Tom, 40, spoke in an episode of his podcast, “Everybody Loves Tom,” which aired on Thursday, September 28, and he recalled meeting the late Linkin Park band member Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in 2017.
“I was with Ariana at the time, and we were in a rush to, like, pick up clothes, but [Chester] was there,” the Bravolebrity explained. “He seemed happy, or I don’t know, he was animated, energetic on the phone. … Literally, days later, he died. He killed himself.”
Tom then admitted he “could never understand why” this happened to Chester but noted it’s possible “when you get into that headspace” and it becomes a “domino effect.”
“There were some times when I felt very, very close [to suicide],” he added. “Your world just starts collapsing itself and you cannot see outside of your feelings. Your peripheral goes away, your sense of thinking about future, about like, ‘Oh come on,’ like, you’re ability to snap out of it goes away.”
Tom and Rachel’s scandal — dubbed “Scandoval” — came to light in early March when Ariana, 38, uncovered an inappropriate screen-recording of Rachel, 29, on Tom’s phone at the time. Ariana and Tom had been dating for nine years up until that point, and he and Rachel had been having an affair since August 2022. After the cheating scandal was revealed, most of the VPR cast and fans supported Ariana and turned against Tom. As a result, the Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras frontman experienced dark thoughts.
“Also, during that time, Rachel was away,” Tom explained, pointing out that his co-star checked into a mental rehabilitation facility at the time. “Initially, when all that went down, we obviously were talking to each other all the time. Then, she went away to that facility, and I kind of was like at her beck and call in a sense because [she] couldn’t have her phone in there, no access to anything. And so, I had to wait for her call, which can only happen maybe twice [or] once a day.”
The reality TV personality then noted that whenever he wouldn’t get a call from Rachel, “it would really affect [his] mood,” pointing out that the last time he spoke to the former Miss Sonoma County was at “the end of June.”
Tom claimed his suicidal thoughts arose after Ariana filmed a Duracell commercial that derided him for a moment when he criticized Ariana for not buying batteries.
“That was rough,” he concluded.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).