The apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, offers us a moment to think about the nature of reality television and the "Real Housewives" franchise in particular. Regardless of location, the show often portrays its cast members' lives as over-the-top glamorous and exceptionally dramatic. But the reality behind this "reality" is that sometimes, these women are living well beyond their means, and the true drama in their lives can be complicated, heartbreaking and tragic.
The depiction of Taylor and Russell's marriage was not sugarcoated during the season in which they appeared together last year, thus making news of their divorce in July unsurprising. However, the decadent lifestyle they led betrayed the truth about their financial status. At the time of Russell's tragic death, the onetime couple was being sued for $1.5 million by MyMedicalRecords.com. His lawyer also told People, "Russell was in a lot of debt and he had legal problems. His credit cards were used up. He had serious financial problems. And that no doubt caused him a lot of stress."
Click through this gallery to see the various "Real Housewives" cast members whose wallets proved to be not as bulging and whose marriages proved to be not as happy as their onscreen personas would have had viewers think.