The drama continues. Stassi Schroeder has spoken out about Tom Sandoval‘s reportedly months-long affair with Raquel Leviss, 28, which led to the demise of his nine-year relationship with Ariana Madix, 37. The 34-year-old Vanderpump Rules alum said she believes Raquel’s storyline of her fling with recently divorced Tom Schwartz was a “cover-up” for what she was doing with Tom Sandoval, 39, all along. “It sounds like something that Sandoval would have come up with,” she theorized on the March 8 episode of her Straight Up With Stassi podcast.
“He would be like, ‘This would be a great way to cover up.’ It’s a cover-up,” she continued, adding that Raquel simply went along with the supposed idea. She also claimed that Tom Shwartz’s ex, Katie Maloney, thought something seemed off about Raquel and Tom, 40, being into each other, adding to her theory.
The pair made headlines in Aug. 2022 for reportedly getting “cozy” and then locking lips at Scheana Shay and Brock Davies‘ Cancun wedding. Katie, 36, was reportedly devastated by the situation and confronted them during the wedding’s celebrations. “Katie went off and cameras were rolling on the entire thing. She was screaming at them, and they were yelling back,” a person at the stunning event revealed to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY at the time.
Regardless of what the motive behind Raquel and Tom’s past is, the truth about Raquel and Tom Sandoval came out on March 3, reportedly blindsiding Ariana. They have both apologized since, with Tom first admitting guilt by expressing his regret to his Schwartz & Sandy’s bar co-owners and staff, which includes Tom Schwartz. The March 5 Instagram post was followed up by one that directly addressed Ariana.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” he began in his March 7 Instagram statement. “I 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.”
“I can only imagine how devastating this has been for Ariana and everyone around us,” the TomTom co-owner continued. “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. My love for Ariana was stronger than any camera could have ever captured. Some of our best times together were never filmed. The same goes for some of our biggest struggles. I wish things happened in a different order and our relationship was not severely tarnished, and that it ended with the same respect with for her that it began with. I owed Ariana better.” Tom ended his statement by confessing he has a lot of work to do on himself.
Raquel followed Tom’s example and shared a lengthy apology statement of her own on March 8. “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,” Raquel told Entertainment Tonight. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”
“I am reflecting on my choices, speaking to a counselor and I am learning things about myself such as my patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved,” she noted. “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. I am taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices.”
After briefly describing how she has suffered amid the affair, including allegedly being “physically assaulted” and losing friendships, she confirmed she hopes to work on her “unhealthy behavioral cycle” through counseling. She also said she wishes to protect her mental health.