Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix broke her silence about her longtime boyfriend Tom Sandoval‘s cheating scandal on March 16, two weeks after she found out about the affair. Ariana, 37, began her Instagram statement by thanking her fans for their support after learning that Tom, 39, cheated on her for months with their co-star Raquel Leviss, 28. “I want to express my most sincere gratitude for the outpouring love and support I have received from friends, family and people I’ve never even met in the last two weeks,” she wrote. “When I have felt like I couldn’t even stand, you all have given me the strength to continue and seen me through my darkest hours.”
She then addressed the situation head-on, adding, “To say I have been devastated and broken is an understatement. However, I know that I am not in this alone. So many of my closest friends are also grieving this loss right now and reeling from this betrayal on so many levels. I am so f****** lucky to have the best support system in the world and I hope I can repay every single person for the love you have shown me. What doesn’t kill me better run.”
Ariana and Tom were dating for nine years before news broke on Friday, March 3 that Tom was having a months-long affair with Raquel, who happened to hook up with Tom Schwartz last year after his divorce from Katie Maloney. Ariana reportedly didn’t find out about Tom Sandoval’s affair until March 1, 2023, when she found an intimate video from Raquel and a “history of inappropriate texts” on Tom’s phone. By the time the cheating scandal became public knowledge, Ariana briefly deleted her Instagram, and has been leaning on people like Katie, Lala Kent, Scheana Shay, and even former VPR star Kristen Doute (who used to date Tom) for support.
Amidst the cheating scandal, which has been dubbed the “Scandoval,” Bravo has resumed filming the show to capture the entire cast’s reaction, and the scenes will be part of Season 10 which is currently airing. A person close to production revealed to Page Six that Ariana and Tom talked about his affair on-camera at their $2 million Valley Village home, but Ariana “walked away from the conversation feeling like she was gaslit by Tom.” Allegedly, Tom told Ariana he was worried about how the affair “would impact her mental health.” The insider added, “Ariana has recapped what happened with her friends and castmates, the majority of whom are disappointed Tom seems unable to take accountability for his actions or express substantial remorse.”
It didn’t take Tom long to address the scandal on social media. On March 5, he apologized to his Schwartz & Sandy’s bar and restaurant family — including part owner and co-star Tom Schwartz — for the harm he may have caused by his actions. “Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger and disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation…,” the reality star said. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”
Tom added, “Also, Schwartz & Sandy’s might have my name on it, but also there are 3 other partners and 20 employees, who especially rely on the restaurant for income for them and their families. … Please direct ur anger towards me and not them. They did nothing wrong.” He ended his statement by announcing that he is “taking a hiatus out of respect” for his employees and partners and that he “needs time” before he addresses the rest of the damage he has caused.
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