UPDATE: Bravo has just confirmed that they will re-edit the upcoming season of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
When Russell Armstrong was found dead four days ago, the immediate reaction on all sides was subdued, restrained.
90-six hours later, that decorum has imploded.
First, Armstrong’s lawyer, Ronald Richards, asserted that Armstrong’s physical abuse of Taylor was no big deal.
Then, a “friend” of Armstrong’s came forward to say that Bravo had threatened the Armstrongs that they’d be dropped from the cast if they didn’t amp up the drama destroying their marriage.
Now, a source Fox News just referred to as a “Bravo insider” (although they’re not identified as such in this RadarOnline piece) is claiming Armstrong was secretly gay — and about to be exposed in a book.
Meanwhile, Armstrong’s family has gone on the record to say that they want Bravo to edit every glimpse of Russell out of the upcoming season.
Bravo hasn’t responded to that, but they will, they say, push the season’s premiere date back by at least a week.
The bargaining chip Armstrong’s family has here is the threat of a lawsuit.
The idea that Bravo could be held responsible for Armstrong’s death may not be a truly viable one, but the bad press it kicks up might be enough to scare the network.
And Richards, who’s shown no signs of not wanting to be on TV, is circling.
But it’s not going to be easy for Bravo to meet the family’s demands.
Editing Russell out would be virtually impossible without dropping Taylor altogether, since her season-two storylines likely revolved around their marriage.
And the season as a whole now has an inescapable tinge of staleness to it.
Everyone who watches it knows about this suicide and is about to sit through six weeks of bickering and glass-clinking that suddenly seem (even more) trivial.
All things considered, scrapping the season might be Bravo’s best option.
The non-Taylor, non-Russell footage can be salvaged and edited together with updated scenes shot after the dust settles.
Which, from the looks of these ugly leaks, won’t be anytime soon.