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Taylor Armstrong: Russell Spied on Me

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Taylor Armstrong saw warning signs about her future husband Russell soon after they first met and fell in love in February 2005.

Six years before Russell tragically took his own life — and before he began physically abusing Taylor on a regular, brutal basis — Russell began exhibiting odd behavior.

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As revealed in Taylor's new memoir Hiding from Reality, excerpted exclusively in the new Us Weekly, Russell grilled her about suspected sexual partners and did a background check, posing as a potential employer to call her college.

The future Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, now 40, discovered a tape recorder hidden beneath her desk in her home office.

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Russell's explanation? "I'm just trying to get to know you because I've been burned," he told her.

"For the next nearly six years, I always assumed I was being recorded in the car and at home," Taylor writes. "I was always careful to make sure the content of my conversations was very clear."

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Years after that discovery, "I went into my email settings and found that he had set it up so that all of my emails were forwarded to him the moment I received them," Taylor writes, adding that she neither changed the setting or confront Russell.

"I knew he was going to do what he wanted to do no matter how I reacted."

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For more exclusive excerpts from Hiding from Reality — how Russell first became abusive during her pregnancy, whether he ever threatened daughter Kennedy, 5, the final fight that nearly disfigured her, and her horrific discovery of his suicide last August — pick up the new Us Weekly, on stands Friday.

If you or a loved one need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

Copyright © 2012 by Taylor Armstrong.  From the forthcoming book HIDING FROM REALITY by Taylor Armstrong to be published by Gallery Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.  Printed by permission. For information on booking Taylor for women's centers and other venues, contact Katlyn Townsend at the American Program Bureau (617-614-1671); for colleges and universities contact Scott Talarico at Neon Entertainment (716-836-6366).

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