There's at least one person who won't be tuning in to the September 5 premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: John Ann Hotchkiss, the mother of the late Russell Armstrong. (The venture capitalist's body was found hanging from an exposed rafter in a pal's L.A. home on August 15.)
Though Bravo recently made the decision to air the series as originally scheduled, the premiere episode will now include taped commentary from the various Housewives regarding the suicide of Taylor Armstrong's estranged husband.
"When I was informed of this, I thought, 'I hope Bravo will take the high road and keep it tasteful,'" Hotchkiss said in a statement to HLN's Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell. "Let's not murder my son twice."
"Given that these episodes were filmed months ago, the producers of the show taped a brief interview this week with several of the cast members to introduce the premiere. Re-editing of the episodes is still underway," he said. The network has also "partnered with the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) to raise awareness about suicide prevention."
Still, Hotchkiss believes her son's martial and financial problems became unbearable when they were exposed on national television. "I began to notice things starting to fray when the television thing came into being, and I was very concerned," Hotchkiss said.
"What bothered me the most was. . .he would be bashed by some of the other castmembers. . .The program itself really brought him down."
At one point, Hotchkiss says, Russell broke down. "'Mom, they're just going to crucify me this season,'" he told his mother. "And he said, 'I don't know what to do. I'll never survive it.'"