The Off-Camera Drama From The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Gets Increasingly Disturbing

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For the most part, the on-going drama from the Real Housewives remains on the lighter side. Family feuds, baseless accusations and heated allegations shouted during reunion shows are we come to expect from this diverse group of catty ladies. But in the case of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the drama goes from being fun to being downright disturbing.

After meeting Taylor Armstrong and Russell Armstrong during the first season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we felt like we got to know them. Maybe not like them, but know them. Then Russell Armstrong stunned everyone by committing suicide last fall — and Taylor followed that up by accusing him of abusing her throughout their marriage.

Suddenly the drama got very real in an incredibly uncomfortable way. It's one thing to watch women gossip about each other on camera. It's another thing to bear witness to an allegedly abusive marriage that led to a suicide without even knowing you were watching that.

Now we're hearing disturbing allegations that Paul Nassif abuses his children. He's entangled in a bitter divorce with his estranged wife Adrienne Maloof and I feel like we're hearing horrible rumors come out about their marriage on a regular basis.

Today's news comes courtesy of TMZ:

Adrienne Maloof was just awarded temporary custody of her three boys after telling a judge her estranged husband, Paul Nassif, choked one of their kids last Thursday … TMZ has learned. Adrienne's lawyer went to court and filed a declaration she wrote, in which she claimed Paul picked their 3 boys up from school Thursday.  During the ride, 2 of the boys were kicking each other, when Paul allegedly reached back and choked one of the boys around the Adam's apple. According to Adrienne, later that day, the boys were taking a bath together when one of them supposedly peed in the tub and the other boys started fighting.  Adrienne claims Paul then grabbed one of the boys, spanked him hard on the bare bottom and then “threw him in the corner.”

Once again, this a family we watched on TV. Sure we know they were dysfunctional, but every family's a little bit dysfunctional — reality TV families moreso for obvious reasons.  But we had no idea that we were seeing the breakdown of an incredibly bad marriage. Hidden behind all these scripted dinner parties and point-and-scream fights were real issues. Issues that we shouldn't want to see and shouldn't have to witness.

But now, thanks to the fact that being a reality star automatically makes you a celebrity, we do hear about these problems — and we must reconcile what we saw on TV and what we're hearing in the news. Then we have to decide if we still want to watch programs that showcase so much drama, while hiding so many real problems.

I'm all for table flipping and name-calling, but I'm not really interested in watching real lives fall apart.

(Photo: Bravo)