Taylor Armstrong’s final memories of her estranged husband Russell Armstrong are painful ones.
But even though the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star claims her ex said, “I’m going to kill you one day,” Taylor put on a brave face for the former couple’s daughter Kennedy, 5, right after Russell, 47, committed suicide by hanging himself a month ago.
“As I was laying in the street screaming, I realized that my little girl was there and I had to pull it together to get her out of there,” Taylor, 40, says in an interview airing Tuesday on ET. “I just told her that daddy got sick and he died.”
Taylor did not want Kennedy, who had a close relationship with Russell, to feel like she would be without him forever.
“[I told her] we could pick a star in the sky and it could be daddy, and that she could talk to him every night,” she says.
But outside of the way her daughter perceived Russell, Taylor – who previously spoke to PEOPLE about his alleged abuse – again shares the physical and emotional pain she endured during their marriage.
“He grabbed me by the neck and shoved me up against a wall,” she tells ET. “He said, ‘If you ever make my children eat pizza without a vegetable again, I’ll kill you.’ He would grab me by one side of the hair on my head and bang the other side of my head against the car.”
Alleged evidence of Russell’s abuse is documented in photos that show Taylor with what appears to be a brutally beaten eye. The photos will be shown when the interview airs.