Russell Armstrong Chilling 911 Call: “My Friend Just Hanged Himself”

30 Aug

TMZ has obtained the 911 call made moments after the body of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Russell Armstrong was found on August 15 at a friend’s home where Russell was staying.

You can hear the caller say, “My friend just hanged himself, do you understand? Come over here and stop asking questions.”

As TMZ first reported, Russell’s estranged wife Taylor Armstrong was also there when the body was found — and you can hear the caller console her … saying, “Come here Taylor, it’s alright. It’s alright, it’s alright.” The first words you hear a sobbing Taylor say are, “I need my psychiatrist.”

Perhaps the most heartbreaking part is when the caller reveals Russell’s 5-year old daughter is also at the house. At one point he says, “Taylor, have your daughter go away please.”

The 911 operator asks if Russell is beyond help — and the caller responds, “No, there’s nothing you can do, it’s nothing we can do. Just please come as soon as possible.”

‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Recap: Joe Giudice Is a Bad Person, Worse Drunk

29 Aug

Seems that after watching the episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey’ a lot of bloggers are pissed out there at Joe Giudice and right so. Needless to say I co-sign:

Tonight’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey revealed something I had a sneaking suspicion to be true all along. Joe Giudice is the real reason for all the tension between Teresa and Joe and Melissa Gorga. Because he’s a colossal douche bag.

Now, before I rip Joe a new one, I would like to say that Teresa doesn’t totally get off scot-free in the Giudice-Gorga drama department. Nor does Melissa. Nor does her brother, Joe. They all add fuel to the fire. But, hooo boy, does Joe Giudice take the mean, nasty, threatening-text cake.

So, it was (one of) Teresa’s book signings. (Nothing weird about that.) And she invited her brother and sister-in-law to attend. (A nice step in the right direction.) Then, on the day of the event, Teresa’s animal of a husband starts sending rude — and eventually threatening — messages to her brother, saying things like, “I’m going to wire your jaw shut!” Holy shit, right? I mean, I knew Joe was a jerk, but I didn’t think he was that big of a jerk.

Then, Teresa has her book signing. Kathy Wakile and husband Rich show up. (Aw.) And, at the very end, Joe and Melissa show up. (Joe Giudice never went.) Teresa has an oddly touching — and sort of uncomfortable — moment with her brother, and he tells her about the texts. She’s pissed …

… But not as pissed drunk as Joe Giudice is when she finds him at home. You know, there are certain people who get so sloppy and unattractive when they drink that it’s hard to ever look at them the same again — Joe is one of those people. (Not that I ever found him attractive before.) He was crass, he was loud, and he chipped his front tooth (and made daughter Gia cry) when he attempted a somersault-type thing on his kids’ gymnastics mat. After that, he got nasty.

He starts yelling and pointing at Teresa (and telling her to shut up) when she confronts him about his texts to her brother. (In front of people.) I was actually proud of Teresa, because in what seemed like the first time ever, she actually stood up to him. But that only fueled him more.

He told her he broke up with her when they were dating way back when because he didn’t need her (or, as he said it, “I didn’t need yous”), and he went on and on about Joe Gorga. But he did this all sort of violently. In a word, he was a nightmare.

I don’t think Teresa and Joe will ever get a divorce — and I would never wish that on their kids — but something has to give with that man. He is an awful, awful person, and as obnoxious as Teresa can be sometimes, she definitely doesn’t deserve that.

RELATED: Real Housewives of New Jersey: Joe Guidice is a Crazy, Drunk Caveman

Bravo Will Air Special To Address Russell Armstrong Suicide

29 Aug

Bravo will air a special addressing the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Taylor Armstrong, sources close to production told Show Tracker.

The ladies of the show — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards, and Adrienne Maloof–filmed the special Monday; Taylor was not present. It’s unclear if the special will air before or after the premiere of the show’s second season.

An individual close to one of the “Housewives” said the ladies were not given specifics as to how things would unfold during their sit-down and that it was intended as a way to get their reactions to what happened.

The second season is still on the books as premiering Sept. 5; the network has wrapped the re-editing of the premiere episode. In the original version, Taylor is shown shopping for lingerie in an attempt to spice up her marriage and she later becomes emotional when discussing her attempt at marriage counseling.

