Andy Cohen doesn't think "The Real Housewives" was responsible for Russell Armstrong's suicide.
In a new interview with The New York Times Magazine, Cohen addressed Armstrong's suicide, which occurred between airing of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Seasons 1 and 2. Armstrong was the husband to "Beverly Hills" star Taylor. Bravo addressed the suicide with a special intro to Season 2, featuring the "Real Housewives" cast, and Armstrong still appeared in Season 2.
But did Cohen have any regrets about how Bravo handled Armstrong's suicide?
"I mean, look, we debated 18,000 ways to handle this," he said. "It was tragic. But if anyone in this building or the producers or the production company believed that the show was to blame for what happened, we would not have aired the show no matter what."
Armstrong hanged himself in August 2011, one month after Taylor filed for divorce. In an interview with People, Armstrong said the reality TV cameras were an added stress on his marriage.
"It got really overwhelming," Russell told People a few weeks before his death in 2011. "When you get a TV show involved and all the pressure, it just takes it to a whole new level ... We were pushed to extremes."
Bravo did not delay the premiere of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" Season 2 following his death and faced some heat from the press and Armstrong's family. However, Cohen said Armstrong seemed appreciative of his time on the show.
"Well, I mean, concurrently he mentioned to the head of Evolution, the production company, that he wanted to buy them and that being on the show helped his business 110 percent," Cohen said. "A lot came out about a lot of issues that he had going on in his life, and this was just one of them. I think that there was a lot going on with him."
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor wrote a book about her experiences, "Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within." It was published in February 2012.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
More:TV Canada Andy Cohen Real Housewives Reality TV Andy Cohen The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
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