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It's no secret that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong had a difficult relationship with her husband Russell: Their problems were laid bare for the world to see during the show's last season. But now, Taylor reveals to People that her marriage was much more abusive than what was shown on camera.
Taylor, 40, filed for divorce from her husband on July 15, and now she tells People why: Turns out her six-year marriage to Russell, 47, was full of physical and verbal abuse. She claims that during their many arguments, Russell would call her names and curse at her. Sometimes, the fights spiraled so out of control that Russell hurled objects at her, grabbed her, shoved her and pulled her hair.
"I felt like I was dying inside," says Taylor, adding that the finalization of filing for divorce has brought her "some sense of peace."
Of course, Russell denies the claims of abuse -- or at least the hair-pulling part. "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," he says. "This show has literally pushed us to the limit."
Taylor's main concern now is the couple's 5-year-old daughter Kennedy -- and she says she'd like to have joint custody with Russell. "I hope we can co-parent as healthy as possible," she says. "He's an amazing dad, and I want her to still think her dad is the greatest guy on the planet."
Despite her newfound sense of peace, Taylor says that filing for divorce was not easy. As recently as February, she said she was committed to "working on things" with her husband. Russell apparently had a hard time with the intrusive nature of the Real Housewives camera, and it added stress to their already stressful marriage. Taylor tells People, "When I knew the filing had gone through, I just started to cry. We tried hard to fix our marriage, but it wasn't healthy."
The new season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills debuts September 15.