Sandoval could barely get a word out as Madix accused him of "victim-blaming," LVP called his behavior "perverse" and "macabre" and the "timeline" of his relationship with Raquel was called into question.
Part One of the the highly-anticipated “Vanderpump Rules” three-part reunion kicked off Wednesday night … and it got nasty, quick.
The hour began with Andy Cohen actually interviewing Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss separately the day before the entire cast sat down together. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait until next week to really hear from Raquel, whose one-on-one interview wasn’t really seen and who — thanks to her restraining order against Scheana Shay at the time — spent most of the episode watching the reunion being filmed from a TV screen inside a trailer 100 feet away.
Next week, she’ll trade spots with Shay … but, until then, let’s dive into everything that went down between Ariana and Sandoval tonight.
During her convo with Cohen, Madix first revealed her text messages to and from Raquel in the immediate aftermath of discovering the affair. It showed that on the night she found out about it, Ariana texted, “You are DEAD TO ME,” before Leviss responded two days later by writing, “I don’t even know what to say right now besides I really f—ed up and I am so so so sorry.”
Madix’s response? “Shut the f— up you f—ing RAT.” She then blocked Raquel.
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Tom, meanwhile, started to lay out the alleged timeline of events — saying that he and Raquel got close last year, before having sex after some of the cast went to The Abbey together last August. He said they weren’t together again for a while after that, until late September, but had started hooking up before BravoCon. Hearing that, Cohen wondered if Sandoval “got off” seeing both Ariana and Raquel cheering him on during a performance at the fan convention, with Tom exclaiming, “No! Oh my god, no!”
He went on to say that he and Madix “had issues” for a while, claiming that he felt more like her “gay BFF” than her partner. He said he didn’t like keeping their issues from the rest of the cast, as unseen footage from September 2022 showed him venting to a producer that he felt they were being fake. Ariana, however, said she felt as if she “always showed everything,” and took issue with his version of events.
“He’s framing it now as something else. Because he has to, he’s desperate. He will throw anything at the wall right now, hoping it will stick,” she told Andy. “He’s the one who used to tell me, he coached me on this the same way he’s coaching Rachel. Gotta get their lies right, their story right, their spin.”
She added that she was so disappointed and upset with Raquel because while “we all know men are trash,” Madix trusted her girlfriends. “So for someone to be so ingratiated in my life as my friend, how can someone be as close to me as she did and then [do that]?” she wondered, saying she “couldn’t imagine doing that to one of my friends” herself.
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And with that, the reunion proper started, as Andy sat down with Ariana, Tom, Lala Kent, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Schwartz and Scheana Shay. After noting that Raquel was MIA due to the restraining order situation, Cohen then immediately started things off by asking Tom whether he had anything to say to Ariana or the group about Scandoval.
“I just wanna thank everybody,” he began, his voice quivering as a single tear rolled down his cheek. With that, everyone started to pounce on him. “Pull yourself together, man! You’re not at the Oscars!” exclaimed James, mocking Sandoval’s crying before shouting, “Crocodile tears, p—y!” Madix also cut off Tom, exclaiming that he was “not a victim” and telling him, “The sad, sad act is f—ing bulls—.”
As he thanked the cast for supporting Ariana and adding she “didn’t deserve” anything that happened to her, he apologized for “doing the one thing I said I wouldn’t do and I did it in the worst way possible. I love you and I apologize.” Madix wasn’t having it, however, and told Andy that Tom “has victim-blamed me 100% of the way.” She added, “I don’t believe anything that just came out of his mouth. I think he’s f—ing full of s— and he can f— off.”
After Kent then compared Sandoval to her own ex Randall Emmett — calling Tom a “dangerous person” and “f—ing narcissist” — she and LVP got into it briefly, as Lisa thought that was a “ridiculous stance” to take. Lala said she wasn’t asking for anyone else’s opinions, rejecting Vanderpump’s before slamming Sandoval for cheating. Tom said she was the last one who should be judging his character, as LVP scolded them all, saying, “We cannot start like this.”
