Tom Sandoval's Scandalous Relationship History Explained

The history of "Vanderpump Rules" may as well be a history of who cheated on whom. The cast of the hit Bravo show seem to only date one another, and with very few exceptions, no one seems to be able to remain faithful to their partners. Jax Taylor cheated on Stassi Schroeder, James Kennedy cheated on Raquel Leviss, Lala Kent cheated on Randall Emmett, and, hey, as Kennedy would like to remind us — "Does everybody remember when Jax f***ed Faith?"

In Season 10, though, one cheating scandal emerged to rule them all. At the center of the furor is Tom Sandoval, one half of "the Toms," and — until recently — one half of what seemed to be the longest-lasting couple on "Vanderpump Rules." When Page Six caught up with the "Touch in Public" singer, he had a theory about why his own indiscretion seems to have caused the biggest backlash in the show's history. "I just think it was really unexpected," he guessed. But was it, really? As the fallout from the shocking affair continues to spread across social media and the whole thing continues to play out on "VPR," here's a look back at Sandoval's scandalous relationship history.

Tom's relationship with Kristen Doute

When "Vanderpump Rules" began, Tom Sandoval was dating fellow castmate Kristen Doute. They didn't seem like a great match from the start, constantly bickering and getting into arguments about who was making whom feel more unloved. Moreover, it often seemed like they just didn't like each other very much. Doute detailed these early days of their relationship in her memoir "He's Making You Crazy," writing (via Us Weekly) that she judged him for the attention he paid to his own appearance. She noted that they even sometimes shared jeans. "We would get ready together at his vanity, and when he said 'you're beautiful,' I wondered if he was talking to me or to himself," Doute wrote. "His flat iron, oh, his f***ing flat iron. It was his most prized possession. Would he ever look at me the way he looked at it?"

After making up following an argument, Sandoval detailed his attitude toward his relationship in a blog post for Bravo. Seeming to take responsibility for their relationship troubles, he wrote, "As much as I feel Kristen should be a little more understanding with my career (the way I am with hers), I know that, however provoked, I had done some MAJOR damage to our relationship, our friendship, and most of all, our trust." That newfound dedication to "happy girl, happy world" was not to last.

Kristen accused Tom of cheating with Ariana

During the second season of "Vanderpump Rules," Kristen Doute and Tom Sandoval's relationship was clearly falling apart. Doute became convinced that her boyfriend was secretly hooking up with new SUR bartender Ariana Madix. She went on the warpath, desperate to uncover the affair. In the season's sixth episode, Doute confronted the duo after finding a suggestive text message on Sandoval's phone (via Peacock). After asking Madix to be honest with her, Doute was surprised to find herself believing her adversary. "Ariana's reaction, it's kind of weird," she said. "I feel like she should be a little bit defensive if she didn't hook up with Tom, but she's just so chill and convincing." Madix, on the other hand, deadpanned in a confessional interview, "I think Kristen is coming from a place that needs medication."

Doute later got Sandoval to admit that he had, in fact, cheated on her ... with a woman in Las Vegas. She wrote about the incident in her memoir "He's Making You Crazy," revealing, "He had cheated, I caught him, and he copped to it. Noble, sure, but I wasn't ready for that. If he had just lied to me, it would have been easier for me to deny it to myself."

Kristen cheated on Tom with Jax

Tom Sandoval wasn't the only one misbehaving while dating Kristen Doute. While he was cheating on her, she was also cheating on him ... and, like the affair that would later ostracize Sandoval from the entire cast, Doute cheated with someone in the friend group. During Season 2 of "Vanderpump Rules," rumors circulated through the cast that Doute had slept with none other than "VPR" villain Jax Taylor, at the time Doute's BFF Stassi Schroeder's very recent ex-boyfriend, not to mention one of Sandoval's best friends. When Schroeder found out that her friend had been lying to her, she infamously backhanded Doute across the face (via YouTube). 

Doute later admitted that it wasn't just Taylor, confessing during Season 5 that she had cheated on Sandoval numerous times. "I don't deny the fact that I cheated on you," Doute told her ex (via YouTube). "I f***ed a ton of guys behind your back. I cheated on you. I did." Sandoval shot back, "Two in one weekend?" and Doute rolled her eyes. In a confessional interview, however, Sandoval insisted, "This s*** is all in the past for me. That book is closed."

