Russell Armstrong's Lawyer I Never Saw This Coming

8/16/2011 11:40 AM PDT

Russell Armstrong's Lawyer: I Never Saw This Coming

Russell Armstrong's lawyer tells TMZ, he was blindsided by the sudden death of the "Real Housewives" star -- claiming, he spoke to Russell just days before his suicide ... and he seemed ok.

According to Ronald Richards -- Russell was a loving family man ... who spent every dwindling dollar he had to finance his estranged wife's lifestyle.

Ronald also has a theory about the effect of reality shows on marriage ... one that may explain Russell's inner torment -- watch the clip to check it out.