Armstrong Begged For Xanax Before Suicide: Reports

Divorce, money woes, and Bravo brought him down, friends & family say

By Sara Dover
|  Thursday, Aug 18, 2011  |  Updated 1:42 PM EDT
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Russell Armstrong begged his friend for a bottle of Xanax before the "Real Housewives" husband hanged himself on Wednesday, a friend reportedly says.

The reality star's long-time buddy Russ McCollough told TMZ that Armstrong--who has appeared on the show with his celebrity wife, Taylor-- begged him for a "full bottle" of the anxiety drug three days before his death. McCollough said he refused to give it to him because he didn't want Armstrong to abuse the pills.

McCollough admitted to giving the distraught Armstrong one pill of Xanax recently when they met for dinner. "This is as bad as it gets," Armstrong reportedly said, distressed over his divorce, his portrayal on the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and financial woes. He couldn't even pay for his own meal, according to TMZ.

LAPD said Armstrong, 47, died in an apparent suicide at his home Wednesday. He was in the middle of a sticky divorce and cash-strapping lawsuit with The website is suing the reality couple for $1.5 million for misleading their company's investors.

Radar now reports that Armstrong's step brother says the family wants to sue Bravo over emotional distress.

"Bravo is at fault and somebody needs to pay," Wade Jackson told the site, later adding, "I'm sure somebody will sue them."

On HLN Wednesday night, Russell Armstrong's mother said her son really suffered from the criticism the show brought on.

"The bashing got so bad last season I had to stop watch. I just couldn't bear it," she said, according to Reuters. "I said, 'Russell can't you stop this?'… he said, 'No. All the network cares about are ratings. They don't care if people are hurt, or if it destroys their marriage.' And I watched it slowly destroy their marriage."

Taylor and Russell's divorce, which she filed July 15, was prompted in party by physical and verbal abuse by her husband.

Selected Reading: TMZ, Radar, Reuters

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