Initially, everything seemed peachy for Taylor Armstrong during the first season of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” But it soon became apparent that something was fishy in the 90210 state. Taylor’s marriage to her husband, Russell Armstrong, quickly fell apart, and their venomous spats and altercations regularly played out on camera. It wasn’t long before rumors of domestic violence began to surface. Taylor denied the allegations, but added fuel to the fire when she filed for divorce in July 2011.
“When I knew the file was done, I just started crying,” Taylor told People. “We tried very hard to fix our marriage, but it wasn’t healthy.” She went on to address the alleged abuse she suffered. Russell denied the allegations but admitted to pushing Taylor. “This show literally pushed us to our limits,” he said. Just a few weeks later, Russell took his own life. “Our sympathies and thoughts are with the Armstrong family at this difficult time,” Bravo wrote in a statement, sharing that they were “deeply saddened” by the tragedy.
Taylor left Real Housewives in 2013.[She’s] not return. You’ll see her in a few scenes here and there, but that’s going to be the scale,” a source told E! News. “I have post-traumatic stress disorder; it’s part of my makeup,” Taylor told People after hanging up her Louboutins. You’d think that after three seasons of reality TV, her entire life would have been exposed. However, many people don’t even know what Taylor Armstrong’s real name is.
Will the real Taylor Armstrong please stand up?
Despite three seasons of reality TV and a telltale memoir, believe it or not, there are still things people don’t know about Taylor Armstrong. There’s one particular mystery surrounding the former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star — her real name. The Armstrong name comes from Taylor’s marriage to her first husband Russell Armstrong in 2005. However, this wasn’t her first time at the name-changing rodeo.
An anonymous tipster at The Dirty claimed to have been friends with Taylor when she was in Florida. They claimed that when she attended Tulsa Union High School in Oklahoma, her name was Shana Hughes. The tipster claimed that she changed her name from Shana Hughes when they met. “She chose the name Taylor Ford while she was in FL because she wanted it to appear like she was related to Ford Motor Co. and seems to come from money,” they revealed. “Russell insisted to my husband that she was from the ‘Ford’ family,” the tipster also claimed.
Starcasm supported the dirty tipster’s claim by releasing photos from Tulsa Union High School’s yearbook. The images are from the late ’80s, when the school’s cheerleading team, which included Taylor, won a national championship. In the photos her name is Shana Hughes. Starcasm claimed Taylor “used many aliases, including Shana Hughes, Shana Ford, Shana Taylor, Taylor Ford, and Taylor Ford-Armstrong.” so what is her real name? Over to Taylor.
Even Taylor Armstrong doesn’t seem to know her real name
Andy Cohen quizzed Taylor Armstrong about her mysterious name-changing past during a 2011 episode of Watch What Happens Live. “Why did you change your name from Shana to Taylor?” asked Cohen. “Taylor was my last name,” she said, though it’s listed as Hughes in her yearbook. “And that’s what I’ve done with all my friends.” According to Jezebel, a chilling mashup video features Taylor’s “WWHL” interview snafu. It was posted on YouTube with the caption “Taylor Armstrong Is A Big Fat Liar”. Ouch.
In the same video, Taylor brags that she’s known Adrienne Maloof for ages, and they’re so close that she’s godmother to her daughter Kennedy. However, Adrienne clearly missed the godmother’s memo, as evidenced by her reaction when Cohen asked her about it. Adrienne sits confused, trying to figure out how to answer while Taylor nods her head and grins wildly. “Well… she asked me to be the godmother,” Adrienne replies diplomatically. Later in the video, Adrienne also debunks Taylor’s claim that they go way back. “I’ve known Taylor for three years,” she says. “Our kids go to school together, and that’s how I originally met them.”
Meanwhile, Taylor has been busy since leaving RHOBH. She wrote a New York Times best-selling memoir, Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within Me, which the New York Post called “harrowing.” And she got married again. Us Weekly reported that Taylor said “yes” to attorney John Bluher in May 2014.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You can also find additional information, resources, and support there on your website.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.