A representative for Bravo would not elaborate on whether the scenes remained in the final cut.

Bethenny Frankel Buys $4.9 Million TriBeCa Condo

28 Aug

Bethenny Frankel, the former “Real Housewives of New York” castmember, turned solo reality TV breakout star with “Bethenny Ever After,” turned alcohol and product-pushing millionaire, is moving on up in the New York City real estate game with her recent purchase of a new $4,995,000 home in NYC’s TriBeCa neighborhood.

According to the New York Post, Frankel is packing up her famous brood that includes husband Jason Hoppy and baby Bryn and moving to a bigger, fancier home at 195 Hudson Street. This is the same building where Jay-Z and Beyonce married in a super secret Penthouse ceremony a few years back. For those Frankel followers, Bethenny talked non-stop about moving to California on the last season of the reality series that also bears her name. Looks like they’ve decided to continue to live (and film!) in the Big Apple.

While it’s likely this new abode will become the location for next season’s show and we’ll get the inside view, let’s dig into the on-paper details on her new home. It’s an enormous (not a word you hear very often in NYC real estate), corner unit with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 11’3 ceilings. 16 large windows line the walls, opening the home up to spectacular New York City views.

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel: ‘I’m Too Thin’

Russell Armstrong’s Business Associate Commits Suicide Just 24 hours After He Did

28 Aug

There has been another shocking twist in the death of Russell Armstrong.

Alan Schram, a business associate and friend of the late Real Housewives of Beverly Hills co-star, also killed himself just 24 hours after Russell was found dead.

Alan’s remains were reportedly discovered on August 16, outside of his parked car on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles.

He had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was found just a few blocks from where Russell died.

The L.A. County Coroner later concluded that Alan’s death was a suicide.

Alan, a managing partner of Wellcap, a hedge fund based in Los Angeles, also wrote about finance for the Huffington Post.

According to, he founded Wellcap Partners in 2000.

The website says he served as an officer in the Israeli Air Force and is a veteran of the Gulf War.

Alan was a graduate of UCLA’s prestigious Anderson School of Management.

TMZ reports that Alan and Russell were both part of an exclusive group called Tiger 21, an organization of high net-worth business people, even though Russell was having major money problems.

The entertainment website says Taylor and some of the other Real Housewives stars were heard talking about how shocked they were that the two men killed themselves at Russell’s funeral.

RELATED: Taylor Armstrong’s mother-in-law buries hatchet, invites her to Russell Armstrong’s Texas funeral

Michaele and Tareq Salahi Sued By Montel Williams

27 Aug

Montel Williams is threatening legal action against no one’s favorite couple — Michaele and Tareq Salahi — accusing them of using his name to promote an upcoming event.

The Salahis are planning a charitable event next month to celebrate the reopening of their Oasis Winery in Virginia — and, apparently, they’ve listed Montel as one of their celebrity guests.

That’s news to Montel — because his rep tells TMZ, “Montel doesn’t support the Salahis, doesn’t know them and did not give them permission to use his name.” He says the event organizers also, falsely, announced that Montel’s MS Foundation is involved

The rep says a cease and desist letter was fired off to the Salahis today — demanding they stop using Montel’s name and foundation — and we’re told both have since been removed from the website promoting the event.

The Salahis are pleading ignorance … telling TMZ they had no knowledge Montel’s name was on the site.

RELATED: Are Tareq and Michaele Salahi Losing Oasis Winery At Bankruptcy Auction?

Ashley Holmes’ Dad Matt Arrested For Arson, Insurance Fraud And Money Laundering

27 Aug

The legal troubles never stop for the Real Housewives — do they?

John Madison “Matt” Holmes — the father of Real Housewives of New Jersey daughter Ashlee Holmes (her mom is Jacqueline Laurita) — was arrested in Texas for arson, insurance fraud and money laundering in connection with a suspected arson back in March, and has all the details.

“Matt” Holmes and his wife, Jodi Sue Holmes, were arrested in Parker County, Texas on June 2 and had to come up with a huge bail — $225,000 for John and $75,000 for Jodi Sue.

