Comprised entirely of footage that was shot about six months after filming had wrapped on the rest of the season, the episode, aptly titled “#Scandoval”, chronicled the fallout from Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix discovering in March that her boyfriend of nine years, Tom Sandoval, had been having a seven-month-long affair with one of her best friends, Raquel Leviss. All three are series regulars on the Bravo reality TV show.
News of the cheating fiasco broke on Friday, March 3, when TMZ reported that Madix and Sandoval had broken up after she learned of his infidelity. The report sent shockwaves through the Vanderpump fandom and beyond, with #Scandoval (the nickname for the scandal) becoming a trending hashtag as posts about the drama came to dominate social media. By that Monday, amid a cascade of revelations about the affair, the story had become one of the biggest reality TV controversies of all time.
At the time, Vanderpump Rules was a few episodes into airing its 10th season, which was filmed from mid-July through early September of last year. Season 10 was originally set to run for 14 episodes that were initially expected to focus on the fallout from costars Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz filing for divorce. But with newly-reinvigorated fans waiting with bated breath for more information about Scandoval, Vanderpump‘s producers seized the opportunity to once again get cameras rolling and document the aftermath of the situation.
The additional filming resulted in an entirely new season finale. Here are some of the most shocking revelations we learned about Scandoval from the bonus episode.
Read more: Why Vanderpump Rules Is Suddenly Everywhere
How Ariana and Sandoval’s blowout fight played out
The finale opened with Madix and Sandoval heatedly discussing the affair on camera for the first time just a few days after Madix learned of his betrayal. Despite Sandoval’s attempts to shift the blame to her, Madix delivered blow after blow to the thin arguments he tried to make in his favor.
Sandoval at one point even tried to insist that Madix should’ve followed him when he claimed he was going to his best friend Schwartz’s house to find out what he was actually up to.
The conversation appeared to be their last, with Madix telling Sandoval that she never wanted to talk to him again. “You’re worth nothing and I want you to feel that deep in your soul,” she told him. “Hear my words and know that’s how I feel about you.”
When Raquel and Sandoval first slept together
After Maloney and costar Scheana Shay, two of Madix’s best friends, showed up to Madix and Sandoval’s shared home to support her in the wake of the couple’s breakup, Madix revealed that she had pressed Sandoval into revealing the truth about the first night that he and Leviss had hooked up.
According to what Sandoval told her, the pair slept together for the first time in August of last year after both Madix and Leviss had returned home early from a girls’ trip that viewers saw play out in season 10. The kicker was that Madix had left to be with her 18-year-old dog Charlotte before she passed, and was at home mourning her death while Sandoval and Leviss were sneaking around behind her back. The two apparently slept together in Leviss’s car before Sandoval returned home without his keys and had to ring the doorbell to get Madix to let him in.
What Tom Schwartz knew
Despite claiming throughout the episode that Sandoval had only told him about the affair about a month before it became public knowledge, none of the other cast members seemed to buy Schwartz’s story.
In the episode, Maloney told Madix that after Leviss had showed up in October to BravoCon, an annual Bravo superfan event, wearing a TomTom Bar sweatshirt, Schwartz had made a comment that had given her pause, saying that Leviss “wasn’t there for him” (TomTom is named for Sandoval and Schwartz, who are part owners of the restaurant).
Schwartz claimed later in the episode that he had never made that comment. A major storyline in season 10 focused on Leviss, encouraged by Shay, making a play for Schwartz, despite Schwartz and Maloney’s promising that they wouldn’t hook up with anyone in the friend group following their divorce.
Even as Schwartz apologized to Madix in the finale, his main concern appeared to be that he would be painted as a co-conspirator in the affair and that the scandal would negatively impact business for his and Sandoval’s newer bar, Schwartz & Sandy’s.
Schwartz has since said that he knew Sandoval and Leviss had what he claims was a one-night stand in August 2022, while still filming season 10, but that he didn’t know their relationship had developed into a full-blown love affair until January of this year.
Sandoval and Raquel loved each other…maybe?
During a cringey encounter between Sandoval and Leviss at the latter’s apartment—the only interaction shown between them and the only scene Leviss filmed for the episode—the pair ended up saying they loved each other after Leviss misheard Sandoval when he told her that his family loved her. Sandoval also accidentally called Leviss “Ariana” at one point during the rendezvous.
However, as of Wednesday afternoon, reports were circulating that the maybe-couple had already broken up. During her appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen following the finale, Madix said that she believes the reports are fake and that Leviss was sending letters to Sandoval at the house he and Madix still share just days earlier.
How many times Sandoval cheated previously
For longtime Vanderpump fans, the biggest revelation of the finale may have been that everything former Vanderpump star Kristen Doute claimed in season 3 about Sandoval cheating on Madix early in their relationship with a girl in Miami, widely referred to as “Miami Girl,” was true—and that Madix knew about it the whole time!
Madix even confirmed this during Watch What Happens Live after the episode, explaining that the hook-up had happened before she and Sandoval were exclusive and that she had defended him so that people wouldn’t think the worst of the man she loved.
During the episode, Sandoval also revealed to Shay that he had cheated on Madix another time with someone who he at first said was a random girl before walking that back to say he didn’t want to get into it. Madix said on Watch What Happens Live that she had strong suspicions about who it was but that it wasn’t someone in the show’s orbit.
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