Tom Sandoval, the Vanderpump Rules star who made headlines six weeks ago when it was revealed that he cheated on his partner of nine years, Ariana Madix, by carrying on a months-long secret affair with fellow cast member Raquel Leviss (herself the ex-fiancé of another cast member, James Kennedy) has broken his silence.
This is no simple affair: it’s Scandoval, the paradigm-shattering, Bravo-altering adultery fiasco that’s prompted every current and former VPR cast member scrambling to their podcast of choice to air their side of things.
Sandoval has chosen Howie Mandel as his sympathetic ear, and it quickly becomes clear why: Mandel has never seen Vanderpump Rules in his life and has no idea what’s going on, which clears the runway for the Schwartz and Sandy’s Lounge co-owner to say completely insane things unchallenged.
“I love Ariana, I still love Ariana and I care about her, but we, for a while, have and had been sort of having our own lives,” Sandoval told Mandel. “We were together for nine years, obviously we built a business and had a house together, we were a brand. Like many relationships, it felt like it became more like best friends, family, sometimes roommates. There was a lot of ways that the relationship was lacking intimacy, connection.”
“I accepted it—you know, Ken and Lisa, they don’t have sex all the time,” Sandoval said, referring to Ken Todd and Lisa Vanderpump of Vanderpump Rules. “I got porn, I can go crack one off in the bathroom. But there are so many other perks! The building of the brand, the everything, the image of it all.”
What stage of narcissism is this? Late stage, or ultra-late stage?
Sandoval was friends first with Leviss, he said, and admired her so much, he attempted to set her up with his close friend Tom Schwartz because he found her to be just so incredible.
When Sandoval and Leviss shared their “magnetic” first kiss, he said he “got [his] ass” into therapy to try to get over it, but that their connection was so undeniable, the need to be together won out.
PLEASE. You were HORNY.
“You were in a long term relationship with [Madix], and this happens to a lot of people and this happens to everybody, through no fault of either of you, you’re growing apart,” Mandel says haplessly to Sandoval, which is a fascinating way to excuse what was going on. “What I’m asking though is, knowing that, you each know it internally, did you ever sit down and say this isn’t working?”
Sandoval claims he then, over an extended period of time, planted the seeds of a breakup for Madix in couple’s therapy, communicating subliminally that he wanted to break up with her without actually breaking up with her.
“I was seeing Raquel as often as I could, which I know sounds horrible, and FaceTiming her all time, and like, Ariana just really didn’t notice, because that’s how separate our lives were,” Sandoval says.
Finally, Sandoval says, he officially dumped Madix two weeks before she reportedly discovered the affair with Leviss accidentally.
“I sit down to talk with her again, and she’s like, ‘I’m not letting you leave me, you’re gonna have to force me out of this relationship,’ and I was like, ‘Ariana, I don’t think I can be faithful in a relationship with you right now,’” Sandoval told Mandel. “She’s like, ‘If you break up with me, you will be effectively ending my life.’ I didn’t know what to do. She was in complete denial and not accepting it.”
“But we were broken up,” Sandoval said of the night Madix discovered his affair with Leviss. “She knew we were broken up.” BE FOR REAL.