A fire destroyed their home in March and Holmes told the Fire Marshall Investigator that he was at the house about 30 to 45 minutes before the firefighters were called to the property. However, a witness came forward and said Holmes started the fire in the house using kerosene and gasoline, according to

The couple received $429,000 in insurance money from their house fire, but police allege that Jodi knew about the arson and that the couple used the insurance money to make purchases that included plastic surgery and a $40,000 diamond ring.

The Fire Marshall Investigator, Ken Dabbs, told that they were working with the FBI on the case.

Ashlee took to Twitter to defend her dad. “FYI- my parents have NOT been indicted..this whole thing was started by a disgruntled employee..they are INNOCENT &that’s all i have to say.”

“Matt” Holmes recently appeared on the Bravo reality show to stage an intervention for his daughter.

Kim Richards Headed To ‘Dancing With The Stars’?

26 Aug

Hope they have a doc nearby in case she shows up wasted one night:

Will the child star turned Real Housewife of Beverly Hills be donning her dancing shoes for this season of Dancing with the Stars? A source close to the ABC show tells Celebuzz that Kim Richards has been practicing her shimmy shake for TV!

We hear the mother of four has been rehearsing her moves in the studio and could be in the lineup when the cast is announced next week. After what she says has been a rough year, it looks like she’s on the road to a resurgence and recovery!

Kim, who stars on RHOBH with her sister Kyle Richards, is a former child star who appeared in numerous Disney films such as Escape to Witch Mountain. She also appeared on a slew of TV shows such as Dukes of Hazzard and The Love Boat. She is also aunt to Paris and Nicky Hilton.

Although it was uncertain if she would return to Housewives this year, it was recently announced that she and Kyle would both be back for season two. Maybe Kim will be adding yet another TV show to her lengthy resume!

Kelly Bensimon Stops By “Good Day New York”

26 Aug

Tending to promotional duties, Bravo darling and mogul-in-the-making Kelly Bensimon stopped by “Good Day New York” this morning (August 25).

Showing off her super-svelte physique, the 43-year-old reality show stunner donned a body-hugging black mini-dress, chunky black and gold jewelry pieces and a pair of bright orange peep-toe pumps for her press stop.

Readying the release of her fashion accessories line, Kelly, the September cover girl for Shape magazine sported some of her stylish new offerings – of which she hinted will debut in major department stores in the coming months.

When asked if she’ll be returning to “Real Housewives of New York City” next season, the leggy mom of two said she’d love to, and even dished that she’s invited some of her closest gal pals to audition for a spot on the show!

Beverly Hills Housewives Rally Around Taylor Armstrong at Russell’s Funeral

25 Aug

Taylor Armstrong was surrounded by loved ones — including her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills castmates — at a Wednesday funeral service for Russell, her late, estranged husband.

One of two private services was held early Wednesday evening at the Church of the Hills-Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills, where Taylor, 40, was consoled by her pals Lisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif and husband Dr. Paul Nassif, plus Kyle and Kim Richards. Entertainment Tonight reports that Cedric Martinez, a former houseguest of the Vanderpumps, was turned away from the event (Martinez had an ugly falling out with the Vanderpumps last year).

The funeral was not filmed.

As reported by Us Weekly, Russell’s body was cremated, and his ashes were divided between Taylor and Russell’s parents. A second service is planned in his native Texas.

Venture capitalist Russell, 47, was found dead at a private L.A. residence on Aug. 15 after taking his own life. He leaves behind Kennedy, his 5-year-old daughter with Taylor, plus two older sons from previous relationships.

Danielle Staub’s Past Set As Fall Series

24 Aug

Somebody warn Danielle Staub, the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” misfit, that her story is about to become a new TV series.

The out-of-print crime book, “Cop Without a Badge,” that came back to haunt her — outlining her past arrest for drug and kidnapping charges — has been put into development by a major Hollywood studio, according to a new posting yesterday on IMDB, the show-business Internet directory.

Sony Pictures, producers of “Seinfeld,” “Breaking Bad” and “Damages,” is shopping the series to several networks for a fall 2012 start.

The book is about former con-man Kevin Maher, who was recruited out of prison in the 1980s to become an undercover informant for the New York Police Department and FBI.

Danielle — then living under her birth name, Beverly Merrill — was Maher’s girlfriend during those years. He met her in Miami while she was out on bail on drug and kidnapping charges, according to the book.

