Hiding From Reality Taylor Armstrong Book Review

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My name is BravoTVLover and Yes, I bought Taylor Armstrong’s book.  I decided last week that I could not be a nay-sayer or a complete doubter until I read her entire side of the story. I really didn’t want to write this book review.  The reason being is that so many “haters” of Taylor’s have their minds made up and it won’t matter that I detail her side of the events, some people just want to find any word/any small inconsistency like the use of “home” to describe going to her hotel room to discredit her entire abuse story.  I know that this is a sensitive issue and I feel sorry for Russell’s family and children, but here’s what- NOBODY knows what happens between spouses when the doors are closed.  I have experienced abuse at the hands of an ex and even my family didn’t believe me at first until it was admitted.  So, just because Russell was a good friend, brother, son, or father does not mean that Taylor wasn’t hurt. 

Yes, she changed her name a few times and that always seemed so shady to me.  But, she explains it. Yes, her behavior was annoying season one (and two with the meltdowns) but she explains it. Taylor explains it all…

I’ve read all the lines of “time” (do you like how I switched that up) and I’ve read all the “proof” that Taylor is lying but in the book she addresses most of my questions.  I believe this woman was abused by her husband.  She has suffered enough and I am not going to continue to question her on her life story anymore.  Should she have written a book so close to his death? No, it isn’t something I would do, but I didn’t suffer like she has.  She has a financial mess on her hands and she was paid a lot of money to write her story.  She is donating money to domestic violence organizations as she tweeted the other day. 

This book synopsis took almost 4 hours to type, so please if you “borrow” please give me some credit.  There are many stories I left out and this is not the entire book and I encourage you to buy the book.

She starts off detailing the abuse that we’ve heard about before where she was between 2-3 and she remembers pulling her daddy’s hair to get him to stop hitting her mother.   Taylor’s mother then leaves her dad and struggles to raise Taylor as a single mother throughout her childhood.  Her mother worked multiple jobs in order to provide for Taylor and herself and Taylor felt that her mother was always crying. Her mom was only 21 when she had Taylor and looking back Taylor feels that her mom must have been extremely lonely. Taylor had very little contact with her biological father once her parents divorced as he moved on and had another family.  She said her visits with him filled her with dread.  She describes her dad as intimidating and when he was angry with her he would use her entire birth name:  Shana Lynette Hughes.  “ ..I think this association is one of the reasons that I always hated my name.  I never felt like Shana Lynette Hughes. And because I didn’t like who I was, or the life I’d been born into, I always felt there was someone else I needed to be. “Hiding From Reality 

She tells us that she always wanted to trade names with her “normal” friend name Melissa who was a child of a traditional family living in a nice home with a white picket fence. She was embarrassed of her humble living conditions because divorce wasn’t as common as it is today.  They moved a lot and she had a lot of inconsistencies growing up and Taylor never really wanted her friends to know how she lived eating fish sticks and macaroni and cheese.   She felt abandoned by her dad because she didn’t have much to do with him and she had very low self-esteem.  Taylor tells us that she started having boyfriends at a very young age and her first boyfriend moved away a year into the relationship soon after sixth grade.  She said that she was devastated that this consistent relationship was ending and she considered “throwing herself under the school bus”.   “I didn’t want to live without him, but since my life did in fact go on, I had to find another boyfriend. And so began a lifelong pattern:  I always had to have a boyfriend.  Without the force a guy in my life, I became more insecure, nervous, and introverted.”  Hiding From Reality, Taylor Armstrong

She moved to Tennessee (holla)for junior high and then to Tulsa for 8th grade.  She details awful boyfriends that treated her horribly, but she was desperate for the relationships to work.  When boyfriends tried to end relationships she would beg, “Please don’t leave me”  “It’s humiliating and painful for me to think back on behavior like this, but it’s who I was years, including throughout my marriage to Russell.” Hiding from Reality  Taylor Armstrong She went to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology and then entered the master’s program at the University Of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center because she wanted to prove that she was good enough to be a scientist or a doctor despite her upbringing.  Soon into the program, she realized it wasn’t what she was interested in.

She developed symptoms of exercise bulimia as a high school and college cheerleader stemming from her self-loathing.  She ate very little and exercised twice daily.

