It was clear that James Kennedy and Lala Kent were on the outs among their fellow SURvers at the beginning of this season of Vanderpump Rules, and things haven't really improved much. Case in point: Did you see James' showdown with Jax Taylor?
But James and Lala have found allies in Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix, who discussed their friendship with the DJ and hostess with The Daily Dish earlier this month. "I'm still friendly with both James and Lala. We don't talk every day, I don't see either of them every day," Ariana explained. "But I think that because we've each spent time with them individually and seen them in a different way, maybe away from other people and had more serious conversations with them about different things, it's easier for me to separate bad behavior from the person and not just say that the behavior is the person, even though sometimes that's hard for both of them in different ways."
Of course, Tom and James go way back before the DJ started dating Kristen Doute. "We were cool even while they were dating. I feel like since all of that kind of blew over, it's given us a chance to reconnect, and I'm definitely cool with James," Tom told The Daily Dish. "He's in a different place in his life. He reminds me of Jax like 10 years ago, not myself, but Jax a lot. But he's got some growing up to do."
Tom said that people should judge James and Lala as individuals. He noted that James has been "an open book" this season of Vanderpump Rules, and he hasn't appreciated Lala's mysterious behavior, such as not showing up to Ariana's birthday trip to Sonoma, California at the last minute and keeping her boyfriend a secret. "What I despise is when somebody is on our show, and they are not being as open as the rest of us," Tom said.
But Tom said he doesn't necessarily agree with how Kristen, Katie Maloney-Schwartz, and Stassi Schroeder have handled Lala's behavior, either. "It's annoying to hear how much they say how much they're a victim," Tom said. "It feels like throughout this season, there's this constant threat looming over [Katie's] friends. Like, if they don't 100 percent agree with Katie at all times, they're gonna get kicked out of the wedding, or not go on this thing... So Katie kind of abused this sort of power over them. On top of that, dude, she started that sh** with Lala, 100 percent was hating on her from day one, and Lala swung back and now Katie claims to be the victim. And it's ridiculous."
Ariana explained why she hasn't taken as much offense to Lala's actions and words as some of the other Vanderpump Rules ladies. "Lala says a lot of things to provoke a response. That's her thing. She wants people to talk about her. It doesn't matter if you're saying that she's the worst person that's ever lived. She'll be like, 'I see you talking about me.' And that's all she wants," she said. "The thing is, I don't think that what Lala has said is cool or OK. But I know why she's doing it, so I don't take it as seriously."
As far as Katie, Kristen, and Stassi asking Scheana Shay to not be friends with Lala, Tom said that a person should be able to determine who to befriend, and a true pal wouldn't put that kind of pressure on, either. "I'm allowed to be friends with James being friends with Jax, right?" Tom said. "I'm allowed because I am allowed, you know what I mean? Nobody tells me who to be friends with. And Jax never would do that as a friend, and I would never do that to him."
Check out more of Tom being a friend indeed to James, below.