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Bravo is still reeling from the news that Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, commited suicide on Monday night. Bravo has not yet made a formal announcement about when (or if?) the upcoming season of RHoBH (which had been slated to premiere Sept. 5) will air. But the network just got a strongly worded warning from John Anne Hotchkiss, Russell Armstrong's mother: "Better not air one frame of my son -- or else!"
Hotchkiss delivered the threat in an interview with CNN Thursday night, where Hotchkiss said that the Armstrong family was currently "circling the wagons." They have already been quite vocal about their feelings towards Bravo, and their feelings about their son's participation in the show. Wade Jackson, Russell Armstrong's stepbrother, told Radar Online that the family was considering a lawsuit.
"Bravo is at fault and somebody needs to pay," Jackson told Radar. "Russell's whole family was very close and they're considering suing Bravo... Russell's dad doesn't want to talk about what happened to him with a lot of people, but everyone in the family thinks that Bravo is to blame."
Suicides usually leave a trail of recriminations in their wake, and speculation began immediately as to what the root cause of Russell's suicide might have been. Was it stress from participating in a reality TV show? The impending divorce from his wife and the imposed separation from their 5-year-old daughter Kennedy? Or was it the knowledge that an alleged tell-all book was in the works which would reveal some of Armstrong's sexual secrets? It may have been a mixture of all of those things, but whatever was to blame ultimately doesn't change the fact that a 5-year-old girl will now grow up without her father.
A source close to the show tells The Hollywood Reporter that Bravo has decided to push back the premiere of the new season by "at least one week" to do some re-editing and allow the sting of the tragedy to subside a bit. However, the source adds that the network is unlikely to scrap the entire season.