She discusses living with her college cheerleading partner- I think this might be the Jeremy Sipes we’ve read about but curiously, she doesn’t name him by name unlike the other boyfriends she listed.  He cheated on her and she moved on and tried to fit in with another boyfriend and his family. She details paying attention to every detail in order to act perfect in order to impress her boyfriend of years and his family.  She didn’t feel like she was worthy of his love because of her childhood and who she was.  She legally changes her name to Shana Taylor in order to take her now step-father’s name and the only dad she’s ever had.  Her friends then start calling her “Taylor”. She was relieved to be putting Shana Hughes behind her.

At 22, she gets the lip implant and a boob job in order to try and feel good about herself.

First real job, pharmaceutical sales in Illinois where she met Dwight.

Moved to Dallas for better job, heavily pursued a guy that looked straight laced and stable and within a few months, she moved to Florida to be with “Chris”and she quit her job in Dallas as Chris’ dad was her boss.  She spent the next couple of years with Chris and was engaged to him and played the role as stay at home wife beginning in an apartment, then later in a house.  5 weeks before the wedding, Chris called it off.  Taylor then moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL. And worked another job 2001-2004 during this time, she wanted a fresh start and to abandon the insecure girl that craved a man’s affection so she decided to change her name again.  This time she changes her last name to Ford after her favorite designer (her aunt had been in fashion) and first name to Taylor.  Taylor Ford.

A friend in FL had a stroke and she spent a year helping him to rehabilitate.  The friend opened up a business in California 2004 and asked Taylor to move there.  By that time, her mother and stepdad were in Orange County, CA.

She says that when she first saw Russell Armstrong she knew she had to have him.  She pursued him for months because of his stability, confidence, appearance and business sense.  She had her own money at this time driving a silver Porsche and living in a nice condo.  He blew her off as a gold digger.  Over time, after she kept running into him and his friends, he asked her out.

On the way to the first date-Valentine’s Day , when she learned that they were going to be eating at Dolce, she told Russell that a guy that had been calling her hung out there a lot and she hoped it wasn’t awkward.  Once seated, Russell accused her of “F*cking the bartender”at Dolce. Despite her insistence that she was not sleeping with anyone, he kept accusing her until she cried on their very first date.  From that first date and throughout their entire marriage, Taylor paints a picture of a very jealous, suspicious Russell Armstrong.  He accused her of being a whore to a major NBA player because he had called her phone once or twice after meeting him BEFORE meeting Russell. 

Russell had such paranoia that he tape-recorded Taylor in her car, in the office, in the bedroom and after she found the first tape recorder and her cleaning lady also found tape recorders, she just always assumed that she was being recorded.  When she tearfully asked him about it, he said that she shouldn’t mind if there was nothing to hide.  Taylor details seeing Russell remotely log in to her emails from his computer across town through one of those remote programs and watching the mouse cursor click on email after email.  When she had a small eraser sized scab on her back, he accused her of having rough violent sex and cheating on her.  He would bring up this, the NBA player paranoia about every couple of months throughout their relationship despite her insistence that nothing of the sort had happened.  He was insistent that she was lying to him for years and he finally asked her to take a lie detector test.  After some argument, he convinced her that if she had nothing to hide- she would take the test.  She obliged and passed.  He was thankful for her taking it, but soon thereafter, he accused her of paying off the lie detector test administrator.

Once they got serious, they were inseparable and she backed away from her other relationships and isolated herself with only Russell and his boys every other weekend.  She did whatever he said to do and learned quickly to always have her phone beside her where she could hear it when she wasn’t with him.  If she didn’t answer for a mere 15 minutes, he created a scenario in his head that she was cheating on him in a secret hotel room at the Four Seasons when in reality, she was having a facial with electrodes on her face or having her nails done.  He continued a cycle of dominance and control and if she didn’t do what he wanted when he wanted it, he would tell her to leave or that it was over.  It was a high-conflict relationship where she had to walk on eggshells and behave just right in order to try and please him.  She details times where he would get so mad at her at business dinners if she talked too much OR too little that he would just get in his car and leave the dinner with no explanation to her or his clients.   He would tell her that she was too skinny and having sex with her was like having sex with a skeleton.

