How Vanderpump Rules' Raquel Leviss Handled First Days of Filming With Ex James Kennedy

Vanderpump Rules' Raquel Leviss exclusively revealed details about reuniting with ex-fiancé James Kennedy for season 10 of the Bravo series. Go inside their first days of filming.

By Brett Malec Jul 20, 2022 4:54 PMTags
Watch: Raquel Leviss Dishes on Seeing Ex James Kennedy for First Time

Get ready to see a whole "new vibe" from Raquel Leviss.

The Vanderpump Rules star recently started filming season 10 of the hit Bravo series following her breakup from co-star James Kennedy. While working with your former fiancé would be awkward for most, Raquel says she and James are taking the high road.

"We're being cordial," Raquel exclusively told E! News at the Schwartz & Sandy's opening party hosted by DailyMail.com and TMX on July 19. "I haven't seen James since we broke up basically so last week was a new kind of situation to be in. But so far so good. I think we just want the best for each other and supporting each other in that way."

Raquel admitted she spent time "mentally preparing" to be around James this summer. She added of their reunion on camera, "I saw him at SUR for the first time so I was working and just trying to stay focused on my tables and not think too much about him, because why work yourself up like that?"

2022 Celebrity Breakups

Raquel and James, who were together for five years, officially split in December 2021 just seven months after getting engaged. Since then, James has started dating girlfriend Ally Lewber while Raquel has leaned on VPR besties Scheana Shay and Ariana Madix.

Raquel also revealed she's gotten very close to Tom Sandoval.

"I feel like he's become one of my best friends lately," she told E!. "He just is so in touch with himself and fully accepting of who he is and so confident. I feel like he looks at me like a little sister and is supporting me in such a kind way. He's a really great guy."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

As for what to expect from Vanderpump Rules season 10, Raquel teased "drama" (shocker!), adding, "I'm just going with the flow and trying to have fun."

"It's a new vibe for me and I'm finding my independence," she said.

Inside the Schwartz & Sandy's bash, Raquel spent lots of timing hanging out with co-star Peter Madrigal while James split his time between DJing, cuddling with Ally and filming for the show.

Check out more from Raquel in the interview above. And scroll through the photos below for everything we know about Vanderpump Rules season 10.

—Reporting by Mike Vulpo

Filming Starts

Lala Kent shared an Instagram Story on July 13 revealing that filming had officially begun for Vanderpump Rules season 10. Cameras were also rolling at the grand opening of Schwartz and Sandy's. 

New Bar, New Problems

Speaking of Schwartz and Sandy's...the new bar recently opened for business! Tom Sandoval told E! News as much in June, and he and Schwartz hosted the bar's grand opening party on July 19, meaning the Toms' new watering hole—and all of the drama that's sure to come with it—will definitely be featured on the upcoming season of VPR.

The Bubbas Are Broken Up

Katie Maloney's divorce from ex-husband Tom Schwartz is sure to be a hot topic this season, and it sounds like she's not going to shy away from talking about it. "I feel like Tom and I, we've always been very, very open with our relationship—the good and the bad—on the show," she said on her You're Gonna Love Me podcast July. "And it's never easy. I don't look forward to airing it. But I'd rather be honest than try to manipulate or cover up or paint it in a different light, or anything like that."

Two Tiny Cast Members Will Make Their Debut

No more Vanderbumps here! Lala and Scheana Shay have both welcomed their first children—Lala, a daughter named Ocean and Scheana, a daughter named Summer—since Vanderpump Rules last aired, meaning they're embarking on an entirely new filming process. 

Post-Divorce Dating

Katie revealed back in May that she had already been on at least one date since splitting from Tom, meaning viewers will likely get to see her explore being single for the first time ever on the show. Tom, meanwhile, will have a fling of his own...with one of their co-stars!

A Potential Plot Point

A source told E! News on Aug. 25 that Tom Schwartz and Raquel Leviss have been getting closer, which his ex Katie isn't exactly thrilled about. As such, the flirtationship has become a source of "tension" for the formerly friendly exes, the insider shared. 

