Tom Sandoval’s Cheating Scandal: Everything To Know About Ariana Madix Split & Raquel Leviss Affair
Tom Sandoval is best known for starring on Bravo's Vanderpump Rules.He had an affair with Raquel Leviss.Tom was dating Ariana Madix at the time of the affair.Tom and Ariana split after nine years together in March 2023.
Tom Sandoval's affair with Raquel Leviss has been one of the biggest headline-making dramas to ever happen between stars of a Bravo show. The Vanderpump Rules cast member was apparently 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 has recently been the main topic discussed in the Bravo universe.
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 exactly 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 reportedly 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 reportedly 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 upcoming podcast. No word yet if that is still on the books.
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 looks to be one for the books, as Raquel just 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."