Before "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" had its season two premiere on Monday (September 5) night, the stars of "The Real Housewives of New York City" opened up about a recent tragedy hitting one of their own. Some came in defense of the reality series as others deemed the suicide of Taylor Armstrong's estranged husband, Russell, a private matter.
"I think it is very tragic," cast member Ramona Singer told PEOPLE. "But I don't think that the reality show is to blame for his unfortunate death. I think he had problems. And it's sad when someone has so many problems, they feel the only way they can eliminate their pain is by taking their life."
Sounding off similar statement was co-star Kelly Bensimon, who described Taylor and Russell as a "lovely couple". Insisting she "would never blame it on the show", the 43-year-old argued, "You don't know what happens behind closed doors. And no one can judge. It's no one's job to do that. A lot of people speculate."
Sonja Morgan, in the meantime, voiced her sympathy, but stressed on the private nature of the tragedy. "My heart goes out to her and I'm here for her," she said. "But I never intrude. She knows I'm here, but sometimes being helpful is just staying out of someone's business." Alex McCord added, "I don't even feel comfortable talking about that publicly. We did what we did privately. And that's that."
Russell Armstrong was found dead inside his bedroom at his friend's Los Angeles home, where he had been staying on August 15. His death was ruled as suicide by hanging, and Los Angeles Chief Coroner Investigator Harvey Craig told E! News that the 47-year-old's body was found more than 24 hours after he killed himself.