“…I was hooked on the roller-coaster ride of the relationship, and the need it brought out in me to please him.  He seemed hooked too.  Instead of breaking up, we established a pattern:  he flew into a rage over the smallest thing, or sometimes over nothing other than a figment of his imagination.  I apologized, cried, and begged and pleaded, and vowed myself that I would be so perfect that he’d never get angry again.  From the beginning, I began compiling a careful mental inventory of all the many things I needed to avoid doing or saying to keep the peace in our relationship.”  Hiding from Reality

Russell apparently told her stories of a rough childhood growing up in public housing in Dallas where he fought regularly growing up and that was his reasoning for being so aggressive with her mentally and physically.  When he explained his relationship with his first wife, he told Taylor that she would throw dishes at him and she would fly into rage.  One time he held out his palm and his ex wife ran into it and she called the police.  Within the first few months of dating Russell, she ran into his ex-fiancée who told her to run for the hills and that she (Taylor) was probably being recorded.  They soon moved in together and she found the recorders.

Soon, they got pregnant (they had discussed it previously) but Russell ONLY wanted to keep the baby if it was a girl since he already had two boys.  Thankfully, they learned they were having a girl.

Then, the story we’ve heard- she made pizza for his boys, Russell came home from work and they were going out for a business dinner and Taylor was downstairs (kitchen was on the 2nd floor of 3 floors) and Russell came out of nowhere and grabbed her throat and shoved her against the wall.  This was the first incident of physical abuse.  “If you ever again serve my kids a pizza without a vegetable, I’ll kill you, “he said.  “You have just humiliated me in front of my mother.”  Hiding from Reality

Taylor blamed herself and profusely apologized.  He called her names and said he wouldn’t take her to the business dinner. She didn’t want to be LEFT so she begged to go with him and she went, but he wouldn’t talk to her all night.  She details trying to stay one step ahead of Russell so that he would never have a reason to hurt her again.  If he wanted a shirt and it was at the cleaners ready to be picked up it would set him off for an entire day. 

Russell was inattentive during her pregnancy and didn’t take an interest in Lamaze classes and only made it to like one class.

Then, they got engaged, Russell tells her out of the blue that he’s filing for bankruptcy due to the palimony suit brought by his ex fiancée.  They got married in Cabo Oct2005, Kennedy was then born and Russell didn’t want Taylor to breastfeed her because breasts belonged only in a bikini.  Taylor did breastfeed for a few weeks while Russell was out of town, but when he returned, Taylor’s body quit producing milk. 

She describes a marriage where they never discussed money.  If she was buying something over $500 she would have to discuss in advance and she was questioned regularly who she had been to lunch with and why.  He didn’t want her to know anything about the finances because of being burned by his ex fiancée.  Apparently, she took financial information from him and it hurt him significantly.

He then began grabbing the side of her head after dinners, etc… and smashing her head against the glass window in the car.  In a reflective moment, Russell told Taylor to hit him back the next time he hit her.  So she did, and he went into a rage.  He told her to not ever do that again because he was afraid he was going to kill her.  After one particular head banging incident, she had her nanny, Gloria take photos of the knots that were somewhat visible on camera.  His physical abuse episodes were about every six weeks or so.

Throughout all of this, her nanny, her friends, her mom all told her to leave him.  When she wanted to talk to her family, she had to do it outside of the house and outside of the car in order to not be recorded.  She wanted to go to therapy but Russell wouldn’t go.

In 2009 she began interviewing for RHOBH he didn’t think she would be cast so he didn’t mind that she tried out.  Then on May 22, 2009 a horrible incident involving Russell and her best friend’s fiancé was one of the last straws.

Her friend Jennifer (This is Jennifur Diamond) had gotten engaged to Mark (Alsentzer) and she and Russell in two separate cars went by their friend’s house to say congratulations.  When Russell was ready to leave, he left in his car and then Mark asked Taylor how things were going with the abuse because Jennifer had told him about the abuse.  When Mark offered to help Taylor and Kennedy if they needed to escape, Russell emerged from the side gate and started hitting Mark saying something like you aren’t going to take my wife from me, throwing him into the pool and holding him under.  Russell briefly let go of Mark and grabbed Taylor and held her under water.  Jennifer the friend started beating Russell over the head with a fire log.  Russell went back to Mark and punched him over and over.  Jennifer called the police and the ambulance.  Jennifer told police that she was afraid that Russell was going to kill Taylor.  Mark needed 20 stitches, and 5 front teeth were knocked out.  Despite this, Taylor pressured Mark and Jennifer not to press charges.  Taylor paid for $10,000 of the dental work.  The police kept trying to question Taylor and she tried to protect Russell and told them that he wasn’t trying to kill her.  She was afraid that if he went to jail that they would be financially ruined. 

