Taylor Armstrong: How I Explained Russell's Death to Kennedy, 5

Celebrity News Sep. 20, 2011 AT 11:32AM
Taylor Armstrong: How I Explained Russell's Death to Kennedy, 5 Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage.com

Taylor Armstrong has shielded the circumstances surrounding her estranged husband Russell's suicide from their 5-year-old daughter -- for now.

In a segment airing on Entertainment Tonight Tuesday, the 40-year-old Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star revealed how she broke the news to Kennedy, who wasn't initially aware of her father's death.

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"I just told her Daddy got sick and he died, and that we could pick a star in the sky that could be daddy and that she could talk to him every night,"  Taylor explained.

When Russell hanged himself August 15, he was depressed about mounting financial issues and his crumbling marriage, according to a coroner's report. In addition to Kennedy, 47-year-old Russell had two sons from previous relationships.

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During the interview with Entertainment Tonight, Taylor -- who filed for divorce from her venture capitalist husband July 15 -- also went into detail about her abusive relationship with Russell.

"He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me against the wall and he said, 'If you ever make my children a pizza without a vegetable again, I'll kill you,'" the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star recalled.

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In August, a close friend of Russell's told Us Weekly he "was so angry about everything," but said no one ever "[suspected] he would kill himself."

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