Taylor Armstrong, the rail-thin star of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” recently made headlines when she lost a noticeable amount of weight after relying on herbal diet pills. But now it’s her claims that she was physically abused by her husband Russell that’s making news.
Taylor, 40, who filed for divorce from her venture-capitalist husband on July 15, says the couple had violent arguments during their six-year marriage during which Russell, 47, verbally abused her, pulled her hair, shoved her and threw objects at her.
“I felt like I was dying inside,” Taylor, 40, told People. “Now [that I filed for divorce], there’s some sense of peace.”
In response, Russell denies he ever pulled Taylor’s hair, but concedes their arguments sometimes escalated into violence.
“Did I push her?” Russell asks. “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. This show has literally pushed us to the limit.”
During season 1 of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Taylor openly discussed her unhappy marriage, culminating in the couple getting marriage therapy after the season ended – but to no avail.
Filing for divorce was a difficult decision for Taylor. “When I knew the filing had gone through, I just started to cry,” she says. “We tried hard to fix our marriage, but it wasn’t healthy.”
Ironically, Taylor credited Russell with helping her end a mild addiction to diet pills. In May 2011, the slender 5’8″ Taylor revealed she had gotten hooked on herbal diet pills while trying to lose a few extra pounds she had gained.
“When I was taking the supplements, I had so much energy and wasn’t hungry — I thought it was great at first,” Armstrong, 40, told OK! But she realized she went too far when Russell pointed out she was hardly eating and was getting too thin.
“[Russell] saw I wasn’t eating much and that I was too thin,” Taylor recounts. “I wasn’t weighing myself or taking my measurements, but when he said it I knew he was right.”
Taylor, whose divorced will be chronicled on the upcoming season of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” says her primary focus is her daughter Kennedy, 5.
“I hope we can co-parent as healthy as possible,” says Armstrong, who’s seeking joint custody. “He’s an amazing dad, and I want her to still think her dad is the greatest guy on the planet.”
Taylor, who revealed she witnessed domestic violence firsthand as a child growing up in an abusive home, is concerned that her daughter will be damaged by her ugly, public divorce.
“I think I hurt for my daughter more than I do for myself,” she says. “It feels like a big loss that she’s not going to grow up with both of her parents in the same house.”