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As briefly covered in my last post, Tom Sandoval of the Vanderpump Scandalhump appeared on Howie Mandel’s podcast and gave a bunch of half-truths and excuses for his affair in an hourlong interview. Tom honestly came off like a real jerk, sharing a lot of what should have been personal information about Ariana Madix, and basically blaming her for him cheating. He completely shirked responsibility and sounded 14 instead of 40. But Howie Mandel didn’t come off too well either. He gave Tom way too much grace and is facing backlash for how easy he made it for Tom to tell his side. But Howie thinks it’s fine that he didn’t challenge Tom or even really know what he was talking about.
Howie Mandel has found himself in the middle of the cheating scandal captivating the nation.
Mandel recently had Tom Sandoval on his “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast. During the episode, Tom spoke out publicly about his relationships with Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss.
On Wednesday, “Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with Howie, who was dragged on social media after the episode.
Howie commented, “I’m so beside myself. Listen, I don’t watch… and I made this clear. I don’t watch ‘Vanderpump Rules.’ I know what it is. I met Tom at a wedding. He’s a friend of a friend… I saw this Scandoval thing going into all this normal news cycle… and it was big! I didn’t know what it was and I asked my daughter to explain and she said, ‘It’s that guy you met at the wedding,’ and he seemed like a very nice guy… My whole take from it was: ‘I don’t understand why this is as huge as it is.’”
As for claims by Andy Cohen that he “didn’t do his homework,” Mandel responded, “I don’t need to do homework. I know who he is… I wasn’t gonna weaponize his information and kind of, you know, challenge him on each thing. Those people that watch Bravo, you could challenge any piece of information you get from my podcast, but it’s just amazing how it has blown up everywhere.”
First of all, Billy Bush knows a thing or two about not challenging comments made by the interviewee. Anyway, the backlash Howie faced was well-deserved and it’s disappointing that he’s doubling down. I hate to say it, but Andy Cohen is right! Regardless of what Howie thinks, he should have done his homework. Knowing Tom vaguely as a guy he met at a wedding was not enough for him to understand the nuances of the situation. And sure, maybe Howie didn’t want to weaponize the information so his guest would feel comfortable and actually share, but he went so beyond that. Howie actually said that Tom deserved empathy and compassion and didn’t challenge or even really ask thoughtful follow-ups about anything! He was basically just providing a platform of sympathy for a sh-tty dude. It’s fine that Howie doesn’t watch Vanderpump Rules, but he should have at least done some research about why it’s such a big deal before just having Tom on the podcast to get more listeners. But I guess he achieved his goal of inserting himself into the VPR drama news cycle.