Some of the ladies of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills gathered at the opening of SUR Lounge in L.A. on Thursday to celebrate the birthdays of Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards. While the event was certainly a happy one, Lisa and Kyle took time out of the celebration to share their thoughts on Russell Armstrong‘s death and how friend and castmate Taylor Armstrong is dealing with the tragedy.
When Russell committed suicide over the summer, he left Taylor to deal with not only their financial troubles, but also the upbringing of their 5-year-old daughter, Kennedy, alone.
“It has been extremely difficult,” Lisa explained to OK!. “And that is something that there are no words to make better. Kennedy has been the priority right now, and I think that’s all any mother can do, to regroup. I have seen Taylor a couple of times, and I’m actually very proud of her.”
Kyle shared with OK!, “It’s just hard because all of a sudden she’s not just a single parent — she’s an only parent. I think she’s just concerned about the pain [Kennedy] may be in, but I know she’s been reading books with her and just trying to see if she can open her up and see what’s going on in her little mind. She’s only 5 years old and she doesn’t know how her father died, but she knows he died, so it’s just awful.”
Russell’s death affected not only those closest to him, but also those closest to Taylor. As fans of the show will know, throughout the time leading up to her estrangement from Russell, Kyle offered Taylor a source of comfort. The pair became quite close, making the loss even harder for Kyle to reconcile.
“It’s been really sad,” Kyle told reporters. “Taylor was the one I knew the least [when we started], but once we start filming she just started opening up to me more and more, and I just saw someone that was in need and having a hard time. I just wanted her to feel safe and comfortable enough that she could open up and we could be there to support her.”
And while the Housewives were not exactly the biggest fans of Russell, all the cast members, including the ladies’ husbands, were devastated by the tragedy.
“There wasn’t anyone that wasn’t shocked and blown away by this, because you never saw anything like this coming,” Kyle revealed. “I don’t have any words. I was in the Bahamas and my niece told me it was on TMZ, and I just couldn’t believe it. I thought it just had to be another one of those rumors, and then I looked at it myself and I literally started screaming.”
While the reality show has documented the women’s tumultuous relationships, Kyle explained to reporters that when it comes down to it, they are all there for one another.
“I think everyone loves to think we all hate each other, but we really don’t. We all care about each other, but we all have our moments. I have some friends I’ve never fought with my entire life, and then I have other friends where that’s our relationship. I think we’ve all had our moments, but I think there are times when everyone needs to stick together.”
Bravo has come under fire for what many see as its hand in Russell’s death. That is in addition to the criticism it received for deciding to air the second season of Housewives with Russell edited out. But Lisa explains that all the show did was reflect all aspects of their lives.
“This reality show has captured moments that have been heartfelt, very sad — and even tragic, when it captured Russell’s death,” she explained to OK! “It captures beautiful scenes too, though; it’s almost like having a beautiful home movie, except there was an awful situation. That is our lives, and people may follow. There are deaths, but there are births and marriages, and that is our life.”
By Sadie Gennis with reporting by Gena Oppenheim