Everything You Need To Know About Vanderpump Rules Scandoval

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix were a fan-favorite couple for years on "Vanderpump Rules," a jewel in the crown of the Bravo reality canon that has been on the air since 2013. But 10 years and 10 seasons in, the show seems to be making waves for all the wrong reasons. The cast has encountered plenty of scandal before — racial misconduct and prejudiced tweets, countless breakups, plus cheating scandals including, but not limited to; Tom Schwartz cheating on Katie Maloney, Jax Taylor stepping out on his now-wife Brittany Cartwright, and James Kennedy cheating on Raquel Leviss. 

In March of 2022, Katie Schwartz and Tom Schwartz announced their divorce after 12 years together. And in August of that same year, Schwartz and Leviss caused a stir by making out at fellow cast member Scheana Shay's wedding. Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix's relationship hasn't exactly been perfect either — Sandoval is believed to have cheated on his last long-time partner, Kristen Doute, with Madix herself. 

These rumors were seemingly confirmed at the Season 2 reunion when the couple officially announced their relationship. But if cheating is such a common occurrence in the "VPR" universe, then why is the so-called "Scandoval" such big news? Naturally, with Season 10 premiering on February 8, 2023, and news of Sandoval's affair breaking on March 3, it's also responsible for most of the drama surrounding the "Vanderpump Rules" Season 10 reunion too. 

It marks the end of a friendship

The twists and turns of Scandoval involved much more than Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss's affair itself. During an episode that aired May 3, Sandoval's girlfriend of nine years, Ariana Madix, shot down rumors that her partner had anything romantic going on with their mutual friend, Raquel Leviss. According to Us Weekly, she emphatically told fellow cast member Katie Maloney, "Raquel is my friend," adding, "She is someone that is kind and sweet and loyal and just a delight since the day I met her."

Not only did the reality star reaffirm her love for Leviss, but she defended her loyalty too. "Obviously I love Raquel dearly and she's one of my closest friends," Madix said, explaining, "I not only trust and love her — I trust and love my boyfriend." However, there was clearly more than met the eye when it came to Sandoval and Leviss's so-called "friendship." Throughout Season 10, mutual friends questioned why they spent so much time together without Madix. 

In, fact, in one particular episode, Lala Kent admitted to James Kennedy, "I think Sandoval has a thing for Raquel," (via People). She elaborated on her suspicions, arguing, "The last time that Sandoval was talking about a woman the way he talks about Raquel is when he was talking about Ariana to the group when he was with Kristen [Doute]." Of course, Sandoval's relationship with Doute also ended in drama when he was accused of cheating on her with Madix. 

There is still speculation surrounding the affair

At first, the affair was not featured as a prominent storyline. As Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen, who spoke about it on his show, "Radio Andy," recalled: "I called [production] once I started seeing the episodes and I was like, 'Are you telling me you guys didn't get that this was happening?' And they said they all kind of followed Ariana's lead," referencing Madix's conviction that nothing was going on between Sandoval and Leviss. 

"That is why no one took it further and that is why it actually was a surprise," he clarified. "Then you look at this footage and you're like, 'This story wrote itself,'" (via Us Weekly). As far as the fallout goes, apologies have been released — Raquel Leviss's via a statement to Entertainment Tonight and Tom Sandoval's on Instagram. Still, cast member Scheana Shay told Us Weekly that Leviss seemed to have no regrets about her behavior. 

She revealed, "It was very bizarre to just see someone cry so hard over a pageant and not ruining their best friend's relationship." However, on Sandoval, Shay noted, "I know he absolutely has a lot of regrets." She added, "I don't know how much you'll see in our [onscreen] conversation, but also then we have a whole reunion." Suffice it to say, Season 10 of "Vanderpump Rules" is must-watch television.