Each time the abuse happened, Taylor thought she could learn from whatever she had done wrong and it wouldn’t happen again.  She thought she could change him.

RHOBH was continuing to call for casting and since she was friends with Adrienne and Adrienne knew of the abuse, Adrienne thought it would be financially smart for Taylor to do the show, plus Taylor thought that Russell would behave better if he was on camera.

In March 2010 cameras began rolling and Taylor says that she felt that she needed to play up the parts of a perceived Beverly Hills housewife.  She hid some of her personality and took on a persona that she believed viewers would be more interested in.  After the first season aired, they viewed how the other ladies conducted themselves in their marriages and Russell agreed to go to counseling.  Whenever she was filming and Russell would have paranoia that she was cheating, he would text her “F&ck you, you whore.”  Lisa Vanderpump witnessed one of these texts and told Taylor that it was unacceptable.

Once the show started airing in Oct 2010, Taylor didn’t like her Stepford Wife behavior and how she represented herself as the stereotypical Botox housewife.  “I saw it all, and at times I hated myself as much as some of the hostile people on twitter did.”  Taylor quit reading blogs and reviews due to the negativity but Russell was addicted to Google alerts and the reviews in an unhealthy way.  Every little thing would set him off if he read that an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s had commented or been interviewed, etc… “Russell felt that he could control the whole world as completely as he controlled me.”  Hiding from Reality  Finally, admitting that they needed help, Russell agreed to go to counseling.

Dr. Sophy was their counselor and Taylor said that the therapy was working and that she and Russell were communicating better than ever before.  Dr. Sophy would hold them both accountable for working on their marriage and he kept in touch almost daily through phone or text with both of them.

During this time another witness to the yelling, arguing and abuse was Taylor’s new live in assistant Julie.  Russell would apologize to her about his yelling and she told Taylor that she would listen every night to make sure that Taylor wasn’t hurt.

 In January 2011- they went to Dallas for the Superbowl and fans kept coming up to talk to her and Russell didn’t like all of the attention that she was getting.  He got really mad at Taylor and pulled her into a service entrance in the hallway of a restaurant and hit her twice in the jaw with his open hand. When they returned to where they were staying that night, Taylor was talking to their friends and Russell overheard her tell someone that he got physical and when Taylor went to bed, Russell hit her in the jaw.  “After several blows, something snapped.  The pain was excruciating, and I could no longer shut my mouth.  Russell had knocked my jaw out of socket. He kept hitting me.”   Hiding from Reality She knelt over the toilet in order to try and fix it because she couldn’t close her mouth and saliva was coming out.  She wasn’t able to fix it.  Then, she laid on the bed and popped it back into place (I read a couple of people say that if it is truly out of socket that this is nearly impossible to do) still in horrible pain and had to be gentle with it for days. She never saw a doctor and she still gets shooting pain from her jaw.

When they returned home, Russell claimed he was moving out and he set a moving date for the following day.  He hired movers and found a listing in a high rise condo.  That date came and went and he didn’t leave.  This is when she met Camille and told Camille he was leaving but he didn’t.  They never discussed why Russell didn’t actually leave.

She discusses him yelling at her in front of Kennedy and him telling Kennedy that Taylor was a whore and to get the f&ck out of his life.

Later, Dr. Sophy put Russell on medication and it worked really well, but Russell didn’t like what he felt like on the medicine. So, Russell decided to bring home some pot and while the nanny was with Kennedy, Taylor and Russell would get high together.  Taylor said that when Russell was high he was the husband she always wanted him to be.

Then, despite that things were getting better with Russell on meds and “the pot” Taylor’s castmates were frustrated with her and her inconsistencies.  She totally understands why.  Her marriage was such a plotline on the show and she was on such a rollercoaster but she couldn’t fully explain it all because she was caught up in the tornado of the cycle of abuse.  She didn’t want Russell to know the extent that she had spoken to the ladies, but she didn’t want to leave him yet because she loved him.