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Madix went on to say that a lack of quality time between her and Tom wasn’t the issue, instead saying he “caused a divide in the relationship because he was f—ing other people” — and not just Raquel. “He’s f—ed more than Raquel,” she said, citing Miami Girl and the mystery woman Tom admitted to cheating with in the season finale. “That f—ing f—er is at fault because he’s the one who made these choices,” she added, before proclaiming that “having intimacy issues does not excuse any f—ing thing” and saying any suggestion otherwise was nothing short of “victim-blaming.”
Ariana added that she knew about Miami Girl, but since they weren’t “exclusive” at the time of that hookup, she stood by Tom at the time, hoping everyone else would see the best in him because that’s what I saw at the time.” When Andy then reminded the cast that they were a group of cheaters — Madix included — Kent was the first to point out that “none of us were f—ing our best friend’s man.”
Cohen then tried to ask three different times why Sandoval didn’t cop to his behavior sooner — though near-physical confrontations between Tom and James kept derailing the reunion. As she watched from the trailer, Raquel smiled and laughed as she said to the TV, “I want him to answer this question!”
“I was obviously scared to. I think also she was going through a lot in that time and I didn’t want to add anything,” Sandoval eventually said.
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The focus then shifted to Schwartz, who was put on the spot about what he knew and when he knew it. He claimed that Sandoval first started coming to him in July 2022 to vent about his relationship issues with Madix, before hearing from Tom that he had an “intimate moment” with Raquel in August. “When Charlotte’s body wasn’t even cold,” Madix interjected, referring to the couple’s dead dog, who passed when the affair started. Schwartz then claimed Tom “broke it down for me” again in late August, after Scheana’s wedding.
That statement, however, caught Sandoval and the rest of the cast off guard — as Sandoval claimed he didn’t fill in Schwartz until mid-to-late January. “Did you guys not get your timelines together to match?” asked Kent, getting a good laugh out of Madix.
Both Toms then said that Sandoval pushing Schwartz to hook up with Raquel was 100% not a decoy or attempt to distract from Sandoval and Leviss’ affair — but LVP though it was both “macabre” and “perverse” that Sandoval was encouraging his “best friend to make out with somebody who you’ve just slept with.” She added, “There’s something strange about that.”
The boys then said that Schwartz & Sandy’s did “take a hit” when the scandal was first exposed in public, adding that there was even #TeamAriana graffiti in the bar’s bathroom. As Ariana said that anyone who visits their establishment better “not f—ing try to talk to me ever again,” Cohen wondered whether that also meant she’d stop speaking with LVP if Vanderpump stayed in business with the Toms.
“We just won’t be as close,” said Madix, really shocking Lisa with her comment. “What do you expect me to do? I’ve been close to you and supportive. I love you very much,” said Lisa, as Ariana said she would have “a hard time confiding” in Vanderpump going forward if she remained tied to Sandoval. “I’ll always love and support anything you do,” she then clarified, adding, “that will just not be a place that I [visit].” Lisa added that she didn’t want Tom and their business deals “affect our relationship.”
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As the episode came to a close, Scheana then said she regretted having Raquel’s back all season, something which caused serious tension between her and Katie throughout the episodes. She admitted to taking Raquel’s word about feeling bullied by Maloney — who was pissed at Leviss for making out with her ex-husband, Schwartz — as “Bible,” and felt that, as someone who had been in a similar position in the past, she had to “protect Raquel at all costs.”
“The word bully, we ain’t teaching pre-K here, this is f—ing Bravo, we all signed up for it,” said Kent, prompting a vicious back and forth between her and Sandoval, who called Lala a “bully” herself. When she brought up his affair, he said it wasn’t a “get of jail free card” to be thrown around any fight, before accusing Kent of using Raquel “as a scapegoat” all season long.
“I am taking accountability, you are not,” he added, before Lisa interjected and said that, yes, sometimes Kent could be “pretty aggressive” in the way she deals with others. That comment set off Kennedy, who felt Lisa was “sticking up for Tom too much.” She denied doing that, Tom said Lisa was just “being reasonable” and Kennedy stormed out of filming — exclaiming that he wasn’t “gonna listen to this s—” anymore. The hour ended with Raquel rolling her eyes at Kennedy’s antics, adding, “Oh my god.”
The “Vanderpump Rules” reunion will continue next Wednesday with Leviss in the hot seat … stay tuned!
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