No stars will be hired until at least early next year, when Sony is set to make a pilot of the series.

The book — which includes a grainy-but-unmistakable mug shot of Danielle — had been long out of print until one of the New Jersey “Housewives” reportedly found it in a local library.

It became one of the major bones of contention in the reality show’s first season when the matriarch “Housewife” Caroline Manzo brandished the book at a dinner party with Danielle. Because of Danielle’s sordid past outlined in it, she was not allowed to join their social circle, the “Housewives” said.

The TV series is set to be written by veteran TV writer David Black, a “Law & Order” alumnus with a list of credits that goes back to “Miami Vice,” and Charles Kipps, a former “Cosby Mysteries” writer and author of the Conor Bard series of mystery books.

Since the “Jersey Housewives” notoriety, the book has been re-published.

Insiders say NBC may be the most likely candidate to pick up the series because it owns Bravo, the cable channel that created the “Real Housewives” franchise.

Danielle left the “Jersey Housewives” series last year.

She spent her final season no longer trying to get into the group of well-to-do Franklin Lakes women but going to war with them at social functions and through the local gossip jungle telegraph system.

Russell Armstrong Stopped Taking Anti-Depression Meds Two Weeks Before Suicide

24 Aug

Russell Armstrong had been taking anti-depressant medications to control his rage issues, but stopped taking the drugs two weeks before his suicide, is exclusively reporting.

Russell had been taking the drugs for several months prior to his suicide.

Russell was found hanging at a friend’s Mulholland Drive mansion last week – his memorial is scheduled for Wednesday.

“Russell had been doing so well when he was on the anti-depressants. He was prescribed the meds to control his rage issues. Russell stopped taking the meds two weeks before his suicide,” a source close to the situation tells

Taylor had encouraged her estranged husband to stay on the anti-depressants. “Taylor was very supportive of him taking the meds. All of a sudden about two weeks ago, Russell stopped taking the meds though,” the insider says.

Ed Winter, Assistant Coroner for Los Angeles tells us:”No medication bottles for Mr. Armstrong were recovered from the scene.”

RELATED: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Scrap the Show, Says PEOPLE TV Critic

Bethenny Frankel Lands Hosting Gig On New Talk Show

24 Aug

Bethenny Frankel has always been the girl who knows when it’s time to leave a party — and when it comes to her fame-making network, that time is now. Bravo’s fast-talking sweetheart, who won audiences over on “The Real Housewives of New York” as well as her own spin-off series, has been inducted as the newest host of a forthcoming Telepictures talk show project — in which Ellen DeGeneres is also involved.

“Telepictures couldn’t be happier with the pilot Bethenny shot. They know they have discovered the next great talk show host and it’s Bethenny,” a TV insider tells me. “This is 100 percent on the fast track. Plus, with Ellen behind her this will be huge.”

But with the next step in Frankel’s amazing career about to take off, she is finally getting ready to say goodbye to the network that made her a star.

“Bravo has been good to Bethenny but at the same time, Bethenny has been good to Bravo,” a friend of the reality star tells me. “This is business and making the right move for her future. She will always be grateful for everything they have done but at the same time, after the tragic news of the suicide of a cast member of the Beverly Hills ‘Housewives,’ she doesn’t want to be part of an organization that rewards bad behavior.”

The new season of Frankel’s solo Bravo reality show (which will run under the new title, “Bethenny Goes L.A.”) will debut later this year, but if everything goes as planned, expect it to be her last.

Not surprised at all by this news, always figured a talk show would be a good spot for Bethenny.

Real Housewives of New York City Delays Filming

23 Aug

The Real Housewives of New York City is going to be fashionably late this season.

Production on the fifth season of the Bravo series has been pushed back due to some scheduling issues, E! News confirmed Monday.

The NYC matrons also got bumped earlier this year when shooting on season four ran long and their February season premiere was pushed back to April in favor of the series premiere of The Real Housewives of Miami.

Coming on the heels of the death in the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills family, the new delay of course prompted speculation that the two are connected…

Which they are not.

“The shoot schedule for RHNYC was pushed due to production details that needed to be finalized and there is absolutely no correlation between RHNYC and RHBH production concerns,” a source connected to the show assures E! News.