The last straw was the night of her perfect 40th birthday party at Beecher’s Madhouse and they were staying overnight at the Four Seasons.  They had friends there, they were laid back and dancing and kissing on the dance floor.  Taylor describes having these amazing butterflies for Russell again that night and everything was perfect.   They got back to the hotel (she said “home “meaning back to the hotel)and they started to kiss in bed and then he all of a sudden started questioning her about the Chippendales in Vegas and why and where did she lose her phone.  He accused her of having bruises all down her back but there were no bruises.  He kept calling her a whore and accusing her of cheating on him. She was on top of him naked and trying to convince him that nothing had happened and he raised himself up on one elbow and punched her hard straight in the right eye.

She went into the living room of the hotel suite and woke up her assistant Julie and told her what was going on.  She doesn’t say she left or where she slept but the next day she went by the pool to relax despite not being able to look inward or down.  The next day, she visited her LASIK doctor who told her flap had been wrinkled and asked Taylor in front of Russell how it had happened.  Taylor lied as Russell had instructed her to do and said Kennedy had kicked her while swinging.  She had to have her flap repaired and then wait 10 days after her flap healed before having the ocular plastic surgery to fix the fracture.  On June 26, she had a CAT scan that showed that 40% of her orbital floor (the bone supporting the eye) had been fractured and required major surgery and an overnight hospital stay.  The doc went on to say that she would need a titanium implant beneath her eye so that her eye would not be sunken for the rest of her life.  After that, she, Julie and Kennedy left for a few days and she told Russell over the phone to move out.  He said he would be out by the next day.  That’s when she called Kyle and Lisa in Hawaii.

On July 5, 2011 Taylor had the reconstructive surgery and Russell tried to win her back in the hospital with roses, but Dwight and her mom made her make him leave even though she still loved him and wanted him there. The bruising that we saw in the photos was from the surgery but the injury that caused the surgery was still from Russell.

Then, from her recovery through mid August, they were cordial and even played with Kennedy together and went to dinner. 

The discovery of the body was widely reported and not much new information was shared other than conveying how it was the worst day of her life.

She kept a suit for each of Russell’s boys and she speaks of them lovingly throughout the book.  She also is making a photo album for both of them.

This book is a must read if you are a fan of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  It was well worth the money in my opinion.  I understand that many disagree with me on this point.  I am not saying that I believe every word 100% as that would be foolish.  HOWEVER, after reading this book, I believe that she has suffered abuse-mental and physical.  Taylor, if you read this- I wish you well.  I hope that you, Kennedy  and Russell’s sons can someday be able to move forward and remember the time in between the cycles of abuse-the honeymoon stages.  

If you have questions, please leave them in the comments- but I ask you to be nice!  I didn’t write the book-I’m just reporting it and voicing my opinion.

23 Comments

  1. Laura S.

    Hey there! I used to post with you on Twitter but I deleted my account. (Team Bernie – we got along though :) )Anyhow I miss getting to post with you, but I don’t miss Twitter at all! I do still read it sometimes and that’s how I found your new blog. Congratulations! I wanted to thank you for reading the book and posting your opinions on Taylor, in the face of the overwhelming hatred she gets. You have helped change my opinion of her and the situation in very positive ways and I hope that you might do that for others as well. Great job!!!

  2. Tuzentswurth

    Wow BTVL, thanks for taking one for the team. You know “I’m not Taylor’s best fan” lol. I am still hesitant to take her entire side of the story as truth because of so many lies and inconsistencies and they continue to get worse. I am suspect of everything she says. I think there is a real possibility that drugs (stronger than pot) and alcohol played a role in this. Impaired people engaging in two way brawls doesn’t make one person a victim any more than the other. I am so sad for the children involved and the people who loved and cared about Russell. There are a lot of victims here and it is so sad and depressing. I am afraid Taylor is living in her own fantasy world and she is setting herself up for bigger problems. Taylor is now releasing CT records, I wonder why they weren’t included in the book along with the operative report from July5, 2011. Taylor could have included a lot of proof other than her word which she knows is not well received. This was a very good blog and thank you for sharing.

  3. I appreciate you posting this. I plan on reading through this again, just for good measure. However, something Taylor said struck a nerve and I feel that it shows a level of pretentiousness in her character that most average American woman wouldn’t connect with.

    First off: Fish sticks and Mac & Cheese. While not a staple in my home, it is available because the kids like it. I get the good fish sticks (with the better ingredients, not the cheaper ones, just because it’s my choice) but my kids LOVE IT. It’s a kid food. There is nothing embarrassing about it. If it’s all you can afford, then dammit her mom did her best to feed her. I feel it’s a disservice to her mother for being “embarrassed” by having fun kid food. What else was she expecting? Being a single parent when you have little means isn’t easy.