Doute later wrote about the Taylor affair in her book "He's Making You Crazy," acknowledging that fans would be discussing her actions forever. "I think Jax has forgiven himself, and I think we've forgiven each other and I know that Tom has forgiven me," she wrote. "So that to me is enough."

Tom and Ariana made it official

The Season 2 reunion of "Vanderpump Rules" was a pivotal episode in Tom Sandoval's relationship history. After spending the entire season ducking Kristen Doute's accusations that he was cheating on her with fellow SUR bartender Ariana Madix, Sandoval and Doute finally broke up. At the reunion, Sandoval had several things to get off his chest. Reunion host Andy Cohen reminded him that he had confessed to kissing Madix in Vegas, and Cohen gave Sandoval a chance to come clean about whether anything further had gone on. "That's all that happened," he insisted. Madix agreed, telling the host, "I think it's really easy to stop at a kiss."

Then the conversation took a turn, and Cohen asked if Sandoval and Madix were now dating. Madix, her hair in a high braid, looked uncomfortable. Sandoval jumped in, answering, "You know, we've definitely been hanging out, and things have been great." When Cohen pressed them again, Sandoval and Madix admitted that they were dating. While Doute looked on, distressed, Sandoval added, "I'm like, so much happier."

By the Season 3 premiere, there was no ambiguity left. After the two shared a kiss in the opening moments of the episode, Sandoval said in a confessional, "I can't remember any time I've had a connection in a relationship like I have with Ariana ... I can honestly say that I've never been this happy."

The Miami Girl situation

In Season 3 of "Vanderpump Rules," Kristen Doute orchestrated a shocking confrontation with a girl from Miami who claimed she slept with Tom Sandoval. Annemarie Kunkel, referred to by the cast as "Miami Girl," said that she and Sandoval hooked up while he was just starting to date Ariana Madix. "You need to f***ing admit that we had sex," Miami Girl repeatedly insisted, while Sandoval repeatedly denied it. Sandoval and Madix ultimately left SUR, and Sandoval later told Us Weekly that he wished he walked out earlier. "I just would have never even filmed with [her]," he said. "I just don't think it's really fair ... I wish I would have just never even engaged in that at all."

In the ensuing years, Sandoval has always denied that anything happened, including as recently as 2021. After Andy Cohen asked Madix on "Watch What Happens Live" (via Bravo) if she thought Sandoval cheated on her with Miami Girl, Madix replied, "Honestly? No, I don't." Sandoval then reminded Cohen that Madix's younger brother Jeremy was on that Miami trip, making it unlikely he would have strayed from his relationship. 

However, amid the fallout of Sandoval's affair with Raquel Leviss, Jax Taylor said on the same show (via Twitter) that, yes, Sandoval slept with Miami Girl. "I told you, I was there," Taylor insisted. "Not only the Miami situation — that was week one of their relationship, by the way. But yeah, there's been other times."

Tom and Ariana stayed together for almost a decade

His relationship with Ariana Madix would prove to be one of the longest in Tom Sandoval's life. After confirming their new courtship in the Season 2 reunion, Sandoval and Madix remained together up through Season 10. Though they often seemed to be the most stable couple (thanks to most of their friends getting divorced or breaking up), cowrote a cocktail book, and even purchased a $2.2 million Valley Village home together,the couple didn't always see eye to eye.

One source of occasional tension was the fact that Madix said she didn't want to get married or have kids, while Sandoval did. At the Season 9 reunion (via Bravo), Madix clarified, "I want people to understand something. Tom does not have this insane desire to be a dad and have kids. It's a very common misconception." However, Sandoval allowed that he might be interested: "I think where we butted heads before was when Ariana said never, and I don't want to be told never," he stated.

Madix and Sandoval's friends didn't always approve of their union, especially early on. During "Vanderpump Rules" Season 4, Scheana Shay texted Madix's mother to warn her that the TomTom co-owner wasn't good for her daughter. They fought about it at the Season 4 reunion, and Madix even read one of Shay's texts aloud. "I think Tom will always look out for himself first," Shay warned. If only Madix had listened.

