The Night VPR's Rachel Leviss And Tom Sandoval Began Their Affair

Bravo's "Vanderpump Rules" gained a new life after news broke of the infamous cheating scandal "Scandoval" in March 2023. Exposing the affair that had taken place between Rachel "Raquel" Leviss and Tom Sandoval, the news launched the show back into the limelight after nearly 10 seasons on-air. The affair subsequently caused Sandoval to split with his girlfriend of nine years, Ariana Madix, and ended Madix's friendship with Leviss. Since then, Madix has moved on and been a part of various brand sponsorships and projects post-Scandoval. While Leviss and Sandoval's affair took place mostly under wraps, there was a genuine connection between the two at the start of their relationship.

Leviss joined the cast of "Vanderpump Rules" in season five as fellow cast member James Kennedy's girlfriend. The couple got engaged in May 2021 before splitting in December of the same year. In 2022, rumors were swirling that Leviss was seen getting cozy with Sandoval at Coachella. Still, they were quickly squashed when gossip started that it was actually another "Vanderpump Rules" cast member, Tom Schwartz, Leviss had kissed. While many believe this was when the affair started, Leviss set the record straight and detailed the awkward first hookup between herself and Sandoval.

Sandoval and Leviss started their affair with Madix nearby

In an exclusive interview with People in January 2024, "Vanderpump Rules" star Rachel Leviss recalled the first night she and Tom Sandoval started their seven-month-long affair. Leviss and Sandoval were on a night out drinking together at SUR, Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant, before they moved to another bar. The two drove back to his shared house with his girlfriend, Ariana Madix, before realizing he had locked himself out of the house. That led to the two of them chatting in the backyard before Sandoval made the first move and kissed Leviss. While it didn't stop them from continuing, Leviss admitted that they both knew this wasn't the right move.

"I knew it was wrong; Tom knew it was wrong," she said. "Because right after Tom kissed me, he sat on the stair of the pool, and he was like, hands on his face. His mind must have been running a million miles a minute contemplating what to do."

Despite their apprehension, Leviss admitted to a "Vanderpump Rules" producer that she and Sandoval hooked up for the first time that night. She explained what had drawn her to Sandoval in the first place, saying, "He understood, and so I felt seen, and I felt heard by him. I felt validated, and it just seemed like he was always ready to drop anything to come see me."

Leviss has moved on, but Sandoval is still hung up

While Rachel Leviss and Tom Sandoval appeared to have a genuine connection, the backlash that they both received for having an affair behind Ariana Madix's back proved to be too much for the emerging couple. In May 2023, a mere two months after news of their affair broke, Sandoval and Leviss called it quits. Prior to their breakup, Leviss had undergone treatment at Meadows mental health facility to deal with the consequences of her actions in the affair. Since their separation, Leviss' feelings about Sandoval have obviously cooled, as she admitted to People in January 2024. After Sandoval's appearance on the podcast "Two Ts In a Pod" explaining his feelings for Leviss, she claimed, "I felt like I was going to throw up, like because his voice repulsed me."

As for Sandoval, it seems as if he isn't quite over their relationship. During his appearance on "Two Ts In a Pod" in December 2023, Sandoval opened up about the depth of his feelings for Leviss, saying, "We were best friends. It's heartbreaking to go through. I was fully in love with her. This is not just some hot girl. Come on, I was a model for 15 years. It's deeper than that. It's more than that."