Taylor Armstrong's real divorce motivation: Fame

Dec 22, 2011 at 9:40 p.m. ET

Taylor Armstrong only decided to leave her husband after Bravo dumped the pair over legal claims -- and not because of his abuse, according to a new report.

Taylor ArmstrongTaylor Armstrong says she left her husband Russell Armstrong because he abused her -- but an insider says her real motivation for pulling the plug on her marriage was fame.

A source says that Taylor didn't move to end the union until Bravo threatened to dump her from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after Russell threatened to sue the network for airing the abuse allegations.

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"During filming of the show, as the season progressed, Russell started sending blistering letters and emails to Bravo and NBC Universal executives threatening lawsuits," the source told Radar Online. "Russell was furious that Taylor had discussed their serious marital issues, including the fact that he hit her on multiple occasions, and that the fellow housewives were now talking about it on the show."

"Russell would have had no legal leg to stand on because it was Taylor who was telling the girls this stuff," the source explained. "Bravo and NBC decided that Russell and Taylor were more trouble than they were worth, and decided to end filming with them as soon as it became apparent that Russell was going to continue down that path."

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The source said that while Taylor knew "for a very long time that she needed to leave Russell because of the verbal and physical abuse, being taken off a show that she loved doing because of his actions was the catalyst that finally made her pull the trigger on her marriage. Russell knew he was going to be exposed and was in full damage control mode. Ultimately, there was nothing he could do to stop it," the source said.

"Taylor decided to pursue the separation first, but then she thought to get back on the show, she would need to file for divorce, so that she could appear on the show again, if she promised executives that she was leaving him for good."

As we know, this story does not have a happy ending. Russell Armstrong killed himself in August when it became clear the abuse allegations were about to become very public. Taylor is now penning a tell-all book about her tumultuous marriage.

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