The creator of The Real Housewives franchise Andy Cohen was shocked when he learned of Russell Armstrong’s suicide. The news broke as the season was done filming and getting ready for a premiere date just weeks away. While Taylor, his widow, has taken every opportunity to talk about the suicide because of the supposed abusive marriage, Andy hasn’t exactly spoken out about it. Well, until now that is. Andy has just released his new book, Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture and he is now opening up about the emotional time where he had to balance business and being there for his friends.
“I immediately thought of Taylor, and especially of their daughter, Kennedy. Next came thoughts about the position we were in. What should Bravo do? The suicide raised many questions that nobody ever even dreamed would come up. We had to figure out what we should do with a show in which Taylor and Russell’s story played a big, dark, and real part,” writes Andy Cohen in his book. It is interesting that he thought about Taylor first, then Kennedy and then Bravo as a network third.
Since he created The Real Housewives franchise, one would think that he would think about business first and separate all emotion from the work, but Cohen has really gotten to know the women well after filming the reunion sessions, so it is no wonder that Cohen is thinking Taylor and Kennedy before the network.
He also defends his decision to air the show even though Russell took his own life. “In the end, what we had … was an honest depiction of what happened to a woman in the midst of an unhappy marriage,” Andy writes in his book. “She found the strength, with the support of her friends, to leave. It was real life.” Andy also puts the records straight about Russell’s decision to take his own life, stating that he does not believe that “Russell Armstrong killed himself as a result of the show.”
What do you think of Cohen’s discussion of Russell’s suicide?