The 'Vanderpump Rules' cheating scandal that broke the internet, explained (2023)

Back in March, whether you watch "Vanderpump Rules" or not, your social media feed was likely flooded with headlines about cheating allegations involving three of the show's stars.

On March 3, longtime partners Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix confirmed they broke up after nine years together. The announcement came amid rumors that Sandoval allegedly cheated on Madix with their "Vanderpump" co-star Raquel Leviss.

In the wake of the drama, Bravo turned the cameras back on, meaning the scandal, since dubbed Scandoval, has played out on air.

So far, this season has followed the growing friendship between Leviss and Sandoval, as well as his frequent conflicts with Madix. Rumors have swirled among the cast, from Sandoval and Madix potentially having an open relationship, to some members of the cast feeling like Leviss has gotten a little too close to her friend’s boyfriend.

Each episode has inched closer to the bombshell reveal, the aftermath of which will be following in the Season 10 finale, airing May 17. Viewers will see how the explosive confrontation between Madix and her longtime partner went down.

But the drama doesn't stop there. Bravo will then air a three-part cast reunion. Based on a trailer for the event, many cast members had choice words for Leviss and Sandoval at the event, which was filmed at the end of March.

Not sure what's going on? We're breaking down everything that's happened over the course of Season 10 from the beginning.

The 'Vanderpump Rules' cheating scandal that broke the internet, explained (1)

Hold on: What is 'Vanderpump Rules'?

We hear you! Let's put the brakes on the whole relationship timeline for a moment.

"Vanderpump Rules" is a Bravo reality show initially centered around the staff of Sur, a restaurant in Los Angeles owned by former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump. Ten years into the show, the original cast members are full-fledged reality stars and most have moved on from Sur or the show or both. Now staff from Vanderpump's other restaurants (including Pump and TomTom, both also in LA) are also in the mix.

On the air since 2013, this marked the first spinoff for "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Season 10 is unfolding now.

(Bravo is owned by NBCUniversal, TODAY's parent company.)

Below is a complete timeline of the 'Vanderpump Rules' alleged cheating scandal

2013: Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix begin dating

Tom Sandoval is an original “Vanderpump Rules” cast member, joining at the very beginning of the Bravo series in January 2012. Later that year, Madix signed on to the show. She started appearing in the series’ second season, which aired in November 2013.

The couple confirmed that they were dating during the Season Two reunion special.

Interestingly, their relationship began amid cheating allegations, as “Vanderpump Rules Party Podcast” hosts Hollie Bohorquez and Sarah Cee point out to This part of the saga begins at the show’s inception, when Sandoval was dating a different cast member, Kristen Doute.

"The twist here is that Sandoval was cheated on himself. In his relationship with co-star Kristen Doute (before Ariana), Kristen cheated on Sandoval ... with Jax (Taylor, Sandoval’s best friend), in the living room of the apartment Sandoval and Kristen shared together while Sandoval was asleep in the bedroom," podcast the hosts told over email.

After they split, Sandoval and Madix started dating. During the Season Two “VPR” reunion, Sandoval confirmed that he kissed Madix before he and Doute broke up.

2016: Raquel Leviss joins 'Vanderpump Rules'

In Season Five, Leviss, a formal pageant queen, made her first appearance on "Vanderpump Rules" as the girlfriend of cast member James Kennedy. They announced their engagement in May 2021 but broke up a few months later. Kennedy also used to date Kristen Doute, Sandoval's ex.

2019: Sandoval reveals that Madix hooked up with a fellow co-star

In a steady relationship for years, Sandoval and Madix weren't the locus of drama on the show (well, until now). As "Vanderpump Rules" went on, though, more about their intimate life together emerged.

In a 2019 episode of "VPR," Sandoval tells his friends that Madix hooked up with co-star Lala Kent while the three were in his car together.

Per a People recap of the episode, Madix isn't thrilled that her boyfriend was discussing her sexuality without her permission.

“I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of what happened between Lala and I, but I do feel like Tom betrayed my trust by telling this story to his guy friends. My sexuality is not something that is meant to sound cool to a bunch of dudes," she says in a confessional interview.

2021: Madix shares her thoughts on the idea of marrying Sandoval

During a 2021 appearance “Watch What Happens Live,” Madix had a lukewarm response when host Andy Cohen asked if she would ever marry her longtime beau.

