Rachel Leviss Is Suing Ariana Madix in the "Scandoval" Fallout, Continuing Their Rivalry

Scandoval was perhaps the most talked about event of 2023. Now, Rachel Leviss is suing Ariana Madix but lawyers think it’s unwise.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Mar. 1 2024, Published 12:35 p.m. ET

Rachel leviss and Ariana madix

We all thought we left “Scandoval” behind in 2023 but as it turns out, the saga continues into 2024. On Feb. 29, 2024, Rachel “Raquel” Leviss sued Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix in the aftermath of the Vanderpump Rules cheating scandal. Basically, in the early days of March 2023, Ariana discovered explicit videos of Rachel on Tom’s phone, which unleashed one of the biggest scandals in reality television history.

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The affair between 29-year-old Rachel and 40-year-old Tom, both of whom were stars on Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules alongside 38-year-old Ariana, took the world by storm. In doing so, Rachel’s name was dragged through the mud as her reputation fell apart. Now that Season 11 is airing, Rachel is no longer part of the show but she’s still part of the drama by suing Tom and Ariana. We know why she’s suing Tom, but why is she suing Ariana?

Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss and Tom Schwartz at the Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras performance at Hotel Cafe on November 14, 2021
Source: Getty Images
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Rachel Leviss is suing Ariana Madox for “invasion of privacy.”

According to Rachel’s lawsuit, she’s suing Tom and Ariana in a joint lawsuit for eavesdropping, revenge porn, and invasion of privacy. In the lawsuit (via People), Rachel states she was “a victim of the predatory and dishonest behavior of an older man," and that he filmed sexually explicit videos "without her knowledge or consent."

This is a good enough reason to sue Tom, as filming someone without their knowledge during sex is a crime, but she adds her reasoning for suing Ariana. Those recordings were "distributed, disseminated, and discussed publicly by a scorned woman [Ariana] seeking vengeance … Meanwhile, Leviss, who was humiliated and villainized for public consumption, remains a shell of her former self, with her career prospects stunted and her reputation in tatters."

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Rachel Leviss and Ariana Madix at KIISFM event
Source: Getty Images

In simpler terms, Rachel’s lawsuit posits that Ariana shared the nonconsensual videos of Rachel, which caused Rachel’s reputation to fall apart. While there are legal grounds to sue in this case, there’s no evidence that Ariana actually shared the videos beyond sending them to herself, nor that she knew Rachel did not consent to them being made. Both of those play a factor in whether Rachel’s lawsuit against her will hold up.

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Several attorneys believe suing Ariana was a poor move on Rachel’s part.

While Rachel can sue Ariana legally, attorneys and fans have taken to Reddit to share their opinions on the matter. “Attorney here,” Redditor u/dys1116 chimed in. “Haven’t read the complaint yet but my initial reaction is that strategy-wise, she should have sued Tom and subpoenaed Ariana as a witness to testify against Tom. She hates Rachel but hates Tom more.

Billie Lee, Jesse Montana, Raquel Leviss and Ariana Madix at the Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras performance
Source: Getty Images
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“Why make an enemy out of Ariana…AGAIN?” they added. “And Ariana is likely still angry, and now she has MONEY…she will defend herself to the end. Bad move on Rachel’s part in my opinion. Another attorney weighed in, “Attorney here also, and I agree. This is a tactical mistake on her part. If suing Tom and/or Bravo, she could have maintained her victim status but suing Ariana is foolish.”

Most people on the thread seem to believe that the charges against Ariana will be dismissed before they even go to trial. In fact, some Vanderpump Rules fans believe that Bethenny Frankel has something to do with Rachel’s lawsuit. Rachel is represented by Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos, the same lawyers who fought alongside Bethenny in a move towards better treatment of reality stars.

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While Rachel didn’t outright sue Bravo, the lawsuit cites the network and the Vanderpump Rules production company, Evolution Media for taking advantage of the situation. “[Rachel] ultimately checked herself into a mental health facility and remained there for three months while Bravo, Evolution, and the cast milked the interest her excoriation had peaked,” the suit said. Whether or not Bethenny is working with Rachel on the lawsuit, it does fit into the grander scheme of taking down reality television.

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