- Tom Sandoval is best known for starring on Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules.
- He had an affair with Raquel Leviss that last several months.
- Tom was dating Ariana Madix at the time of the affair, but they split once she learned he was cheating.
- Tom and Ariana split after nine years together in March 2023.
Tom Sandoval‘s affair with Raquel Leviss is one of the biggest headline-making dramas to ever happen between stars of a Bravo show. The OG Vanderpump Rules cast member was romantically involved with Raquel while he was still dating his longtime girlfriend, Ariana Madix, and it led to the demise of their relationship. The news shocked many fans of the show and it’s been the main topic discussed in the Bravo universe ever since. The “Scandoval” was the topic of conversation during the Season 10 finale and the upcoming Season 10 Reunion that was filmed on March 23. (watch the trailer here).
Find out more about Tom and Ariana’s romance as well as the affair that ended it all below.
Tom’s Relationship With Ariana Madix
Tom, who has been a cast member on Vanderpump Rules since Jan. 2013, met and started working with Ariana when she joined the show at the start of season two, which premiered in Nov. 2013. Although it’s unclear when they first struck up a romance, they confirmed they were dating during the show’s season two reunion in 2014. Before the confirmation, Tom’s then girlfriend Kristen Doute accused him of cheating on her with Ariana, but they both denied the claim before eventually admitting they did share a kiss.
After years of what appeared to be a strong relationship, Bravo fans were shocked to learn that Tom apparently had an affair with Raquel, who first appeared on Vanderpump Rules as co-star James Kennedy‘s girlfriend in season five in 2016. Although the affair had allegedly been going on since the middle of 2022, Ariana didn’t find out about it until March 1, 2023, when she found a sexual selfie video from Raquel and a “history of inappropriate texts” on Tom’s phone.
“This has been going on for upwards of six months — all the while, Tom was sleeping next to Ariana in bed,” one insider told PEOPLE in March 2023. “She was completely blindsided by this; devastated doesn’t even scratch the surface of how she feels. This is someone she thought she knew; someone she planned to spend the rest of her life with. You can’t even put into words that betrayal.”
On March 3, 2023, a source confirmed to PEOPLE that Tom and Ariana broke up after dating for nine years. “They had been having problems for a while, but this was the final straw for Ariana,” an insider told the outlet about the split. “She put up with a lot over the years, but she won’t sit back and be disrespected this way.”
Tom’s Affair With Raquel Leviss
Raquel first joined Vanderpump Rules in 2016, when she was dating James. The lovebirds got engaged in May 2021, as filming for season nine of the show began. Their proposal aired in Oct. 2021, but two months later, they announced the wedding was off because they had split up. They both released a joint statement about going their separate ways on Instagram in Dec. 2021.
“After these 5 wonderful years we had together, we decided we have two different goals and made the decision to call off the engagement. We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore. We want nothing but the best for each other so please keep any thoughts positive. Sending Love,” the statement read.
After rumors began to circulate that Tom began having an affair with Raquel around the summer of 2022, fans noticed some possible clues about their secret romance. Some pointed out that the two of them wore matching lighting bolt necklaces during recent separate appearances. The appearances included Raquel at BravoCon in Oct. 2022 and Tom at the House of Barrie opening that same month.
After Ariana found out about the affair on March 1, 2023, they ended their nine-year romance, and Tom broke his silence on the cheating allegations three days later.
Tom Issues First Statement
Tom shared an Instagram message that mentioned his castmate and friend, Tom Schwartz, and his family and friends, who he claimed were being bothered by outsiders due to the controversial situation. But he didn’t mention Ariana.
“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger and disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation…,” Tom wrote before adding that Schwartz had “specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions.” He also said he would be “taking a step back & taking a hiatus out of respect for my employees & partners. I need some time to address everything else. Sorry for everything.”
On the same day he broke his silence, Tom was spotted leaving Raquel’s apartment, in a photo posted by TMZ. He appeared to be trying to stay under the radar in an all-black outfit completed with a black baseball cap, during the outing. The night meetup happened hours after they had reportedly filmed earlier in the day.
As Tom announced he was taking a step back, many fans began to wonder if the affair would be featured on the upcoming 10th season of Vanderpump Rules, and according to an insider, the chances are high because “cameras” were “rolling” when the news broke. A production source also claimed that Bravo and production company Evolution began filming again to follow the fallout of the cheating scandal.
Raquel Files Restraining Order Against Scheana Shay
Raquel placed a restraining order against her former BFF Scheana Shay on March 7, per TMZ. The outlet cited the rumor that Scheana “got violent” with Raquel after Scheana found out about the affair between Raquel and Tom. Raquel and Scheana were tight buddies up until the scandal, with Raquel recently plugging her appearance on Scheana’s podcast.
Because of the restraining order, Raquel and Scheana could not film the reunion at the same time on March 23. The following day, Raquel announced she was dropping the restraining order. She told Entertainment Tonight, “We let the court know I will not be moving forward with a permanent restraining order. My team tried to work with Scheana on a mutually beneficial agreement hoping to get the TRO dropped earlier so we could film together. The TRO was intended to provide a cooling-off period after I was punched but I didn’t want to continue with the permanent RO nor did I want to cause Scheana further agony and stress.”
During the reunion, Raquel reportedly showed Andy Cohen a document proving she was dropping the restraining order. Scheana’s attorney told HollywoodLife, “Rachel had Andy ‘serve’ Scheana with a document during the reunion, but the papers have no legal meaning. It was a request to dismiss a complaint or a civil lawsuit, but Rachel had requested a permanent restraining order, which is something completely different. There is no way for Rachel to ‘drop’ the temporary restraining order before next week’s hearing. This is California law and even on the court’s website.”
