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The Daily Dish Vanderpump Rules

Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’ Affair: How Each Vanderpump Rules Cast Member Found Out and Reacted

James Kennedy called Sandoval a “backstabber,” while Katie Maloney started asking questions about Tom Schwartz’s knowledge of the cheating scandal. See how the rest of the cast responded.

By Allison Crist

The truth about Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss finally came out on May 17’s Vanderpump Rules Season 10 finale. There are still questions that need to be answered and plenty of revelations to be made when it comes time for the three-part reunion, but for now, get details on how each Vanderpump Rules cast member — Lisa VanderpumpKatie MaloneyLala KentJames KennedyTom Schwartz, and Scheana Shay — as well as alum Kristen Doute, discovered and reacted to the shocking news of Tom and Ariana Madix’s breakup and the cheating scandal that caused it. 

Ariana Madix

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According to both Sandoval and Ariana, he was performing with his band, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras, when his phone fell out of his pocket and eventually made its way to Ariana for safekeeping. “Call it women’s intuition, call it a light bulb [moment], call it whatever, [but] literally in that moment, I went, ‘I need to look at this.’ In his camera roll, I found a screen recording of Raquel and Tom on FaceTime. My stomach dropped into my f-cking ass.”

From there, Ariana called Raquel — who, at the time, was in New York City after taping Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen alongside Scheana — and said that if she’s “ever given a sh-t” about her, she would admit right then and there when the affair actually started. “[Raquel] said, ‘Right after the girls’ trip,’” Ariana told Katie and Scheana. “I’m like, ‘You mean right after Charlotte died?’”

Screen grab of Ariana Madix on Vanderpump Rules

Charlotte, as Vanderpump Rules fans may recall, was the dog Ariana and Sandoval shared before she tragically passed away during the girls’ Las Vegas trip earlier this season. Ariana left the trip early after learning that Charlotte was “not going to come back this time,” and Raquel and Scheana eventually left too. They wound up at “guys’ night,” and that’s apparently where Sandoval and Raquel first hooked up

“[Raquel] said they kissed,” Ariana continued. “Well, later that night when we were out here, I pressed Tom. And he said, well, they actually f-cked in her car that night. And he didn’t have a key to get in, so he had to ring the doorbell and I had to let him in.”

Scheana Shay

Scheana explained that she overheard Raquel on the phone with Ariana and asked what was going on. “[Raquel] just nonchalantly looks at me and was like, ‘Yeah, Sandoval and I have been having an affair for seven months. Ariana just found out,’” Scheana recalled. “What?!” Unsurprisingly, Scheana said she had “so much rage” in her.

Katie Maloney

In response to the news about Sandoval and Raquel’s affair, Katie and Scheana set aside their “beef” to come together and support Ariana. Katie also started to wonder what role Schwartz had played in concealing the affair, especially once she remembered a particular comment he made at BravoCon 2022. “Raquel wore a TomTom hoodie with basically nothing on underneath. At the time, I thought it was about her and Schwartz,” Katie told Ariana, Scheana, and more of their friends. “I was kind of poking him about it, like, ‘Dude, she’s a fangirl. She’s following you both around like a puppy dog, like a groupie. What the f-ck is that about?’ He’s goes, ‘She’s not there for me. Trust me.’ It turns out she is a fangirl — just of the other Tom. And Schwartz knew about it the entire time.”

Tom Schwartz

Schwartz has confirmed on several occasions that he knew about Sandoval and Raquel long before Ariana did. How long exactly? It’s hard to tell, as Schwartz has given conflicting answers, but there’s no doubt he knew at least a few months before the news broke in March. As he told Sandoval on the finale, “You came to me, you confided in me. I said, ‘Tom, out of respect for what you had with Ariana, you have to f-cking tell her.’”

Sandoval went on to discuss the relationship issues he and Ariana were experiencing, and while Schwartz was sympathetic toward his friend and business partner, he also told him the troubles weren’t an excuse to cheat. “This is all relatable,” Schwartz said of Sandoval’s relationship woes, “but you had so many opportunities to sit down with Ariana. Me and you had a moment last week. I sat down with you, I was like, ‘Dude, it’s time to tell her, because if this comes out without you telling her, you’re going to humiliate her.’ This is just the worst absolute case scenario.”

James Kennedy

Though he didn’t explicitly say how he found out about the affair, James did detail his reaction. “It f-cking scares me how people can do this, people that I’m so close with,” he told his girlfriend, Ally Lewber. “I’m not even f-cking mad about Raquel. I’m mad about f-cking Tom Sandoval. That’s who I’m mad about.”

Continuing in a confessional, James added, “Tom Sandoval is the definition of a backstabber. I always kind of looked up to him in a sense, especially with my trust issues with Raquel. What the f-ck, dude? It really is just a wasted friendship. He threw that away. It’s just, you’re such a f-cking piece of sh-t, bro.”

Image of Tom Sandoval, James Kennedy, and Raquel Leviss

James may have been more upset with Sandoval, but he did call Raquel to confront her for her role in the affair. “How do you feel about what you’ve done?” he asked his ex. “How about losing every single person you thought liked you in Los Angeles? You lied to everyone’s face.”

Lala Kent

As Vanderpump Rules fans may recall, Lala previously voiced her suspicions about Sandoval and Raquel. With her suspicions confirmed once news broke of the affair, she explained on the finale her belief that Sandoval has a pattern. “He did this to Kristen, he did it to Ariana… He got off on the fact that he could sneak around,” Lala said before sharing another suspicion. “You think this is the first time he’s been creeping around? No one chooses right off the bat, ‘I’m gonna cheat on my girl with a best friend of hers.’ This is comfortability.”

(Tom later admitted that “there was one other time” that he cheated on Ariana.)

Lisa Vanderpump

When it comes to the Vanderpump Rules matriarch herself, Lisa was admittedly shocked by the news. “From what I knew of Raquel, I didn’t think she was capable of being that secretive, that sneaky,” Lisa explained in a confessional interview. “I do believe from what Tom and Ariana have said to me, the physical connection wasn’t what it should have been. And then along comes this beauty queen that’s clearly up for it. It was too much to resist.”

After speaking to an emotional Sandoval later on, she added in another confessional, “I’m not gonna turn my back on Sandoval. I will never, ever do anything but condemn what he did, but they’ve all been guilty of things. Maybe not quite to this level. But at some point, maybe the pain will ease.”

Kristen Doute

Screen grab of Kristen Doute on Vanderpump Rules

Reiterating what she previously said on WWHL, Kristen explained that there’s no comparing Sandoval and Ariana’s relationship to “the joke of the relationship I had with him.” Ariana subsequently apologized for always defending Sandoval at Kristen’s “sake,” and Kristen responded, “Pishposh on me. If anything, I’m sorry to you that you had to do me the favor of taking him away.” 

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