Samantha Gutstadt, Taylor Armstrong, The Housewives of Beverly Hills, Sundance 2011, originally uploaded by Real TV Films.
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From THEWRAP Link Above and copy paste below: By Sharon Waxman & Tim Molloy
Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’ Suicide Spotlights Reality-Show Tactics Anew
The suicide of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Russell Armstrong this week has once again drawn a spotlight on the controversial methods used by producers of reality shows, and this time Bravo has been put in the cross-hairs
As information seeps out about the mental state of the 47-year-old venture capitalist, who hung himself at a residence on Mulholland Drive, fingers are being pointed at the show and the network.
Also read: A Dozen Reality TV Stars Who Have Attempted Suicide (Slideshow)
“The TV shows aren’t causing this problem, (but) they might be amplifying the situation,” said Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. “They can make anybody look like a schmuck if they want to, and you see that a lot — people get set up.”
Armstrong’s mother, John Ann Hotchkiss, recalled him telling her during an interview on HLN, “Mom, they’re just going to crucify me this season. I don’t know what to do. I’ll never survive it.”
She added: “[Armstrong told me] ‘All the network cares about are ratings. They don’t care if people are hurt, or if it destroys their marriage.’ And I watched it slowly destroy their marriage.”
Armstrong was apparently concerned about how he came across. His estrangement from his wife, Taylor, constituted a major storyline on the show, and he had sent castmates a legal letter warning them not to talk about his marital troubles on the air. (He later withdrew it.)
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