How Vanderpump Rules' Tom Sandoval Wanted to Craft the "Perfect Breakup" Before Cheating Scandal

Vanderpump Rules' Tom Sandoval shared regrets over his affair with Raquel Leviss and revealed how he's done a 180 since his scandalous breakup from Ariana Madix earlier this year.

By Brett Malec Oct 05, 2023 3:59 PMTags
Watch: Raquel Leviss Blocks Tom Sandoval on Her 29th Birthday

Seven months later, Tom Sandoval continues to SUR-ve up apologies for cheating on Ariana Madix.

On the Oct. 5 episode of his Everybody Loves Tom podcast, the Vanderpump Rules star once again reflected on his months-long affair with Rachel "Raquel" Leviss with Bravo superfan Jerry O'Connell and promised he's a different man today.

"I fully f--king regret it," Sandoval admitted. "I feel bad about it. I hate that I hurt people. I, for the most part, have been pretty f--king miserable and I don't ever, ever, ever want to go through what I went through again. And I don't ever want to be responsible or the cause for ever hurting people like that and causing that kind of s--t ever again. I'm going to do everything in my power to never do that again and to never get lost and caught up in a situation like that."

As for what he would have done differently? Well, not cheated on his partner of nine years in the first place.

A History of Vanderpump Rules' Biggest Cheating Scandals

"I would have gotten out of my relationship, ripped the Band-Aid off, not delayed," the 40-year-old continued. "I think I got caught up in trying to create the perfect breakup, but it was way beyond that."

Todd Williamson/Bravo

In fact, Sandoval admitted that the 2022 divorce of his costars Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney made him want to craft an image that his and Madix's split was nothing but amicable before the Scandoval news broke in March.

"I saw what Tom and Katie went through and I wanted to do it better," he explained, "do it smoother. We were a different relationship than Tom and Katie, Ariana and I."

Though he's remorseful now, the TomTom co-owner also noted he was in a bad place when he started sleeping with Leviss behind Madix's back.

"I was on a path that was not great," he continued. "I was drinking all day, every day, chain smoking, cigarettes, going out constantly, chasing the dragon, running away from everything, hiding, hiding, hiding. And, when this happened, I was forced to take a really hard look at my life, really analyze and say, 'Dude, what the f--k are you doing?' You know what I mean? Like, this is not a path that leads to a long, healthy life."

Now, Sandoval is six months sober and grateful for the wakeup call.

"It did help me or cause me to change my habits," he said. "And really also to put in perspective certain things that are important, like, also see what relationships were more meaningful."

Vanderpump Rules: Everything That's Happened Since Season 10

"I just got to try to move on and make the best out of the situation," he added," continue to try to do positive things, be a positive person, be a positive influence on a situation, bring fun and happiness to people as much as I can. That's what I love doing. That's what I feel like I'm on this earth to do, is to bring positivity and happiness to people, to make people better off than they were when they met me. And I love doing that. I feel like a lot of my friends have experienced that over the years, and that's one of the reasons why everybody didn't leave me. But I realize why a lot of people did."

Keep reading for every juicy detail we know (so far) about VPR's upcoming season 11.

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." 

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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