“The big thing for me is that I’m not really into the whole fanfare of it. It’s really more about the two people," she said. "So if it was just about us, I honestly think I would be more open to it. I just don’t want it to be like a big thing about having a giant wedding and a bachelorette party and all that bulls---," she said.

Summer 2022: Raquel Leviss is involved with another 'VPR' star, Tom Schwartz

Season of "Vanderpump Rules" was primarily filmed last summer. After Leviss' breakup with her ex-fiancé Kennedy, she went on dates with Sur managerPeter Madrigal, as depicted in Season 10.

She also grew closer to Tom —Tom Schwartz that is.

Schwartz, Sandoval's best friend and business parter, went through his own breakup. Schwartz and Katie Maloney announced that they were splitting up after 12 years together.

But before they finalized their divorce in the fall, Schwartz and Leviss kissed at Scheana Shay's wedding in August.

January 2023: Sandoval and Madix dodge rumors of an open relationship

In January 2023, Bravo released a trailer for Season 10 of "Vanderpump Rules" which foreshadowed rumors of an open relationship for Sandoval and Madix.

Per People, Madix took to Twitter to squash the idea, writing, "We dont have an open relationship. i’m really not that cool. thought that was obvious." Her Twitter account has since been deleted.

The show revealed that the rumors originated when Maloney, Madix's business partner, said that the couple doesn't have "a lot of rules," which Kennedy later interpreted as an implication Madix and Sandoval having an "open relationship."

The rumors reignited during filming when it was revealed that Leviss spent the night at Sandoval's house while Madix was out of town.

But Madix shut down the allegations and appeared unfazed by news of the sleepover. Instead, she attributed the gossip to Maloney and her feud with Leviss over Schwartz.

In a confessional, Madix said that while she understands Maloney's dislike, Leviss is still her friend.

“I get it, Katie hates Raquel, but Raquel is my friend andshe’s someone that is kind and sweet and loyal and just a delight since the day I met her,” Madix said in Episode 13.

March 2023: Sandoval and Madix announce their split

Months after filming wrapped, Sandoval confirmed his split with Madix on March 5 on Instagram. He asked his followers to be respectful to the staff at his restaurants, TomTom and his new venture, Schwartz & Sandy’s.

“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation,” he wrote. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”

March 2023: Bravo addressed the rumors on social media, confirming the story would unfold on the show

Following the news about Sandoval and Madix's breakup, Bravo said the story would continue in future episodes in tweet that read, "We have resumed filming on #PumpRules and this story will be unfolding on camera."

March 16, 2023: Madix breaks her silence

Madix issued a strong statement on social media warning "what doesn't killed me better run" in the wake of her breakup with Sandoval.

“Hi. where to begin?” Madix started her Instagram post. “I want to express my most sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support I have received from friends, family, and people I’ve never even met in the last two weeks. When I have felt like I couldn’t even stand, you all have given me the strength to continue and seen me through my darkest hours.”

“To say I have been devastated and broken is an understatement,” she continued. “However, I know that I am not in this alone. So many of my closest friends are also grieving this loss right now and reeling from this betrayal on so many levels. I am so f----ing lucky to have the best support system in the world and I hope I can repay every single person for the love you have shown me.”

March 23, 2023: 'Vanderpump Rules' cast films a 'confrontational' reunion special

Just a few weeks after news broke of Madix and Sandoval's split, the cast filmed the Season 10 reunion on March 23.

At the event, Madix wore a fiery red two-piece ensemble that host Andy Cohen described as a "revenge dress." On his podcast, Cohen described the event as a "real reckoning."

A trailer released for the reunion, which is set to begin airing May 24, shows Madix confronting and Leviss, with passionate support from Kennedy and Lala Kent.

April 2023: Leviss enters a facility for mental health treatment

A representative for Leviss confirmed to April 14 that the reality star checked into a facility to receive treatment for mental health counseling.

Leviss made this decision with her family months before news of Scandoval broke, according to her rep. She intended to voluntarily enter the facility before the Season 10 reunion but stayed to “finish her filming commitment,” the representative said in an email to

The rep also denied reports that she was at a spa alongside Sandoval in the wake of the cheating scandal.

