Tom Sandoval Details Filming "Isolating" Vanderpump Rules Season After Raquel Leviss Scandal

Vanderpump Rules' Tom Sandoval shared just how rough filming season 11 was after being shunned by his costars over his shocking affair with Rachel "Raquel" Leviss and breakup from Ariana Madix.

By Brett Malec Sep 13, 2023 4:07 PMTags
Watch: Raquel Leviss Blocks Tom Sandoval on Her 29th Birthday

Tom Sandoval is the first to admit he's definitely not the No. 1 guy on Vanderpump Rules' upcoming 11th season.

In fact, after his scandalous affair with costar Rachel "Raquel" Leviss and breakup from ex Ariana Madix, the Bravo star found himself outcast from his former friend group while filming earlier this summer.

"It's very rough and isolating—very, very lonely at times," Sandoval exclusively told E! News while promoting his stint on season two of the reality competition Special Forces: World's Toughest Test. "You walk in and you feel like nobody in the room likes you. And it's a s--t feeling, I can tell you. But, I'm glad we got through it and I feel like there was a lot of things that needed to be said and that needed to be addressed. And we got it out there. And it's gonna be a very interesting, very unique season for people to see."

While the TomTom co-owner wouldn't reveal if any of his castmates have forgiven him for his cheating, he did confirm he and longtime BFF and business partner Tom Schwartz have gotten to "a pretty good place" since the controversy.

Special Forces: World's Toughest Test Season 2: Meet the Cast

Since news of the affair broke in March, the Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras frontman continued to tour in addition to joining the new season of Special Forces.

Tommy Garcia/Bravo

"I keep myself busy at least, I like to when things go a little south," he admitted, adding he's got another tour on the horizon and a new podcast launching in a few weeks. "I think that's how I like to handle things. I'm hoping to get myself into a nice position financially to make moves."

As the trailer for Special Forces teased, Sandoval revealed he wanted to seek redemption for his mistakes by pushing himself to the limit—both physically and mentally—on the show's intense obstacle courses.

"I have some trouble with self-loathing," he admitted post-Scandoval. "I got people selling Sweet Lady Jane cakes that say 'Sandoval is a Liar.' I'm meeting people with the same last name as me that are like I felt like I tarnished the name Sandoval. I felt really bad about that. And I still do. And so sometimes you just want to get your ass kicked."

Since his reckoning on VPR's season 10 reunion in June, the 40-year-old just wants to continue to move on from his sins.

"I'm just trying to do good things, help people out, trying to better myself," Sandoval added. "I mean, that's really all I can do. Tying to move on and focus on the future, to focus on the things that make me happy and make other people around me happy. Love and friendship and really cool experiences. That to me is what life is all about."

A Timeline of the Vanderpump Rules Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix Break Up Drama

Special Forces: World's Toughest Test premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Keep reading for everything to know (so far) about Vanderpump Rules' upcoming 11th season.

—Reporting by Amanda Champagne-Meadows

Season 11 Filming Begins

Filming for Vanderpump Rules season 11 began in late June just weeks after the explosive three-part season 10 finale finished airing. Ariana Madix was even spotted letting loose while shooting at her ex's restaurant TomTom.

"Dj James Kennedy is playin' a set at tomtom," TikTok user audpen wrote June 30 with a video of Madix dancing inside the West Hollywood eatery. "Ariana is as gorgeous as ever living her best life, and the whole crowd chants for her. The world is good." 

Tom Sandoval Films With Lisa Vanderpump

On July 6, Tom Sandoval was seen filming for the first time since Scandoval. The 40-year-old dropped flowers off at Lisa Vanderpump's now-closed West Hollywood hot-spot PUMP, which shut its doors this summer.


Something About Ariana Madix & Katie Maloney's New Business

Season 11 will surely highlight the opening of Madix and Katie Maloney's new West Hollywood sandwich shop Something About Her, which is supposed to open this summer amid filming. The BFFs have shared plenty of sneak peeks inside their latest business venture on social media.

