His marriage woes with wife Taylor may have taken center stage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but Russell Armstrong insists his participation in the Bravo series was intended to be as a supporting player.
"I didn't really understand what we were getting into," Russell tells The Daily Beast in an interview ahead of Thursday's reunion special. "I don't really watch reality television."
Initially, the venture capitalist was happy to take a backseat to his wife's TV debut.
"We decided early on that this was Taylor's project; that I was going to be supportive, but just stay in the background," Russell says. "And that backfired."
Things changed, says Russell, after he viewed his appearances -- which largely contributed to a season-long story arc detailing the pair's crumbling marriage.
On one recent episode, Taylor sought the advice of Kyle Richards after her husband left her all alone at a party. "We weren't communicating our feelings to one another, and the result wasn't enjoyable for either of us," Taylor blogged after the show aired.
Since filming wrapped, Russell appreciates what the series has done for him and his wife of seven years, who are still together and undergoing couples' counseling.
"It's made us refocus our marriage," he said of the TV smash, part of a franchise where the six different editions have chronicled seven divorces and one broken engagement. "And it's been wonderful."
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs its second reunion special Thursday at 9 p.m. (EST) on Bravo.