Vanderpump Rules Highlights
Vanderpump Rules’s Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’s secret affair has rocked the Bravo TV show’s fan base throughout 2023 – and it has shown no signs of slowing down or getting less complicated. But now, in a new interview, Sandoval has hinted things could be over already as the fallout continues.
Speaking on Howie Mandel’s podcast, “Howie Mandel Does Stuff”, conversation inevitably turned towards Sandoval and his current relationship status.
Affirming he and Raquel are “really good friends”, Sandoval then tried to brush off the idea the pair were in any kind of romance.
“We’re not putting any label on it,” he said. “We’re also just kind of taking a break.”
When America’s Got Talent judge Mandel pushed further, questioning if they were friends “with benefits”, Sandoval bluntly responded: “Not right now.”
At the beginning of March, Vanderpump Rules fans were stunned when Sandoval and girlfriend of nine years, Ariana Madix, broke up.
It was later revealed the cause was Sandoval having months-long affair with Raquel.
Raquel, the ex-fianceé of James Kennedy, had been rumoured to be connecting with Tom Schwartz, Sandoval’s business partner and best friend, in the weeks leading up to the affair being revealed.
Schwartz completed his divorce from Katie Mahoney in October 2022, with the most recent season of Vanderpump Rules showing the pair attempting to navigate their social circles without each other.
All those involved are cast members of the show, and as such the “Scandoval” has played out in real-time as truth has come to light.
The revelation of the affair was first broken by TMZ at the time of Sandoval and Ariana’s split.
It’s believed the discovery of the affair happened in-between filming, forcing the Bravo production team to scramble to get any of it on film.
In the days after the affair went public, Raquel made a public apology to Ariana, stating she was seeking counselling and “took full responsibility for her actions”.
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Saying in a statement she “sought validation through intimate connections”, Raquel added she was “taking steps to understand her own choices”.
“I want to apologize for my actions and my choices foremost to Ariana, and to my friends and the fans so invested in our relationships,” the statement read in part.
“There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”
During his chat with Mandel, Sandoval said he “still loved” Ariana, but ahead of their split had been living separate lives.
“It’s just crazy how big this whole thing has gotten for who I am,” he said of the viral reaction the affair and the interweaving lives of those involved.
“I’m not like the royal family, I’m on a reality show. Like, if Snooki has an affair with whoever, is that going to be national news?”
Adding he’s only just now getting time to “reflect” on the situation now the uproar has died down, Sandoval also claimed he had “broken up with Ariana on Valentine’s Day” – weeks before the affair was revealed – but they hadn’t told anyone.
“I never thought I’d get myself in a situation like this — never,” he told Mandel. “I mean, I worked too hard on my image, for my businesses, my integrity and everything. But it just happened.”
Vanderpump Rules is available on Bravo TV in the US and HayU internationally.
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