “I just want everyone who is abused to know that you can live in Beverly Hills like me?” at the battered woman shelter in the first season, how do we assimilate that message NOW, Shana, er, I mean, Taylor? You were also a pharm rep, Taylor. You could easily have gone back to work for Pfizer with your little flight attendant suitcase full of samples to support you and your daughter. That is not a job to sneeze at – ooh, sorry, sneezing is a sensitive topic, isn’t it? I don’t want to give anybody flashbacks or anything.
Oh, the questions, the questions. Is this all just to avoid the repercussions of the current pending lawsuit against her by MyMedicalRecords.com? Is it a ploy for an extension of her fifteen minutes? Is this woman sincerely as sociopathic and narcissistic as she appears, or is she just trying really, really hard to come across that way? Is she mentally ill? Has she ever cooked anything in her life for that child? Couldn’t she have cut costs by not having an assistant if she needed to leave and was worried about finances? Maybe stopped getting her highlights and extensions done? Sorta, you know, cut back, like other moms do? Maybe, heaven forbid, go without? Some moms in the real world do that when they have to.
Kind of reminds me of what Randy Newman said when he saw Linda Rondstat in the audience of one of his shows.
“Some people only have one house, Linda.”
I can joke about this, because I have a black, dark sense of humour, but the truth is, I’m joking about excess. There are a few things that are not and will never be funny here. One is that Russell Armstrong is dead. Two is that Kennedy Armstrong is being made to sit at book readings and hear her father denigrated. Three is that Russell’s other two children whom I will not name so as to provide them their privacy which they deserve are being made to suffer even more than they already are with the loss of their father by being forced to bear this character assassination of the man they love. Four is that these children will grow up and never know their dad, and Five is that there are so many people that judge Russell Armstrong without even knowing him, that go only by what they read and by what they are led to believe by Bravo’s editors, Russell’s shyness on camera, and Taylor’s aforementioned hyperbole and half-truths.
Is it possible that she and Russell had a few knock-down drag outs that she told the ladies about, left out her part of them, and painted herself into a corner with this abuse storyline with Bravo? Could she be feeling tremendous guilt right now? What reason(s) would Taylor have to lie?
And is she able to lie to herself?
(If I have made any factual mistakes kindly correct them with proof in the comments and I will make the correction. Thank you. – CB)
Information for this article was culled from a GREAT many sources, including but not limited to: The Daily Beast, The Chirping Twit, RealityTea, StoopidHousewives.com, The Voice of Russell Armstrong, Randy Edwards, The First and Second Season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, YouTube, TubePlus, GorillaVid, Daily Mail, CelebBuzz, RadarOnline, HLN, FOX News, Google Search, Google Images, The Flintstones (!), The Dr. Phil Show, The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Season Two Reunion, Watch What Happens Live (from memory), and my own conclusions. Some jokes have been appropriated from the animated shows The Flintstones and Family Guy for the purposes of satire(!), using artistic license. This is a creative work and as such constitutes Fair Use. Thank you to all sources for the information – wait, if I thank all sources for the information that eventually goes back to the original source of the information which is Taylor Armstrong as she is a public figure and I don’t believe that you can copyright information about a public figure, though you can copyright your original presentation of it. But thank you anyway. I have always wanted to thank Fred Flintstone for something. I keed, I keed. Seriously, thank you to all sources – I thought that would have gone without saying since we are all in search of the same thing – truth – and this is the internet, where “information wants to be free” and all that. Sorry I don’t have footnotes, but the dog ate my notecards*
*This is not actually true.
Okay, I did it. We get Russell back now, right?
Coming Soon: Claire Brando Interviews Randy Edwards
IF YOU ARE BEING ABUSED, PLEASE VISIT WWW.THEHOTLINE.ORG OR CALL 1(800) 799-7233 (SAFE)