No Drugs Found in 'Housewives' Husband Russell Armstrong's System

TelevisionThe Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (tv program)EntertainmentMoviesRebecca Hall

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Russell Armstrong, who appeared on the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," had no drugs or alcohol in his system when he died, coroner's officials have confirmed.

A roommate found Armstrong, 47, hanging in a bedroom at a home on Mulholland Drive on August 15. Fire officials pronounced him dead on the scene.

No suicide note was found.

The case has been closed as a suicide, according to Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter.

Many are wondering what role, if any, the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" had in the death of Armstrong.

His estranged wife, Taylor Armstrong -- who stars on the show -- filed for divorce in July, alleging that he physically abused her.

A friend says he believes 'Housewives' may have helped push Russell over the edge.

"'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' I think, was [Russell's] downfall. The TV show put a lot of pressure on him to produce financially. You're on a show with a couple like the Maloofs, who are verifiable billionaires, and you're not," friend William Ratner told the Los Angeles Times. Ratner was referring to "Housewives" personality Adrienne Maloof, whose family owns the Sacramento Kings and their home arena as well as Las Vegas' Palms casino resort.

Ratner says show producers threatened to cut the Armstrongs from the show if they didn't allow their divorce drama to be filmed.

"He said the producers at Bravo told Russell and Taylor that they picked them as the 'disaster couple,' and if they weren't going to have drama in the second season, they would cut them and replace them with someone else," Ratner told the Times.

Taylor Armstrong's attorney, Robert Thorne, released the following statement on her behalf:

"Taylor Armstrong is devastated by the tragic events that have unfolded. She requests privacy at this time so that she may comfort her young daughter. Her thoughts and prayers are also with Russell's 11 and 13 year old sons."

Russell Armstrong was an investor who made his money in the 90s during the dot-com boom. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005, claiming he was between $1 million and $10 million in debt, TMZ reports.

The couple has a 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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