Give Them (Single) Lala

As is the case with Katie, Vanderpump Rules hasn't seen a single Lala in a while. However, now that she and her ex-fiancé Randall Emmett have been split for nearly a year and a half, she's ready to jump back into the dating pool—even if it means running "full background checks" on her potential suitors, Lala said in an Amazon Live stream in February. "I now have a P.I. guy who I just randomly send people to," she revealed. "And I'm like, 'Hey, before I go anywhere with this person, I'm going to need to know his story.' [I'm] damaged I guess. Who knows? I'm not doing what I did back then."

Katie and Ariana's Sandwich Shop Is in the Works

In June, Katie gave an update on the sandwich shop she and Ariana Madix plan to open together. "We've just been working with a consulting group who are amazing and brilliant and have opened up places of their own and worked with some amazing clients around L.A.," she said on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. "And we spent a lot of time crystallizing the whole vision and the whole concept. It's called Something About Her, but it's going to be more than sandwiches. We want it to have its own vibe, its own personality. Kind of like retail, wine bar, wine, and beer bar, but maybe cocktails as well depending on the space we can get."

A New Relationship for James

James Kennedy and his new girlfriend Ally Lewber made their red carpet debut in March and appear to still be going strong. In fact, Ally officially joined season 10 as a full-time cast member.

Raquel's Nerves Are Setting In

Raquel admitted that filming with her ex James is going to be a tad bit awkward. "It's going to be a different dynamic this time," she said in July, "and we haven't hung out since the breakup, so it's definitely going to be a different kind of situation than I'm used to."

Fresh Friendships

Raquel has other reasons to be excited for season 10, though. As she told Scheana on her podcast in July, "I've gotten really close to you and Ariana, Brock [Davies] and Sandoval and even Schwartz, so it's gonna be less stressful in that way because I feel like I have genuine friendships, which is going to be fun to film."

A Group Divided?

That said, don't count out lots of drama to come. Raquel told Page Six that Katie's split from Tom has changed the dynamic in their friend group, but Katie clapped back on that claim in June, writing in an Instagram comment, "We literally told them there's no sides to pick. I have felt that some people have on their own done that for whatever reason but Tom and I are still friends so whatever."

Shifting Alliances

Katie and Tom may not want their friends to have to choose between them, but Lala is adamant that anyone who chooses to associate with her ex is not someone she wants to associate with herself. As such, when Schwartz was spotted hanging out with Randall last year, "I cut him out," Lala said on Watch What Happens Live. "I'm not the type of person to say, like, 'You have to pick a side,' but in this situation, if you don't pick my side or you remain Switzerland, like, I want nothing to do with you."

No Trouble in Paradise Here

Though VPR has seen more than its fair share of breakups in recent months, Sandoval assured E! News in June that he and Ariana are "going strong." 

Scheana's Wedding Will Be Featured

Scheana and Brock Davies said "I do" on Aug. 23 in Cancun, and many of their Vanderpump Rules co-stars were in attendance. The destination wedding will be a major storyline on the new season.

New Couple Alert?

After allegedly hooking up at Scheana's wedding, Raquel teased a new "flirty friendship" with Schwartz this season at BravoCon 2022 while Schwartz told E! News they had a "connection."

"Yes, me and Raquel have gotten much closer," he confirmed in October. "I have a great appreciation for her. I've gotten to know her, and I've gotten to see all these different facets of her personality I didn't know existed…I didn't realize how f--king funny Raquel is—and witty."

Not-So-Friendly Exes

The explosive season 10 trailer teased Katie blowing up at Tom over his relationship with Raquel.

"I never had hatred for you and now I do," she says. "I think you're pathetic, I think you're a drunk and I think you're a loser."

New Main Titles

Fans can also get excited about brand new opening credits, which you can watch here.

Tom Sandoval & Ariana Madix Break Up

O March 3, 2023, a source close to VPR production confirmed to E! News the couple of nine years had broken up. Cameras were up to capture the drama and all the cast's reactions to the shocking split.

One day after the news broke, Tom broke his silence, writing on social media, "Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me, but please leave [Tom] Schwartz, my friends and family out of this situation. This was a very personal thing."

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