The first of two services for deceased “Real Housewives” husband still manages to have some guest-list drama
At least Russell Armstrong is being ushered into the after-life free from the glare of reality-TV cameras.
The "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" husband, who was found dead at the age of 47 on Aug. 15, received his first of two funeral services Wednesday night at the Church of the Hills-Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills, and while a small group of friends and families were present for the service, "Real Housewives" network Bravo was not present in any form, a spokesperson for the network confirms to TheWrap.
Which isn't to say that the service was devoid of "Housewives"-like drama. According to Entertainment Tonight, the service, which was closed to the public, was attended by Armstrong's co-stars Adrienne Maloof-Nassif, Dr. Paul Nassif, Kyle Richards, Camille Grammer and Lisa Vanderpump. Cast member Cedric Martinez, who experienced a falling out with his castmates last season, was turned away from the funeral for not being on the guest list.
Armstrong, who killed himself via hanging in a Mulholland Drive residence, according to the Los Angeles Coroner, had been worried about how he would be portrayed on the second season of the series in the period leading up to his death. Wracked with financial troubles and separated from his wife, Taylor, in July, Armstrong told his mother, John Ann Hotchkiss, "Mom, they're going to crucify me this season. I don't know what to do. I'll never survive it."
As reported earlier, Armstrong will receive a second funeral in Texas, following his cremation. The two-funeral plan came after a bitter argument between Taylor and Armstrong's family, who complained that Taylor had kept them in the dark about the funeral plans. Last week, Armstrong's attorney, Ronald Richards, told TheWrap that Armstrong's family was "beyond the mad point," adding, "His sister specifically said Taylor can go to hell."
It is not known whether Armstrong's family was present for Wednesday's service. Richards told TheWrap last week that, should the family not attend, he had agreed to transport Armstrong's remains to Texas.
Bravo confirmed last week that it was in the process of re-editing segments of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" season two, which is tentatively slated to premiere Sept. 5, in the wake of Armstrong's suicide.