The “Scandoval” that has rocked the Bravoverse has moved beyond the blogs and social, spilling over into “serious” news outlets. Last week, the news broke about a shocking, months-long affair between Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss from Vanderpump Rules — shocking because Tom had been with co-star Ariana Madix since 2014 and they own a home together. And Raquel was close friends with the couple, supposedly even sometimes staying at their home. Ariana discovered the affair the usual way — Tom’s cell phone — and things unraveled from there and there’ve been non-stop updates ever since. There’s been an alleged punch, a restraining order, legal letters over an explicit video, social media commentary from current and former castmates, and at least four iPhone Notes app statements. Both Tom and Raquel posted two separate apologies each.
In a statement to “Entertainment Tonight,” shared by the show on social media Wednesday, [Raquel] Leviss apologized to Ariana Madix for her months-long affair with Madix’s now former boyfriend, Tom Sandoval.
“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 began. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”
The two women had been portrayed as close friends on the Bravo reality series.
Leviss wrote that she is “reflecting” on her choices, “speaking to a counselor” and “learning things about myself such as my patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved.”
“I have sought emotional validation through intimate connections that are not healthy without regard for my own well-being, sometimes negatively affecting others and often prioritizing the intimate connection over my friendships,” her statement read. “I am taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices.”
Sandoval also posted a statement of apology to his longtime former girlfriend on his verified Instagram, writing, “I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process.”
“Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” his statement reads. “I’ve made mistakes, I was selfish, and made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love. No one deserves to feel that pain so traumatically and publicly.”
Over the weekend, Sandoval had posted a statement asking people not to blame his friend and business partner, Tom Schwartz, with whom he is part owner of Schwartz & Sandy’s Lounge in Los Angeles, or the business for his actions.
“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation,” Sandoval wrote. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”
These two apologies came out on the same day, just an hour apart. This was the second apology for Tom because the first focused on directing fans’ ire away from his restaurant and co-owner and didn’t mention Ariana at all. I guess he got roasted for that one and spun up a better one. Raquel’s apology is, perhaps, a good explanation for why she did what she did, but not great as far as actual apologies go. It’s self-absorbed and gives off “I’m not a victim, but woe is me” vibes. And at first she left comments on and used an emoji caption that many fans believe was a secret love signal between her and Tom. Anyway, Raquel felt compelled to offer up a second explanation to E! News and through Notes, saying:
One day after the Vanderpump Rules star broke her silence amid allegations of a months-long affair with Tom—which led to his split from longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix—the 28-year-old is speaking out about the nature of where they stand today.
“Besides the indefensible circumstances surrounding our relationship, my feelings for Tom have always been sincere and born out of a loving friendship,” she tells E! News in a statement. “Knowing how many people we hurt, I need to understand my choices and learn to make better ones.”
As Raquel noted, she vows to focus on herself first and foremost.
“I need to take care of my health, work on self-growth and take time to be ok with being alone,” she continued. “I care for Tom, and I don’t want to label anything or predict what lies ahead. Right now, I need to heal.”
All the stuff she’s saying about what she needs to do going forward is probably correct, but reads as so self-involved when she’s the one who did the harm to another person. Some of that language she’s using, you’d think she was the wronged party. Also, I don’t know if I believe this statement, because I kind of think she and Tom are together! A lot of the reporting indicated they want to be together and had planned to tell Ariana before she found out, but now seeing the reaction they must have changed their plan or decided to quiet things down for now. Ariana has so far been silent, even deleting her social media for a few days, but her friends/past/current castmates have been speaking on her behalf A LOT. Vulture and The Cut have good explainers (one is chronological and the other is the 5Ws) and Vanity Fair has an excellent analysis of what this scandal means to and for the show. It’s a messy situation and it’s all being caught on camera now. Filming on the current season was supposed to end, but once this broke, it was extended for two weeks and they’ve already filmed scenes with Tom/Ariana and Tom/Raquel. I do feel really bad for Ariana. It seems like she was completely blindsided and it must be incredibly hard to process this hurtful situation in such a public way. These cast members lives are so intertwined at this point that it must be really tough — it’s so personal, yet public, yet their job. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out and who stays on the show.
photos credit: Cover Images, JPI Studios/Avalon and Getty
The details of this affair just keep getting crazier everyday! I just listed to Kristen Doute’s podcast and she gave a good update/breakdown. Also WTF matching necklaces, him dressing up as her for Halloween during the affair, paying for her engagement??, and referring to herself as like his little sister, just too much! Also Tom spending CHRISTMAS with Rachel aka Raquel! Rachel lying about her black eye and using old pics! It gets crazier everyday!
The pictures are old? I hadn’t heard that yet or seen it in the #Scandoval news. Lying to the court like that is serious business.
Yes they are old pictures, one of her friends called her out on Instagram ! https://pagesix.com/2023/03/09/fans-think-raquel-leviss-had-black-eye-before-scheana-shay-confrontation/amp/
I think this is just a ratings ploy. Ariana and Tom probably decided to break up, and rather than just quietly, maturely splitting (aren’t they all in their 40s by now?) they concocted this juicy little story for mega headlines with Tom happily taking on the villain role. I mean, I haven’t watched the show in about 5 years, but this is the kind of scandal that might get me to tune in.
