The West

Reality really does bite
Reality really does bite

Taylor Armstrong could be the reason why people should say no to appearing on a reality TV show.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star has seen her life disintegrate on camera over the past two years, including an abusive marriage which saw her husband, Russell, take his own life.

However, Armstrong says it was being able to get cameras into her home that in fact helped to save her life.

"I do believe that in signing up for season one there was an element of protection that I felt the cameras would provide," she told AAA from Melbourne.

"I knew my husband had the ability to be a happy person, and a good husband and father but I just wanted him to be that all the time and to keep his anger under control. And I think I felt subconsciously that if I would have those cameras there then they would be like a watchdog that would keep everything under control."

Armstrong was criticised by many for her decision to film the show in the lead-up to and following Russell's death. But she says he was supportive of the series.

"He was 100 per cent on board with the show. He really enjoyed it. He was someone who felt he could keep that (angry) side of him under wraps as I tried to do, and he didn't think it would come out in public," she said.

"When he hit me the final time and it was determined I needed orbital reconstruction surgery and have that titanium implant put in my eye, we both knew things would go horribly wrong because we were filming at the time and I was going to have to take time off and, also, people recognise me."

The third series shows Armstrong, 41, in the aftermath of Russell's death, trying to handle the huge amount of debt he left behind and cope as a single parent to Kennedy, 6.

"The last year has been the most difficult of my life," she said. "You are going to see during season three someone who is struggling and left with many challenges that need to be overcome.

"There are going to be some days when I am doing beautifully and days when I am not getting along very well. That is just a part of recovering from tragedy and doing the best you can. Time heals but I will never forget and I know that I will never stop having a hole in my heart from what has happened."

According to Armstrong, the public's perception of a Beverly Hills housewife is of a superficial Stepford wife, one of the reasons why she and the five other women signed up for the show.

But no matter how out of control things might get on the Real Housewives, Armstrong insists editing doesn't play a part.

"It is very real, unfortunately. It is very real because there are definitely some moments in the course of the past couple of years and in the upcoming season that I am not real proud of," she said. "I wouldn't have done many of those things had it not been real.

"I have made jokes that any time I look good it is real and any time I look bad it is editing, that is just not the case. They have all that content and they have to filter out the boring moments. They want to tell the real stories and the chips end up falling right where they may."

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays at 5.30pm on pay-TV channel Arena.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

The West Australian

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