So, what does it all mean? 'Vanderpump Rules' experts weigh in

The hosts of “Vanderpump Rules Party Podcast” call the cheating scandal "shocking." In fact, after hearing the news, their first reaction was to think it was "fake."

"This not the person Sandoval has portrayed himself to be for all of these years. That'cheater villainrole' wasalways for other male cast members. Sandoval pretended to be the moral compass of theshow," hosts Bohorquez and Cee say.

Further, Leviss and Madix were friends on the show. “The fans feel betrayed by both Tom and Raquel," the hosts say.

The sense of betrayal also stems from Madix being a "universally loved" cast member, the podcasts hosts say: "Every othercast member has an army of fans and an army of haters, but Ariana seems to only have fans."

The 'Vanderpump Rules' cheating scandal that broke the internet, explained (2)

LA-based writerJeroslyn Johnson was also taken aback by the bombshell news, but for different reasons.

“(I was) completely shocked by how far Raquel was taking her bad girl era and theirony in Sandoval getting caught cheating similar to how he was cheatedon by Kristen Doute seasons before,” Johnson writes to over email.

As the season premiered, Johnson predicted the drama will breathe new life into the show.

"This will impact Season 10 tremendously. They’ve already started filming again just because of how huge this scandal is. All of the breakups and Raquel hookups just reignited 'VPR' back to its glory days," she says.

CORRECTION (March 8, 2023, 8:50 a.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated that Raquel Leviss and Tom Schwartz were in a relationship. It has been updated.


Did Rachel and Sandoval break up? ›

Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss break up after affair.

What happened between Ariana and Tom? ›

The couple of nine years split in March after it was revealed that Sandoval had been having an affair with his and Madix's Vanderpump Rules costar Raquel Leviss. However, they continued to live together in the property for several months following the end of their romantic relationship.

Is Raquel in a mental hospital? ›

Not a mental facility! It's a Spa Resort,” Madrigal, 38, wrote in an Instagram comment on Pump Rules fan account @realvanderpump's post about Leviss' treatment on Saturday, April 15. Kathan, for her part, commented, “She's at a spa,” on @glorifiedgossipgirl's account that same day.

How did Tag and Rachel break up? ›

Cause of Split: Rachel dumped Tag on her 30th birthday because she thought he was too young for a serious relationship. Rachel and Tag weren't as terrible of a couple as Ross and Elizabeth, but they were still doomed from the start, and their relationship was problematic given their respective jobs.

Is Tom Sandoval still with his wife? ›

In early March, Vanderpump Rules stars Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix announced the end of their relationship after being together since 2013 when she first joined the show. It wasn't long before news broke that Sandoval had cheated on Madix with their co-star, Raquel Leviss.

Are Ariana and Sandoval still together? ›

Longtime loves Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix have broken up after nine years together, a source close to VPR production confirmed to E! News.

Why don t Tom and Ariana have furniture? ›

He went on to explain that the blank space was necessary to bring the book's photos to life, and that it may not have been doable had furniture been in play as well. "I know some people are saying 'just move it when you shoot,' but 80+ photo setups over a week is a LOT," Pellegrino tweeted.

Why did Raquel get a nose job? ›

Raquel Leviss

I felt like my nose tip was very bulbous and that it was too big for my face,” she said. “I do have a very petite, tiny face so I wanted a nose that would match those features.” Leviss says she still isn't totally happy with her results and is considering a secondary procedure to straighten the bridge.

Is Raquel Leviss Miss Malibu? ›

Raquel's biggest pageant accomplishment was winning Miss Sonoma County in 2016, which is where she grew up and went to college. She went on to compete in the Miss California Miss Malibu USA, although it's unknown if she placed in the pageants.

What is Raquel Leviss doing now? ›

Since filming the reunion last month, Raquel has checked into a mental health treatment facility, where she is seeking “trauma therapy,” according to her rep.

How much is Rachel from Vanderpump Rules worth? ›

According to Life & Style, Raquel Leviss's net worth is an estimated $30 million. The Vanderpump Rules star is no stranger to the spotlight.

What does Rachel from Vanderpump Rules do for a living? ›

Raquel Leviss is an American model, television star, social media influencer and philanthropist.She was born in Sonoma, California, United States.Raquel is well known for her appearance in television reality show called “Vanderpump Rules Season 6” in 2018.Currently, she is in the news because of dating Tom Sandoval and ...


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