Tom outed Ariana for having fooled around with Lala

Just like the way things were in his relationship with Kristen Doute, Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix were not, strictly speaking, monogamous. In the seventh season of "Vanderpump Rules" (via YouTube), Sandoval spilled the news to some of his guy friends that Madix had hooked up with fellow castmate Lala Kent. While smoking cigars with Peter Madrigal, Jax Taylor, James Kennedy, and Tom Schwartz, Sandoval revealed, "Ariana and Lala had been out all day, drinking." While Sandoval drove the drunk girls home, Kent invited Madix into the backseat. "Ariana climbs in the back, and Lala just starts going to f***ing town, dude," he said.

The "Fancy AF Cocktails" co-author confronted her boyfriend later that episode, unhappy that he had outed her to the group as bisexual. "I do feel like Tom betrayed my trust by telling this story to his guy friends," Madix said in a confessional interview (via People). "My sexuality is not something that is meant to sound cool to a bunch of dudes." Her boyfriend didn't seem to get it, so she elaborated, "When you talk about anyone's sexuality without their consent, it's like really not okay." 

The open relationship rumors

The "Vanderpump Rules" Season 10 trailer (via YouTube) included a clip that showed Scheana Shay as she confronts Tom Sandoval with the rumor that he and Ariana Madix are not monogamous these days. "Katie said you and Ariana have an open relationship?" Shay asks while Sandoval rubs his eyes and replies, "Oh God." The moment hasn't aired on the season as of press time, so the full context isn't clear. Another clip in the mid-season trailer (via YouTube) — showing Madix laughing in a pool as she insists in voiceover, "I cannot have sex with somebody who feels like a stranger" — would suggest that Sandoval and Madix considered the arrangement at some point.

However, Madix was quick to squash any speculation before it had a chance to get started. "We dont have an open relationship, i'm really not that cool," she tweeted (via Page Six). "thought that was obvious." She expanded on the rumor while speaking with Page Six at the season premiere party. "I think people see my relationship with Tom ... as nontraditional in a lot of ways, and they think there's got to be more to it, you know?" she said, adding that the couple is "open" about their relationship with fans, but nothing more.

Tom cheated on Ariana with Raquel

In early March 2023, TMZ broke the news that Tom Sandoval and "Vanderpump Rules" co-star Raquel Leviss had been secretly having an affair that lasted multiple months. According to the outlet, Madix immediately ended the relationship upon finding out what her boyfriend had been up to with one of her best friends. As the news of the scandal — dubbed "Scandoval" by fans — spread around the internet, Bravo rushed to continue filming so that the fallout could be captured at the end of Season 10.

Former cast member Kristen Doute — Sandoval's ex-girlfriend — went on "Bachelor" alum Nick Viall's podcast "The Viall Files" to recap Sandoval and Madix's breakup conversation. "One of the worst things is when they had to have their first conversation ... he was just gaslighting her," Doute revealed, dropping the news that the conversation was captured on camera. "There was no genuine apology. He was saying how she never supports him, she doesn't validate him ... He was blaming her ... That is Tom to a T." According to Doute, Sandoval told Madix that their relationship was one of "convenience and contentment ... not love and romance." What a way to end nearly a decade together.

They plan to stay together

Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss, it seems, might be trying to make their relationship last. TMZ caught up with Leviss outside a nail salon in Los Angeles, and she told the videographer, "I don't know where our relationship is gonna be. We're just kinda, trying to get through these next few steps, and trying to, you know, make amends, hear everybody out ... I know a lot of people are angry." Along a similar line, when Sandoval was caught by that Page Six paparazzo, he admitted that he could have handled the situation differently. But he also stopped short of saying that he regrets cheating. "When you look back at a situation, you think of all the things that you should've, would've, could've done to make it better," he admitted. "I could've handled things way better. Of course."

Sandoval's best friend Tom Schwartz went on "Watch What Happens Live" (via YouTube) in the wake of the affair and said that Tom and Raquel were going to try to make it work. "He's addicted. It's an infatuation of all infatuations," Schwartz said ruefully. "Raquel is Tom's heroin ... He got lost in the sauce." Andy Cohen asked Schwartz if Sandoval is still lost, and Schwartz replied sadly, "I think he is."