Tom Sandoval, left, and Raquel Leviss, right, seen at a party in 2021.
Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” stars Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss ― two of the people involved in a reality TV cheating scandal so big that it inspired a New York Times explainer ― have released statements essentially confirming their relationship.
The pair, whom TMZ reported was in a secret romance last week, dropped lengthy statements Tuesday night and Wednesday morning apologizing to their co-star Ariana Madix, who had been in a relationship with Sandoval since 2014.
While neither of their statements mentioned the other by name, both apologized to Madix.
“I can only imagine how devastating this has been for Ariana and everyone around us. I feel really horrible about that. My biggest regret is that I dishonored Ariana. I never meant to disappoint so many people, including our loving families and friends,” Sandoval wrote. He also confirmed reports that he and Madix’s nearly decade-long relationship ended in the wake of the scandal.
Leviss, who first appeared on the show’s fifth season and became a main cast member during last year’s ninth season, issued a similar statement and said she’s working on addressing her “patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved” by other people.
“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,” she said. In recent interviews from before the cheating scandal erupted, Leviss is frequently referred to Madix as one of her best friends.
Leviss also confirmed that she’s been “physically assaulted” after the scandal. According to Los Angeles County Superior Court documents, she filed for a restraining order against fellow cast member Scheana Shay, whom TMZ reported got violent with Leviss over the order.
It’s not the first cheating scandal to rock “Vanderpump Rules” ― which follows the lives and jobs of people working at “Real Housewives” star Lisa Vanderpump’s various Los Angeles restaurants ― and it’s not even the first one to involve Sandoval or Madix, whose relationship first blossomed on the show’s third season. But as fans will tell those uninitiated into the Vanderpump universe, this is a big one.
As is the case with most reality TV, fans of “Vanderpump Rules” find villains and heroes amongst the show’s cast members, who may find themselves flipping from one category to the other each season as they pick fights, take sides and either outrage or endure themselves to the show’s loyal viewers. But amidst those shakeups, Madix and Sandoval were pretty consistent heroes.
While affairs, divorces and explosive fights rocked the other couples on “Vanderpump Rules,” the show typically portrayed the two as a stable, happy duo. Madix, in particular, found favor with fans of the show for staying out of many cast squabbles, calling out problematic behavior by her coworkers and speaking openly about her struggles with body image and a previous abusive relationship.
Tom Sandoval, left, and Ariana Madix, right, seen at a restaurant opening in 2022.
Sandoval, meanwhile, appeared to have the stamp of approval from Vanderpump and partnered with her and another cast mate, Tom Schwartz, to open the bar and restaurant TomTom in West Hollywood, California, in 2018.
News of Leviss’ indiscretion with Sandoval was also especially shocking to fans because the current episodes show her pursuing a romance with Schwartz, Sandoval’s best friend.
Since the scandal broke, nearly every cast member, including some no longer on the show, has spoken out in support of Madix, who has yet to make a statement.
“Vanderpump Rules” is airing Season 10 on Bravo, with new episodes releasing Wednesday nights.