Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’s Affair Reportedly Started Months Ago
Bravo stars Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss are at the center of one of the biggest scandals to hit Vanderpump Rules in the show’s history. In March 2023, rumors swirled that Tom and Raquel reportedly started seeing each other behind Tom’s girlfriend, Ariana Madix’s, back. The alleged infidelity was an unwelcome update to Tom and Ariana’s relationship, which fans have watched on television since 2014. Ariana broke up with Tom before deleting her Instagram on Friday, March 3.
Raquel and Tom’s relationship seemingly came out of nowhere. The pair had been friends since Raquel started appearing on Vanderpump Rules, and she was also getting closer to Ariana before the drama unfolded.
While fans are only recently learning about Tom and Raquel’s #Scandoval, some eagle-eyed viewers noticed a shift between the co-stars months before Tom and Ariana’s breakup. Here’s everything we dug up on Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’s relationship timeline!
November 2016 — Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss begin filming together on ‘Vanderpump Rules.’
Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant, SUR, has seen several employees come and go. In Season 5, Lisa hired Raquel to work as a SUR server. Raquel was dating Vanderpump Rules star James Kennedy, and Tom had been dating Ariana for two years when he and Raquel began working together.
May 2021 — Tom Sandoval goes halfsies with James Kennedy on James's proposal expenses.
By Season 9 of Vanderpump Rules, Raquel began establishing herself as a Vanderpump Rules cast member. Additionally, her and James’s relationship grew, and James decided to take their love to the next level.
In May 2021, James proposed to Raquel at a Coachella-themed party they affectionately called “Rachella.” The cast filmed the event for the show, including Raquel saying “yes” to James in front of their VPR friends. The gathering also included Sandoval, who split the proposal costs with James.
“James and I split the $25k because nothing brings me more joy than to help a friend accomplish a dream that they have,” Tom explained on the show.
Unfortunately, James and Raquel’s pricey engagement didn’t last long. In December 2021, the couple released a statement confirming they called off their engagement.
The statement read, “We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore.” Nonetheless, Tom said he had no regrets about spending thousands of dollars on the short union.
"It was worth it," Tom said about the proposal at the Season 9 reunion in January 2022. "Tenfold."
Summer 2022 — Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss reportedly start dating behind Ariana Madix’s back.
Vanderpump Rules wrapped Season 9 in January 2022. According to People, Tom and Raquel’s affair began six months before TMZ broke the news in March 2023. Our calculations suggest Raquel and Tom started sneaking around in September 2022, when Tom and Ariana were still together.
“This has been going on for upwards of six months — all the while, Tom was sleeping next to Ariana in bed," a source told People in March 2023. "She was completely blindsided by this; devastated doesn't even scratch the surface of how she feels."
They continued, "This is someone she thought she knew, someone she planned to spend the rest of her life with. You can't even put into words that betrayal.”
August 2022 — Raquel kisses Tom Sandoval’s BFF, Tom Schwartz.
Raquel and Tom’s cheating scandal came just months after she was involved in a sticky situation with Vanderpump Rules’ other Tom, Tom Schwartz. In March 2022, Schwartz and his ex-wife, Katie Maloney, announced they were divorcing after six years of marriage and 12 years together. Several months later, Schwartz and Raquel kissed at Scheana Shay’s August 2022 wedding to Brock Davies in Cancun, Mexico.
The kiss appalled Katie and her fans because Katie demanded that Tom not date anyone in their friend group. However, once Raquel and Sandoval’s relationship surfaced in March 2023, fans couldn’t help but assume that Raquel and Schwartz’s kiss was a decoy to distract from what was happening behind the scenes.
October 2022 — Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval rock matching necklaces and possibly hook up at BravoCon.
As we learn more about Raquel and Sandoval’s alleged affair, fans have wondered how they missed clues that the co-stars were creeping around in plain sight. In October 2022, TMZ shared that Sandoval and Raquel wore matching lightning bolt necklaces during their interviews and social media posts. But the TomTom owner attended the Vanderpump Rules Season 10 premiere with Ariana.
Bravo’s head honcho Andy Cohen also said he believes the relationship between Raquel and Sandoval began in October 2022 during BravoCon. On his morning show, Radio Andy, the WWHL host, said he noticed Raquel paying extra attention to Tom during his performance at BravoCon with his cover band, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras.
“You could see how they’re both looking at Sandoval,” Andy said, referring to Ariana and Raquel.