If it is a PR stunt, what a terrible decision for everyone except Ariana. Completely throwing away your reputation seems par for the course with reality TV , but I’d be shocked if people would knowingly play that kind of villain.
You’re joking right? They’re on a reality show. Most of them will play any role for attention and publicity. Their names are EVERYWHERE right now, so it’s working out beautifully.
Jax and Kristen Doute had a similar story arc in one of the earlier seasons, hooking up on the couch while Tom slept in the other room – fueling the show’s success and cementing their names in the original cast. This is 100% for attention.
I really don’t think it is a stunt. Most of the cast and ex cast have been completely blindsided like the rest of us.
Now, do I think Sandoval concocted the “Raquel-Tom Schwartz” thing to redirect the focus? Yes. He knows the game. He’s an excellent gaslighter. He did it to Kristen before it came out that she cheated on him with Jax. I think even Schwartz knew to an extent that he was being used.
Also can we stop calling her Raquel? Her name is Rachel.
This is absolutely not a stunt. If it were, their statements would have been cohesive and strategic to advance their narrative instead of the scattershot mess they’ve put out. Legal threats and restraining orders mean that it makes it more difficult for the cast to film together; they would NEVER do that as a stunt, and the TRO is 100% real. Plus, the cameras weren’t even rolling when Ariana found out – if they had planned this, they would’ve had a breakup on film instead of producers scrambling to get cameras back up once the news broke.
As Kimmy pointed out, the manufactured part is Schwartz as the Tom in the situation, though I do question when he actually figured out he was the decoy and actively went along with it.
If all the details are correct, then this is lesson on the following things: Never get too comfy and not reevaluate your circle, especially when off moments have been shown. Also, if it’s been 8yrs honey he should have gotten off pot a while ago. Had no intention to marry her and they got a house to split now.
Tom Sandoval has always been such a whiny loser, Ariana was the best thing that ever happened to him. How cruel to flaunt their affair in front of her with the matching cringe necklaces, hooking up in the guest room while Ariana slept in the other room, on and on. I hope for peace and healing for Ariana, she’s had such a rough year already.
Didn’t the entire cast, most of all Sandoval, come down on Kristin HARD for hooking up with Jax in the next room while Sandoval slept? And that relationship seemed like a mess where they were both cheating constantly. Sandoval is nearly 40 now, and he an Ariana own a home together. A 7 month affair at this point in his life is SO much worse.
Tom and Ariana seemed to want different things in life and had an unsteady relationship for years. A few years back, Tom complained how they weren’t having sex. He also definitely cheated on Ariana previously with Miami girl and I assume countless others on tour with his “band”. But at almost 40, he should have put on his big boy pants and left. I get that it is more difficult to leave once you have invested in property together, which is why when they all bought their houses near each other I cringed because I felt like none of them would remain together. And sure enough, Katie and Schwartz are divorced, selling the house, and now Tom and Ariana. I am waiting for Brittany and Jax to split, I guess once they stop having kids. He is a serial cheater/narcissist just like Tom.
I thought they’d eventually split because they wanted different things but they seemed solid in their communication skills and respect for each other. Looking back, it was Ariana who was up front and Tom going along to make the relationship work. I missed the early VPR years so never saw how they got together. They seemed to deal with issues by talking things out, not making emotionally dramatic choices. Boy, was I wrong!
@ Coco bean You really should watch the early seasons for a full view of everyone.
it is a special kind of awful when the other woman is a supposed friend. Just makes the betrayal by the husband twenty times more painful.
My friend tried to do it. Luckily my husband laughed her out of the room and told me immediately. Took me a while to get over that “friendship” – so much grieving and a real mindf**k to realize a seemingly authentic friendship (we were really in the trenches together and so much history!) was all fake and she didn’t see me the same way. I was in a competition I didn’t sign up for. 😢
Omg, that’s diabolically awful. Thank goodness your husband is a real one.
Thank you! Yes he really is the best. And this lady really seemed like my ride or die, and I had no idea she viewed me in what I’ve come to realize is a predatory lens, we were her “marks” and she just wanted my life not to be a key person in it. yet she seemed so real.
I have healed a lot but it was a huge loss and made me question my ability to read people.
Some “friends” are transactional people. They just are. It really hurts when they fool you in this horrible way.
The crazy thing is Tom got James introduced to the group in the first place and was his only friend for awhile then James started dating raquel. They were engaged, but she called it off in 2021(he was definitely verbally abusive to her). I wonder if Tom felt sorry for her and wanted to white knight her. Sucks because he owns a hosue with Ariana(I knew they were doomed when they bought the house together; their relationship seemed to be on unstable ground to begin with)
Thank you for covering this! It has been wild seeing the huge response to the breakup. Even people who don’t watch VPR or Bravo know what’s going on. Agree with above that if it’d been staged, cameras would’ve been there when Ariana found stuff on Tom’s phone. Filming had wrapped but they picked back up once Andy and producers were filled in the next day. So glad they did too, one of my big complaints about Bravo is they miss some of the biggest storylines that happen at night after cameras stop rolling on group trips.
@Coco Bean ESPECIALLY on the guy’s trips for VPR ala Miami Girl.
Is cheating a “process”? Wtf is he talking about?