Dana Wilkey, Season 2 newbie on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, has opened up about Russell Armstrong‘s tragic suicide and how she is reaching out to Taylor Armstrong and her young daughter Kennedy to offer as much support as possible.
Dana, an East Coast transplant turned L.A. party planner, is one of the newest cast members of RHOBH and was first introduced to the show because of her closeness with Taylor.
Dana told reporters last night at Karina Smirnoff and J.R. Martinez‘s Dancing with the Stars premiere afterparty at Hyde Lounge in Hollywood that she has mixed feelings on how Bravo decided to edit out parts of show after Russell’s tragic death.
“I’ve been sort of struggling with what I’ve seen unfold on the show and it seems like they’re just telling the story exactly the same, but without some of the fun that was originally there,” she shared. “She [Taylor] was really trying in another way to get her marriage back, but the thing is none of that, maybe because they thought it was depressing.”
She added that a fun scene of the ladies trying on lingerie was cut out completely.
“We were suppose to do this Trashy Lingerie, in a scene and it just disappeared,” Dana explained. “We had a good time, girls having fun, shopping for lingerie and thinking of ways to spice up our love life. I feel like now we get all this other stuff with none of that, then on top of it I see that she’s in a position where she’s kind of crumbling on camera, and I feel like the show has just gotten really heavy. I’m in knots every time I watch it.”
One of the reason’s Dana joined the show is because of her closeness with Taylor. They had been friends for years.
“Taylor is my BFF for life,” Dana gushed. “I just love her and will always be there for her.”
Taylor has been very private since Russell’s suicide. Dana said she tried to reach out to her and her five-year-old daughter Kennedy.
“The last thing I heard is that she really wanted to get together with me,” she said. “I called her to see if she wanted to go to Disneyland with me incognito with her baby Kennedy and she just couldn’t do it right now, and I understood.”
She added: “Taylor has been keeping her really sheltered and safe, which is the right thing to do. I lost my mom when I was really young in a dramatic way and she’s doing the right thing when you’re little it’s a whole different thing.”
Dana believes that Russell stopped taking his anti-depressant medications, which caused him to end his life.
“My understanding is that Friday, before Sunday, he stopped suddenly taking Xanax,” she said. “Then when him and Taylor parted ways he didn’t see the need for it anymore, so he was just like, that’s it. But the problem is more people aren’t aware, and this is the important thing to get out. If you are on medication make sure you are monitoring it with a doctor.”
Right now, Dana said the entire cast is surrounding Taylor with love and support.
“I went to the store and picked out activities for her and Kennedy to do in the house and vitamins and snacks,” she said. “I wanted to pick out things that she would know I picked out, and represent me in a symbolic way. Instead of just here’s a bunch of money or bullshit. She is a strong woman and no matter what they depict on the show, she’s a beautiful and strong person and she’ll get through this.”
Dana also shared that she is close to Camille Grammer, after spending a lot of time with her during filming.
As for how she is being portrayed on the show, Dana shard it seems to be and “edited version” of who she really is.
“I think what they’ll do is just show snippets instead of the true side of me,” she said.
Reporting By Amanda Champagne