When Andy Cohen took the Housewives franchise to America’s most famous zip code in 2010, Taylor Armstrong was one of the buzziest cast members. Aside from spending roughly $50,000 on her four-year-old daughter’s birthday tea party, she had us rethinking cotton candy as an aphrodisiac and was the biggest peacekeeper among the ladies for those first few seasons.
Taylor starred in RHOBH for three seasons before being downgraded to friend status in seasons four through six. By the time she resurfaced for the second season of Ultimate Girls Trip, fans barely recognized her. But, as it turns out, Taylor has been through quite a lot since we last saw her on Beverly Hills. Read on to catch up before she returns again, this time as a friend on the upcoming season of RHOC.
Taylor experienced trauma in the public eye
Sadly, Taylor’s time on RHOBH was overshadowed by her home situation. While filming the series, it came out that Taylor was in an abusive relationship with her then-husband, Russell Armstrong. During a 2011 tea at Lisa Vanderpump’s house, Camille Grammer revealed the truth on-camera, and the episode aired after Russell committed suicide. (Taylor had filed for divorce a month earlier, and the man was also dealing with legal and financial issues.)
Although Taylor continued to film for one more season, she left after that because it became too much to constantly appear on camera and deal with the aftermath.
Taylor’s new start
When Taylor was sorting out legal issues following Russell’s death, her path crossed with John Bluher. The pair began dating, and in 2013 he proposed to her while they were on vacation in Mexico.
“I definitely believe the universe put John in my path for a reason. We were meant to be,” Taylor told People at the time. “John loves me for exactly who I am. I just know there will never be enough days with him.”
She’s keeping up with friendships
Despite leaving RHOBH, Taylor remained friends with many of her former costars. Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Adrienne Maloof and Lisa Vanderpump were all at her wedding to John. Taylor has also said she had to stop watching her former series after seeing Kyle and Lisa go at it so hard during the show’s ninth season when their friendship ended.
“It’s so hard for me to see my friends argue with one another because I know what those feelings are like and it almost brings up an anxiety for me, especially when Kyle and Lisa were still on the show,” she said on an episode of Behind the Velvet Rope.
Taylor has other reality stints
Back before John and Taylor got hitched, they appeared on the fourth season of the VH1 series Couples Therapy. Sure, the pair had only been engaged for a few months when they decided to open up on camera, but there were things Taylor was holding onto from her first marriage that they really wanted to address.
“When I was on Beverly Hills, especially after the suicide, I really found myself drinking to cope,” Taylor said on an episode of Bethenny. “I was stuck at home, and I was like, ‘Well, one glass of wine makes me feel better, two makes me feel a lot better…’ I was angry about a lot of things and I have a tendency to hold everything inside, which is something that we worked on.”
Taylor Armstrong is a New York Times bestselling author
In February 2012, Taylor released her memoir, Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within. In her chapters, Taylor details the years she suffered in silence while living with domestic violence and the control her husband maintained over her during their six years together. If you watched the RHOBH reunion show before the book’s release (or if you watched the most current season of RHUGT) you probably already know that Brandi Glanville had accused Taylor of capitalizing on Russell’s death with the book release, and that led to years of friction between the co-stars.
She keeps up with charity work and speaking engagements
Years ago, Taylor started the Taylor Armstrong Foundation to help spread awareness of domestic abuse and to help survivors cover the costs associated with leaving such situations and moving out. These days she is also an advocate for victims and families of domestic abuse and spreads her message through public speaking events, which people can book on her official website.
Taylor is forever a mom
Fans will remember Taylor’s daughter, Kennedy Armstrong, from Taylor’s time on the show. Now she’s 16 years old and an official teenager. Taylor has spoken in the past about how she hopes her daughter takes positive messages from her current marriage to John. Speaking of, John adopted Kennedy as his own when she was just eight years old.
Related: Real Housewives kids: where are they now?
She has been open about plastic surgery
Many fans who tuned into Girls Trip were surprised to see how much Taylor’s face has changed over the years. While the personality hasn’t shared an extensive list of work she’s done, we know she was once required to undergo facial reconstruction surgery following an incident with Russell.
On RHOBH, we also learned Taylor uses fillers, and in the past, she has also opened up about the one surgery she regrets: lip implants. However, after consulting with Dr. Paul Nassif he recommended she keep them in because it’s impossible to tell how much scarring there is and what she would look like without them.
Taylor’s living in Orange County
While Taylor and John lived in Colorado for a while, the pair moved back to California, and specifically to the O.C., during the pandemic. At the time, some press reported Taylor was hoping to make a RHOBH comeback. As we all know, she arrived as an Ex-Wife on Girl’s Trip instead, where she and Brandi were at the center of most of the season’s drama.
Trading diamonds for oranges
That drama worked because it was enough to convince Andy Cohen to give Taylor a slot as a friend of the housewives when the new season of Orange County returns. Okay, sure, she won’t be holding an orange quite yet, but with her real-life friend Tamra Judge back as a main this year, some feel like it’s only a matter of time…