“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Taylor Armstrong has followed up her tumultuous year with the release of a book and she stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Thursday to candidly discuss her struggles and the road ahead.
The Bravo star told Kit Hoover and guest co-host Holly Robinson Peete that she understands her critics, some of whom include members of her late husband Russell Armstrong’s family.
“We lost someone here, suicide divides families anyway and then you add on to it the fact that I’m telling the stories that happened prior to that,” Taylor, whose book, “Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within,” was published this week, said.
“In doing the show this season, this was coming out anyway,” she said of the alleged abuse at the hands of Russell. “You see me in one of the last episodes with a remaining bruise under my eye from orbital reconstructive surgery.
“I had an orbital floor fracture, or an orbital floor blowout… it is the floor that is holding my eyeball up. So, I now have titanium mesh implant connected in my eye that’s supporting that,” she said of her injuries.
Taylor claims that Russell asked her to lie about the violence when she went to seek medical attention.
“He had said that I suggest to the doctor that [my daughter] Kennedy kicked me in the eye, and then as I went to the doctor and said that, the doctor said to me, ‘What kind of shoes was she wearing? Because maybe you should consider getting your kid some new shoes,’” she recalled. “I just couldn’t even keep up with the whole thing because I was just trying to figure out how it is that Kennedy would have had that kind of impact on my eye, but I wasn’t even with Kennedy that weekend, she was staying with her nanny.”
Looking back, Taylor feels that both she and Russell were responsible for what happened in their marriage.
“I started seeing I had these patterns my whole life. I was just a broken kid, who ended up in a broken marriage, with someone else who was broken. Russell wasn’t the culprit here, each of us being unhealthy and being together in an unhealthy way and the perpetuating that cycle,” she explained. “We can’t be abused unless you’re willing to be abused.”
Taylor told Kit and Holly that she wrote the book in hopes of empowering other who might be being abused.
“I want young women especially, very early on in a relationship to recognize those little red flags and for their parents or friends to understand how you can get caught in that cycle so they can have a better support system for them to get out,” she said.
Only now does Taylor realize how aware daughter, Kennedy, 5, was of the abuse.
“I think that Kennedy recognized a lot more, unfortunately, than I thought she did. I thought that I was keeping her away from it all,” she said, recalling a conversation she recently had with her daughter about missing Russell.
”‘Why would you miss a boy that screamed at you so much,’” an emotional Taylor said, recounting her daughter’s words. “That’s the one thing that just broke my heart because I just realized that she was more affected by it than I thought and I have a lot of shame about that.”
Currently, Taylor is not sure if she’ll sign on for another season of her hit Bravo series, if it were to get picked up for a third season.
“I have good days and bad right now,” she explained. “Maybe for other women this completely weak, low self-esteem woman is finding her voice and I think if there could be an inspirational story that would encourage me to sign on.”