Tom Sandoval & Ariana Madix Reunite

Four months after filming their shocking season 10 reunion showdown, the exes were spotted filming together on July 11 at SUR's weekly See You Next Tuesday event with several of their costars. 

Bravo fans will have to wait and see as to whether Madix and Sandoval actually interacted during the outing.

Raquel Leviss Not Returning

After checking out of a mental health facility in Wickenburg, Arizona in July, Rachel "Raquel" Leviss confirmed in August she is not returning for season 11. In fact, she stated that she won't be coming back to reality TV at all. 

"Oh, hell no," Raquel told Bethenny Frankel. "No because I refuse to not respect myself on that level where I would endure that emotional abuse any longer."

The Cast Trip to Lake Tahoe

On July 18, Scheana Shay and husband Brock Davies, James Kennedy and girlfriend Ally Lewber, Tom Schwartz, Sandoval and Lala Kent jetted off to Lake Tahoe for a summer getaway, marking the cast's first post-Scandoval vacation.

Shay and Kent shared Instagram Stories from their luxury lakeside rental. As for where they stand with Sandoval…

Scheana Shay Has Not Forgiven Tom

Although Shay and Sandoval were photographed posing with a fan alongside their costars in Tahoe, the "Good as Gold" singer clarified she has not totally forgiven the TomTom co-owner for his affair.

Retweeting a video of Sandoval from her Instagram, Shay wrote July 19, "Who said all is forgiven?? We are all here for Lisa."

She added in response to another social media user questioning if they were friends again, "I'm posing in a photo for a fan. I take photos w strangers on the daily and have my arm bent up behind ppl. End of story. Should I look miserable in a group fan photo I got thrown in walking to our car?"

Lisa Vanderpump's New Tahoe Club to Be Featured

While in town, the cast checked out Vanderpump's new club Wolf at Harrah's, meaning fans will definitely get a look at the restauranteur's new Tahoe business venture next season.

In videos shared to social media, Shay, Davies, Kent, Sandoval, Schwartz, Kennedy and Lewber even helped knock down walls inside the venue during renovations.

James Kennedy Reunites With His & Raquel Leviss' Dog

Several weeks after Leviss finished her stay at a treatment facility, Kennedy announced their dog Graham, who they rescued in 2018 while still dating, was back in his custody.

"Look who made his way back home, back into my life," the DJ wrote in a July 19 Instagram along with two adorable photos. "I'll take care of you forever and I love you."

Ariana Madix's Dancing Debut

As it was announced in early July that Madix is officially joining season 32 of Dancing With the Stars, we can only hope we'll get a behind-the-scenes look at her ballroom prep.

Ariana Madix Makes Her Love Island USA Debut

While the cast was filming their Tahoe trip, Madix flew to Fiji to make a special appearance on her favorite show Love Island USA.

Sandwich Celebrations

On Aug. 6, the whole cast (minus Sandoval) was pictured enjoying a tasting at Something About Her ahead of the shop's opening.

Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval Pictured Together All Smiles

While they made sure to keep their distance from one another, Madix and Sandoval were photographed together for the first time since the explosive season 10 reunion.

The exes reunited for an Aug. 8 water tasting with the rest of their season 11 castmates.

Tom Schwart'z New Look

Schwartz debuted bleach-blond hair in August.

San Francisco Cast Trip

Season 11 culminates with a group vacation in San Francisco. Madix, Sandoval, Schwartz, Maloney, Kent, Shay, Kennedy and Lewber were all in attendance according to their Instagram Stories touring the Golden Gate bridge and other landmarks.

Daniel Wai's Debut

Madix's man joined the cast on their season 11 trip to San Francisco and it seems he's set to make his debut on the show.

Coordinating Couple

Madix and Wait coordinated for a night out in SF.

That's a Wrap

On Aug. 3, Kennedy announced "that's a wrap" on season 11 with a cute pic with Lewber in San Francisco.

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