The lawyer added, “Even if Rachel had the correct document, which she didn’t, it wasn’t filed with the court. There is no file stamp in the top right corner. This was just another public relations stunt by Rachel and her team. If Rachel really wanted to make this go away, she would come out and publicly say the ‘punch’ never happened and she is sorry for all the harm she caused Scheana, Ariana, and her other friends.”
Scheana addressed her alleged altercation with Raquel, and the restraining order, on the April 19 episode of Watch What Happens Live. “I did not punch her in the face,” Scheana said. “As you see I can’t really form a proper fist. There’s a shove and there’s a punch and I did not punch her,” she added. Scheana did admit that she shoved Raquel and threw her phone, after learning about Raquel and Tom’s affair. Also, Scheana addressed the rumors that Raquel also hooked up with her husband Brock Davies. “I don’t think there’s any truth to that. I absolutely did question him, because after all the Tom and Raquel stuff, which I didn’t think was true, I obviously had to ask. And he said, ‘Absolutely not.’ But I was like, ‘follow-up question, did she try?’ Because as much as I trust my husband, I don’t trust that hoe. He said no. He said he never put that energy off, and we know Sandoval did.”
Tom Apologizes To Ariana In Second Statement
After Tom’s first statement appeared to center around the scandal fallout affecting his ‘VP‘ costar Tom Schwartz and other business partners, Tom decided to make a public apology to the person undoubtedly most affected by this: his girlfriend. On March 8, Tom took to his Instagram to say he was sorry to Ariana. “I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process,” Tom wrote. “Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana. 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,” Tom 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.”
Raquel Breaks Her Silence, Reveals She’s In Counseling
Raquel broke her silence and offered her mea culpa on the same day Tom apologized to Ariana. “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.”
Raquel went on to reveal that she started therapy to end her “unhealthy behavioral cycle” and “protect” her mental health. She vowed to be a “better person” moving forward. In the lengthy statement, she also said she received death threats over the scandal and claimed that she was physically assaulted.
Tom Schwartz Breaks Silence, Denies Raquel Kiss Was A ‘Cover Up’ For Affair
Tom Schwartz finally spoke out on all the wild drama surrounding his Vanderpump Rules costars, as it appeared he had a lot of explaining to do. The reality star had an infamous kiss with Raquel that some, like Stassi Schroeder, were claiming was a “cover up” for his buddy Sandoval’s affair. Schwartz denied it to TMZ on Saturday, March 11. “No, that’s not true,” he said, adding, “Unless I was a pawn in the game.”
Schwartz’ denial, however, doesn’t exactly match up with a recently resurfaced video where he blames Sandoval for the kiss in Cancun. In any case, when pressed by the news outlet if he knew about the affair, Schwartz played coy and answered, “You’ll see it play out on the show.” He then gave an update on the former couple, who had been together since 2014.
“[Sandoval’s] okay, I think. Relatively speaking, I mean, he has a sense of profound sadness, rightfully so, that he’s a piece of s—. And to some extent, maybe he is,” Schwartz told TMZ. “But he knows he f—ed up, and the whole thing is just really sad. Luckily, Ariana has a really good support system, and she’s with her friends,” he added. “I hope she’s living a good life, just indulging. Hope she goes on a living spree. I’m just hoping this whole thing blows over.”
Raquel Says She Will Be Attending ‘Vanderpump Reunion’
The Vanderpump Rules reunion will be one for the books, as Raquel revealed she will be there “in person” to face the cast. The reality star released a statement to ET on Wednesday, March 22 that read: “Yes, I will be attending the reunion in person.” A source for the outlet added, “Raquel wants to be there to show her face and apologize to Ariana in person.”
Tom & Raquel Break Up
On May 17, Page Six broke the news that Tom and Raquel broke up in the wake of their affair. “Raquel dipped out. Sandoval is not the one for her,” a source said. This was after Raquel allegedly checked herself into a mental health facility for treatment, in April of 2023.
The VPR season 10 finale aired May 17, with the first footage from after everyone found out about Tom and Raquel’s affair. Ariana lashed out at Tom and told him she regretted “ever loving” him. Tom tried excusing his behavior by saying he and Ariana had “no sex life” and they basically lived two different lives while living under the same roof. He also accused Ariana of “putting pressure” on him to stay in the relationship. Tom said that he and Raquel had a “connection”.
In another scene from the finale, Tom went to Raquel’s and they comforted each other over their affair being exposed. Raquel admitted to Tom that she has fears over how they got together. They both said they’d do things differently if they had a chance. Following the scene, Raquel turned off her phone and wasn’t seen or heard from for weeks.
At the end of the finale, Tom spoke to Scheana, and claimed Ariana “threatened to kill herself,” when he tried breaking up with her in the past. Tom also confirmed he hooked up with “Miami Girl” in 2014 and confirmed there was “one other time” that he cheated on Ariana, but he didn’t divulge any details. Fans think Tom may have hooked up with his former co-star, Billie Lee.
— Bravo (@BravoTV) March 23, 2023
The Vanderpump Rules season 10 reunion filmed on March 23. Bravo released the two seating charts that show how production worked around Raquel’s restraining order against Scheana. The first seating chart, from left to right, has Lala Kent, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Ariana Madix, Andy Cohen, Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss, and Tom Schwartz. The second seating chart eliminates Raquel, moves Tom Schwartz to her seat, and places Scheana Shay where Tom was sitting. The reunion is expected to begin airing in late May.
After the reunion taped, Lala said on her Instagram Stories that it was “the most exhausted reunion I’ve ever done in my life.” Lala also said, “I’m drained. I feel like I want to crawl into a hole and sob and scream, but I’m happy to be home now with my little one, crawl in bed, watch ‘Seinfeld,’ and just, like, regroup.”