    Secondly: “She was embarrassed of her humble living conditions because divorce wasn’t as common as it is today.” Taylor is 38. She’s MY AGE. By the time I got to Junior High, divorce was as prevalent and rampant as it is today. You can research it online, rates have GONE DOWN since 1990 (http://www.statista.com/statistics/195955/divorce-rate-in-the-united-states-since-1990/) I feel like she wants people to paint this picture of her as this abused, neglected, innocent, naive and sheltered child. I find her ignorance irritating, and the fact that she thinks her readers will accept her side and ONLY her side without question is insulting.

    I do appreciate your review, because for those of us NOT willing to shell out money to fund her financial woes, we are still interested to see how a scheming and manipulating “victim” plays her story to her public. She’s not the first person in history to do so, she won’t be the last.

    Finally, I just pray for her daughter and stepsons. I hope that through all this they find some source of grounding and center to be able to cope with their loss and the obvious lack of support they get from her. Because how can she be supporting and caring for her family when she’s so busy promoting her abuse and her book. I really wish her well, and out of the limelight because I just think with all the negativity that she is receiving that this ISN’T helping her daughter. Taylor needs to focus on her, her daughter and their healing, and not her fame and her book, and her foundation and her TV show.

    But in the grand scheme of things, my opinion, in truth, means absolutely nothing. But it was a good article!

  4. SlickLime

    Taylor’s mentioned several witnesses and events that would have official documentation, but none have come forward. A police call especially with an ambulance would be documented. Who paid the bill for the ambulance? Taylor’s ‘friends’ would not just automatically start calling her Taylor out of the blue. I don’t believe her. This new Ste Taylor incarnation is not doing it for me.

  5. Mozzie

    Unfortunately I can’t even bear to read this synopsis, let alone the whole book. I got as far as the jealous rant on their first date and can take no more! Does anyone REALLY believe this rubbish???

  6. Janie

    You wrote a good article, but we have seen this woman become aggressive in such a way that it is just contributes to the belief this was definitely a sick, two-way street of provoking one another until someone really did get hurt. She was afraid to talk about it, but look at all the people who knew – I never heard anything indicating Adrienne knowing T. was being abused BEFORE the casting for RHOBH. Certainly won’t buy this book, but she herself is responsible for people not trusting her word on anything, and the stories in this book often sounds just like that: stories. I would have some respect for her if she quit attacking anyone who doubts her and remove herself from public eye for her daughter’s sake. Will this book save lives – we would be thankful if it did, but remember this woman agreed to work for and be spokeswoman for a charity to help victims of DV all the while knowing she was not following any of the advice she and the charity dispensed to those women. You immediately think she just wanted attention, which she says she has always needed. We will never know the real truth – you need two sides to try and sort that out, and there is only one voice in this horribly sad, sick situation: Taylor’s.

  7. Kwagzz

    I appreciate your thorough review, but your belief on taylor’s stories clouds your writing. People have questioned the dislocated jaw and eye incidents because Taylor’s versions of theses stories are not consistent. You explain away the inconsistencies as fact (being at home v. Hotel, lounging poolside with a severe eye injury). People who lie always mess up their stories at some point, as did Taylor. If my husband punched me anywhere, I would remember exactly how and when. I get it that you believe Taylor. I don’t. Your review suffers from your obvious bias.

  8. BTVL,
    I read your review and perspective regarding Taylor, her claims and her book. I’m sure you know that you have taken a stance which goes against popular opinion. It was interesting (and very brave of you) to allow all of us who have been hyper-critical of Taylor to look at things from a very different POV. I posted the link to your review on my bog for others to read. Thank you for your painstaking post.

  9. truthiness

    We now know that it was in fact Jennifur Taylor Diamond and Mark Alsentzer. Why she mispelled Jennifur’s name in the book (JTD changed her name from Jennifer Lynne Wahlgren to JTD in 2003; note the use of Taylor as a middle name) who knows.

    I have read and re-read your review and I am just not understanding WHY you believe her. When I re-read it today, I came to wonder if it wasn’t just that you feel sympathy for her. In other words, IF these things happened, anyone would be sympathetic – anyone with a heart, that is. I know I would be sympathetic. And then once you start feeling sympathetic, you feel you have to believe her?

