Given that we know the tragic ending to Taylor and Russell Armstrong's marriage, it's sometimes a little hard to watch this season of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Frankly, it's even harder for the people that were there for Taylor Armstrong during her marital woes to relive the heartbreaking events once more.
Dana Wilkey, the newest housewife to join the Bravo family, remembers those times quite well, and she's been rather candid regarding Bravo's decision to edit out parts of show after Russell Armstrong's untimely death.
Wilkey, a California party planner who has been best friends with Taylor Armstrong for four years, said she feels like the show has gotten really "heavy" in the aftermath of Armstrong's suicide. As Armstrong currently deals with her ex-husband's suicide, all of the "Housewives" have stepped up to support their fellow castmember -- and friend -- through the difficult past few weeks.
"Some of them have been trying to be respectful and just give her space, but I know that some of her closer friends like Kyle [Richards] and Lisa [Vanderpump] have talked to her," Wilkey told The Huffington Post. "I immediately flew home from Europe [after the suicide], so that she would know I was local. I also went out, to a bunch of toy stores and grocery stores, and put together a care package for her and her daughter with individually picked items that I knew would mean something to her. I emailed her and texted her, because she was cut off from communication for awhile, to let her know that I was there for her whenever she needed me."
However, Wilkey hopes that she can be a ray of light in the fairly dark season.
"I think some of the crazy stuff I did will get a pretty big response from people," said Wilkey. "I think people will be like, 'Is she seriously this crazy?'"
It just so happens that Wilkey also received a pretty big response from the other Beverly Hills housewives, who were not entirely pleased with the idea of adding two new faces to season two.
"I don't think they necessarily wanted more woman in the group when we were added, so it was challenging to work with some of the girls -- not so much with Taylor [Armstrong], Adrienne [Maloof] and Camille [Grammer] -- but it was very challenging to fit in with Lisa [Vanderpump]," Wilkey revealed.
"But I'm just like a really regular person," she continued. "I have an extraordinary life, but I'm a very regular person. So that was a challenge for me, adjusting to the relationships on camera, because having friendships on camera is very different than having them off camera."
However, her relationship with Armstrong stayed strong throughout the filming process. In fact, as Armstrong deals with her crumbling marriage this season, she often confides in her best friend Wilkey.
"My role on this show will most likely be occasionally funny," said the USC graduate. "You'll definitely laugh at my antics, but I'm also one of Taylor's closest confidants."
Wilkey met her future best friend Armstrong through a mutual friend, and their friendship was instant. She said she was drawn to Armstrong's "energetic" personality, and the resident party planner even organized Armstrong's daughter's $60 thousand birthday party in season one.
"Taylor is an incredibly fun person, and that's why I love her," said the newest reality housewife. "She's constantly in-the-know, and everybody just loves to be around her because she's totally nonjudgemental to everyone."
After the death of Russell Armstrong, some thought it was inappropriate to continue the Bravo franchise, arguing that the push for higher ratings and, subsequently, more catfighting had become too much. Yet, Wilkey sees things differently, acknowledging that what viewers see on screen is not always the whole story.
"I get how ridiculous all of our lives are, and I embrace it," said Wilkey. "I'm actually a really down-to-earth person. I left home when I was a teen, I built my businesses from scratch and I worked hard to make them successful. I get how silly I can be, but that's who I am."
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