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Two days after Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide at the age of 47, speculation as to why has begun in earnest. While there was no suicide note to offer any clues, an inside source tells Radar Online that Russell had "expressed great concern" over an alleged tell-all book that was supposedly going to divulge many of Armstrong's sexual secrets.
"Russell was recently informed that a tell-all book was being written and that many of his secrets were going to be made public," says the source. Among those secrets, according to Radar, was the claim that Russell was actually bisexual, a fact he had tried to hide from his ex Taylor, 40, to no avail.
"About six months ago Taylor confided in a close friend that she'd found history for a gay website called Adam4Adam.com on Russell's laptop," a source tells Radar. "He was also spending a lot of time at the gym, but his body wasn't changing, which she claims led her to believe he was meeting with men he'd met off the website and not spending time working out as he claimed."
Russell learned of the book's existence when he was approached for a response to the allegations that would be contained within its pages. "Not only was it going to come out that Russell was bisexual, but there were people on the record that were going to talk about the kind of sex he liked," claims the source. "He was into S&M type stuff: choking, rough-housing and slapping."
That's not exactly good news for a man with a history of violence -- Taylor recently alleged that Russell had physically abused her, and Armstrong's ex-wife Barbara Fredrickson and another ex-girlfriend had both filed restraining orders against him -- who was about to enter into divorce proceedings.
"Several of his exes were going on the record to expose the skeletons in his closet," the inside source tells Radar. "A few of those close to Russell knew about the book and knew he was really upset about it. Some friends think it was the final straw for him."
For her part, Barbara Frederickson blames Taylor for Russell's suicide. "I don't think it was the show," Fredrickson told Radar. "I think (Taylor) drove him into financial stress and it just ruined him."
A reluctant reality TV star from the beginning, Russell Armstrong had great reservations about his family's participation in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and had expressed fears that the show would ruin their lives. His marriage to Taylor deteriorated in the public eye, and Taylor filed for divorce in July. While Russell did not exactly dispute her claim of abuse, he also suggested that things were perhaps more complex than Taylor was letting on. Obviously, the impending divorce, as well as the upheaval in their 5-year-old daughter Kennedy's life, was weighing heavily on him.
The new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is scheduled to premiere on September 5. So far, Bravo has not made a statement about how they will handle the tragedy -- but a network source confirms to Entertainment Weekly that they are considering postponement. "No decisions have been made," says the source, "and there is no time frame on when they might."