Russell Armstrong’s apparent suicide Monday night has everyone speculating the motive behind the unpredictable tragedy.
Armstrong and his high-profile wife, Taylor Armstrong, had a tumultuous relationship, especially lately, when Taylor publically made allegations of spousal abuse. The two were in the middle of a divorce, and it was well documented on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Now, reports are surfacing that, not only did Armstrong struggle with marital problems, but he and his soon-to-be ex-wife were also in the middle of a lawsuit that accused them of dishonest business dealings as well.
Russell and Taylor were both being sued over allegations of misleading investors in a company called NuWay Digital Systems, Inc. Russell was CEO of the company, and NuWay held interest in another company called MyMedicalRecords.com (MMR). MMR claims in the lawsuit that Russell collected more than a million dollars by selling shares from NuWay.
The lawsuit claims that the couple funneled the money “successfully and secretly.” And they apparently used the funds to enter into a restaurant endeavor with Eva Longoria. They also allegedly used the money to redecorate their estate. MMR is asking for $1.5 million in the lawsuit. But Russell’s attorney, Ronald Richards, previously claimed that the motive behind MMR’s lawsuit is that they’re struggling. Richards says the lawsuit is “groundless” and “a shakedown”.
And we knew this one was going to come up. Armstrong's ex-wife is claiming that Taylor "drove him" to suicide. Barbara Frederickson tells RadarOnline.com:
"I don't care for her at all. I think she's the reason for this. She's not who she says she is and I told him to please be careful with this woman... I warned him! She's bad news and she drove him into this."
Taylor recently told PEOPLE magazine that during her marriage to Russell she felt like she "was dying inside. She accused her soon-to-be-ex of grabbing her, shoving her, and throwing objects at her during objects.
Russell's response to the allegations: "Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were. This show has literally pushed us to the limit."
Frederickson was married to Armstrong in 1997 and the two have a fourteen year-old son together, Aiden. The couple divorced when the son was born.
"He's always been a great dad to my son. He was very close to Aiden and he's going to be absolutely devastated," Barbara said.
"For years he saw Aiden twice a month and had him all the summers. It wasn't until the issues with this Taylor girl that it got bad."
Frederickson also adds that she doesn’t believe it was the Real Housewives franchise that drove Armstrong to suicide.
"I don’t think it was [the show]. I think she [Taylor] drove him into financial stress and it just ruined him."