A month after the Vanderpump Rules fandom was rocked by news that Tom had cheated on his longtime love Ariana Madix with their co-star Raquel Leviss, the 39-year-old broke down the timeline of the couple's dramatic fallout. On the April 11 episode of the Howie Mandel Does Stuff podcast, Tom claimed that he and Ariana, 37, were already broken up when his affair with Raquel, 28, made headlines in early March.
The TomTom co-owner went on to claim that Ariana—who he dated for nine years—was "very upset" in the days that followed, saying his ex was "completely in denial and not accepting it."
"I sit down to talk to her and she's like, 'I'm not letting you leave me. You're going to have to force me out of this relationship,'" he recalled of Ariana's alleged response. "I was like, 'Ariana, I don't think I could be faithful in a relationship with you right now.'"
According to Tom, he suggested to Ariana during one discussion that they keep quiet about their breakup and "figure out a way to navigate this," though he said he did not disclose his relationship with Raquel at the time. After a boys' trip to Miami—during which Tom said he had zero contact with Ariana because he didn't consider them to be together anymore—the two stepped out at a concert for his band Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras.
There, according to Tom, Ariana continued to act as if they were in a relationship until she looked through his phone, which had fallen out of his pocket during the show, and discovered his affair with Raquel.
"It's the most upset and angry I've ever seen her," he recalled. "I think she went through my phone to see if anything had happened with someone in Miami, but we were broken up. She knew we were broken up. We didn't tell anybody."
Looking back, Tom admitted he "handled s--t wrong" and "f--ked up" with how he ended things with Ariana, but wished that some of their mutual friends had reached out to hear his side of the story.
"Nothing is excusable for what I did," he said. "I definitely deserve the hate, but for these close friends to not even shoot me a text and go right to social media and start posting things?"
Elsewhere on the podcast, Tom said he was drawn to Raquel because he was "in a very dark place" and his relationship with Ariana "didn't have the intimacy" the couple once shared.
"After Raquel and I kissed, I got my ass into therapy immediately," he recalled. "The feelings were very strong and those feelings that I had started to take over logic. All that s--t went out the window because I hadn't experienced that...but the environment that it created—with the lying, the sleeping around—was very unhealthy."
During that time, Tom said he and Ariana also entered couple's therapy. "My plan was to breakup with her in therapy," he revealed. "I had made it pretty clear in therapy that I wanted to take the steps to break up, but Ariana really started fighting for it and I felt so, so bad about it."
Recalling how he saw an "unbelievably sweet and amazing" side to Ariana during those therapy sessions, the Schwartz and Sandy's restaurateur added, "Whoever gets that version of Ariana is going to be the luckiest person."
E! News has reached out to Ariana's rep for comment on Tom's claims but hasn't heard back.
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