  10. bravotvlover

    It’s possible that my sympathy for her compels me to believe her stories. I also tend to believe that she hit back on more than one occasion.

    Sent from my iPad

  11. truthiness

    Appreciate your thoughtful and honest answer.

    Does this story about her sleeping with her married attorney (highly unethical on his part) change your views at all?

  12. bravotvlover

    Lol! I just emailed about that. I don’t care who she sleeps with I still think she was an abused woman. If she’s sleeping with a married man, wellllll let’s just say I will blog my honest opinion and will put her on blast about that if proof I.e. the wife, damaging pics come out. In the infamous words of a wise old bish named Zarin, “just cause you say it doesn’t make it true” about the affair just cause they went to dinner. Plus, the attorney is ugly, she could do much better! Ima do some investigating tonight.

  13. truthiness

    Huh. I think he is cute. And definitely got some $$. I think for me, the issue is that she started dating him four months after Russell died. I mean seriously – body not even cold, and she’s out gold-digging again.

    Dr. Sophy should tell her that if she really wants self-esteem, she should support herself and her daughter. I am serious. There is nothing more liberating and better for your self-esteem than knowing that you can take care of yourself, that you don’t need to rely on anyone else. To have your own money and be able to spend it as you please. She should try it sometime.

  14. T.W. Howard

    “After that, she, Julie and Kennedy left for a few days and she told Russell over the phone to move out. He said he would be out by the next day.”

    Because everyone knows, a highly controlling, abusive husband says “Yes Dear” and complies when he is told what to do by his abuse victim. NOT.

    With all due respect BravoTVlover, you need to visit a women’s shelter and get to know some real domestic violence survivors, not women like Taylor who appropriate some experiences from other’s lives and call themselves abuse victims. That scenerio would have NEVER happened with a man as violent and abusive as Taylor claims Russell was. I do thank you for writing this synopsis of her book though, it was a pleasure to read your work and I will be referring others here and giving you credit.

  15. Opalessence

    I agree with you. Plus, she was a cheerleader in high school, THAT is very expensive.
    I’m also intrigued by the information that she lived in a condo and drove a silver porsche when she met Russell. Where did she get the money for that? Why couldn’t she go back to earning that type of money or have that lifestyle raising Kennedy as a single mother? There are just too many inconsistencies and explanations that contradict each other to make me believe 1 word. And the story of Ninja (pudgy, pasty) Russell attacking another man, Taylor (who almost “drownded”!!) and 2 pitbulls like a crazy man, yet he was never arrested? B.S.

  16. Opalessence

    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. What an idiot.

  17. T W Howard

    If you slapped him and he slapped you, that is NOT abuse in my book, That is physical fighting, Abuse is bullying, one sided, systematic domination by a stronger (physically, psychologically, economically) party in the relationship for the purposes of controlling through fear and intimidation. It involves isolation from family and other support groups to more fully control the victim.

    It sounds to me like what you had was just a volatile relationship, not an abusive one. All physical fighting is NOT abuse. For some couples it intensifies their sexual attraction for one another and is part of a very passionate relationship overall. So when both parties are participating in it and or provoking it, I don’t consider that abuse. I know abuse. It is relief when they leave the house and a gnawing dread as the time for them to return draws near. It is walking on egg shells to keep from setting them off. You don’t fight back or retaliate because you know you will get it ten times worse. The police called me to tell me not to meet my ex for our children’s parenting exchanges within their city limits without a police escort, as they felt I was in danger from talking to my ex. That is abuse.

  18. I went to high school with Shana/Taylor one year older however. Union was a sort of wanna be rich snobby preppy themed type then. Her mother was indeed struggling financially, her grandparents paid for her cheerleading and bought her nice clothes and a nice red miada with her name Shana written on the side. She was gorgeous. We all wanted to be cool! It was freaking high school! I too has divorced broke parents was ashamed, wasn’t lucky enough to have had grandparents to given me what she recieved. I too later changed me name. SO WHAT!! I later became a self made millioniare. I too will write a book cause growing up with crappy parents and the pressures of high school and finally “making it on my own” without college is what really matters!! I hope Taylor learns that what matters is what she did with her life and can LAUGH AT HER CHILDHOOD! I do look at Christopher Titus, he’s a comedieum and we must laugh and move on. I love my life and although my childhood sucked, my adult life is beautiful!!

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