November 2022 — Sandoval dresses up as Raquel for Halloween amid her and Katie’s feud.
While Andy seemingly saw sparks between Tom and Raquel at BravoCon, they reportedly were in cahoots with each other during her feud with Katie.
In October 2022, Katie responded to a video of Raquel wearing a TomTom hoodie on Instagram. Katie called Raquel a “fangirl” in the post’s comments section, stating, “Started as a fan of the show and now a fan of the Tom’s [sic],” per Page Six. Days later, Tom responded by dressing as Raquel for Halloween. He donned the same hoodie and a bob wig.
January 2023 — ‘Vanderpump Rules’ fans claim Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix are in an open relationship.
Before Tom and Raquel’s affair surfaced, rumors regarding his and Ariana Madix’s relationship bubbled. In January 2023, Ariana tweeted in response to a report that she and Sandoval were in an open relationship, per People. In a since-deleted tweet, she denied any truth to the rumors and reminded fans that her sexual orientation didn’t mean she was open to dating multiple people at once.
“We don't have an open relationship. I'm really not that cool. Thought that was obvious,” Madix tweeted. “Bisexual ≠ polyamorous.”
March 3, 2023 — Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval break up after she reportedly found “inappropriate texts” between him and Raquel Leviss.
On Friday, March 3, TMZ was the first to report that Ariana and Tom ended their relationship. The couple, who began dating in 2014, was reportedly already going through challenging times, but his affair with Raquel was the final straw.
Ariana reportedly ended the relationship days after finding several texts between Tom and Raquel. Ariana reportedly found a sexy video of Raquel and then “began scrolling and saw their history of inappropriate texts.”
March 4–6, 2023 — Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’s affair affect their professional lives.
Following the report, the paparazzi snapped photos of Tom packing his bags and leaving his and Ariana’s home. Then, on Saturday, March 4, Tom addressed the scandal during his band’s performance at City National Grove in Anaheim, California, per Us Weekly.
“Have you ever been one of the most hated people in America?” Tom said to the crowd.
Tom also discussed the scandal on his social media on Saturday. In an Instagram post, the musician and restauranteur apologized to Vanderpump Rules fans and asked that they not attack his friends and business partners while dragging him over his actions.
“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger and disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz, my friends, and family out of this situation," Tom begged, adding that his inner circle, especially Schwartz, “specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions."
Raquel is also reportedly doing some damage control amid the scandal. On March 4, Deux Moi claimed that, in light of the scandal, Raquel fired her PR team and hired a new one to show her as the “victim.”
“They’re planning to allege that Sandoval took advantage of Raquel while she was in a vulnerable moment in life, clouding her judgment, then recording intimate videos without her knowledge,” the post stated. “She will then go on an apology tour relaying that she’s devastated by what has unfolded and for betraying one of her best friends (Ariana).”
Raquel has neither confirmed nor denied having an affair with Tom. The cast members will be on Vanderpump Rules for the rest of Season 10. After briefly going on hiatus to address the cheating scandal off-camera, Tom and Ariana discussed his and Raquel’s affair for the show. Page Six says the exes shot their confrontational scene at their Los Angeles Valley Village home, and things between them did not end well.
“Ariana walked away from the conversation feeling like she was gaslit by Tom,” a source told the outlet. “He gave her several excuses as to why he never copped to cheating.”
The insider continued, stating that Tom explained to Ariana why he didn’t tell her about him and Raquel before she found the evidence on his phone. Tom reportedly told Ariana that he kept the information from her out of concern for her well-being.
“Tom said he didn’t tell her about the affair with Raquel because he was worried about how it would impact her mental health,” the source claimed.
Ariana has often shared her struggles with depression and how it worsened when her grandmother, Phyllis “Bonnie“ Cameron, died in September 2022.
Ariana has also reportedly told her family and friends about the affair, and they are “disappointed” with Tom for seemingly being “unable to take accountability for his actions or express substantial remorse.” Meanwhile, Raquel is taking legal action against the friend group.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, TMZ reported that Raquel demanded that her Vanderpump Rules co-stars delete an alleged intimate FaceTime session between her and Sandoval. According to Raquel, Tom recorded the video “illegally without [her] knowledge or consent,” and her attorneys cited a revenge porn law.
In a legal letter, Raquel’s lawyers ordered those with access to the video to delete it anywhere “the recording may exist." Additionally, the lawyers warned that they take “this matter should be taken very seriously" to avoid any further legal disputes.
Catch new episodes of Vanderpump Rules Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.