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The Scandoval: How A Housewives Spinoff is Responsible for Bravo’s Juiciest Scandal Ever

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

I am a self-diagnosed Bravoholic. I absolutely love Bravo reality TV shows and truly think they are the pinnacle of television. My personal favorite is, without a doubt, Vanderpump Rules, a spinoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (my second favorite). The show focuses on Lisa Vanderpump and her restaurant “SUR” (an acronym for sexy unique restaurant). Her employees at “SUR” are all attractive, aspiring celebrities and are the definition of messy. The show just began its tenth season and has definitely had its fair share of scandals and shockers, but nothing is compared to what was just revealed. 

Now some of you may have heard bits and pieces about this cheating drama through social media or friends that watch the show and desperately need to talk to someone about it (apologies to all of my friends). I am going to break down the drama and catch everyone up on what the heck a “scandavol” even is.

As a brief summary before I get into the details, Tom Sandoval is a cast member on the show who has been dating his girlfriend Ariana Madix for almost a decade. It was revealed this past month that he was cheating on her with their friend, Raquel Leviss. But trust me, it is way juicier than that.

First, I want to introduce the key players in this drama: 

Tom Sandoval

Tom Sandoval has been on the show from the beginning. He started as a bartender at SUR but worked his way up to co-owing a restaurant “Tom-Tom” with his best friend Tom Schwartz and Lisa Vanderpump. When he started on the show, he was dating Kristen Doute but promptly broke up with her to begin dating Ariana Madix.

Ariana Madix

Ariana Madix has been on the show since season 2 and was also a bartender at SUR before quitting and releasing her cocktail book with Tom Sandoval, whom she was dating. She has been very open about her mental health struggles throughout the show.

Kristen Doute

Kristen Doute was on the show since season 1, but was fired due to racism allegations before season 9. She dated Tom Sandoval for over 5 years and continuously accused him of cheating, to which he vehemently denied and no one believed her.

Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney

Tom Schwartz is Tom Sandoval’s best friend, hence the name of their restaurant, “Tom-Tom.” They also just opened a new restaurant called “Schwartz and Sandys.” Schwartz was married to Katie Maloney for around six years, and they recently got a divorce. Katie has been on the show since the beginning and started as a “SUR” waitress. 

Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy


Raquel Leviss was introduced onto the show around five years ago as the girlfriend of “SUR” DJ and party boy James Kennedy. She has always seemed not the brightest, and cast members have called her out relentlessly for her ignorance. Kennedy proposed to Raquel in 2021 in a lavish proposal that Tom Sandoval spent $25,000 to plan, but the two called off their engagement. 

Scheana Shay

Scheana Shay has also been on the show since the beginning. She is always trying to weasel her way into situations and typically has poor judgment. She started as a “SUR” waitress.

So what happened?

As I mentioned, Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix were dating for over a decade. They lived together, had businesses together, and were practically married even if they did not want the official piece of paper. In early-March, Ariana was at one of Tom’s shows (he is in a very cringy rock band as he is a wannabe Harry Styles), when his phone fell out of his pocket. Ariana grabbed it to ensure that he did not accidentally step on it, and got a gut feeling that she needed to look through it. There she found a screen-recorded NSFW FaceTime call between Raquel Leviss and her boyfriend Tom. Enraged, Ariana called Scheana Shay who just so happened to be filming Andy Cohen’s talk show Watch What Happens Live! at that exact moment with none other than Raquel. Allegedly, (althought her lawyers deny it), Scheana confronted Raquel and punched her in the face in defense of her best friend of twelve years, Ariana. Raquel has since taken a restraining order out on Scheana. Turns out, this is not a one-off and the affair has been going on for SEVEN MONTHS and the two claim that they are in love. Both Tom Sandoval and Raquel have copped to the affair with both of them posting the most PR apologies I have ever seen. When I got the initial TMZ notification that the two had broken up because of the affair, I gasped out loud and had to take a seat (mind you I was at the mall so people were staring). I could not believe it. I never thought Sandoval was a cheater and was stunned not only that he cheated, but who he cheated with. I thought Ariana and Tom would be together FOREVER and was secretly hoping it was just a rumor, but when cast members started coming out and confirming it, I knew there was no going back.

So why is this juicy? Here are my top five reasons

  1. Tom Covering for Tom 

The rumor mill has been spinning for months over news that Raquel was hooking up with Tom Schwartz post-divorce, much to his ex-wife, Katie’s, dismay. This completely breaks all girl-code rules as Katie made it very clear to Raquel that she is not comfortable with them getting together. HOWEVER, the initial gossip that started this rumor was the Raquel made out with Tom at Coachella. Tom Schwartz came out and denied the claim and said he was not at Coachella. But guess who was? Tom Sandoval. The rumor continued though as clips of them kissing appeared in trailers for the new season. It is now specualted that Schwartz has been covering for Sandoval by saying that he was the Tom that she kissing. 

  1. Kristen Was Right (Justice for Miami Girl!!!!)

Once Kristen and Tom broke up, it became her mission to prove that he is a cheater. Every attempt she made was debunked and she was labeled ‘crazy’ by not only her castmates, but the fans as well. She even flew out a girl from Miami who claimed that the two hooked up while he took a boys trip there, and his lying was so fantastic that he made both of them look crazy. Now with all of this new information, these two women have been vindicated and I have to issue my apology to Kristen Doute for labeling her insane for trying to take Sandoval down.

  1. The Matching Necklaces and the Halloween Costume

The craziest and most disgusting part of this to me, is the fact that the two have been wearing matching lightning bolt necklaces so that they can “carry each others love with one another, even if they can’t show it.” To be so blatantly open about something like this, but keep it such a great secret is so gross. Sandoval even dressed up as Raquel for Halloween in 2022, and everyone just passed it off as a silly joke when in reality he was dressing up as his mistress and parading it right in front of his girlfriend’s face. 

  1. Castmate Fallout

In the wake of the news breaking, almost every single person that is either a current or former cast member has come out in support of Ariana and has trashed Tom and Raquel. Whether it was Jax Taylor (who is literally one of the worst compulsive liars I have ever seen) coming out and celebrating his former friend of almost 25 years downfall, or Lala Kent rejoicing on her Instagram stories and selling merch after Raquel tried to sue her. This has truly brought everyone together in a way that I never thought was possible and watching their reactions from the sidelines has been truly wonderful.

  1. Extended Season

The second this news broke, producers made their way to the houses of the cast members in an attempt to get footage. Mind you, the show wrapped months ago, so production has now decided to tack on one or two additional episodes to catch the fallout and I cannot wait. When I saw the news I was sad because I knew they were done filming, but when I heard there were producer trucks lined down Tom and Ariana’s street, I rejoiced. 

There has never been drama like this in the Bravo universe and it has shook every Bravo fan to the core. As more details come out every single day, I am truly excited to watch this unfold and watch the downfall of Raquel and Tom Sandoval. The fact that someone could cheat on their signifcant other of over a decade is insane, but with one of her best friends who happens to be the ex-fiancé of one of his best friends whose ex-girlfriend is also your ex-girlfriend, now that’s a whole lot of mess right there. This is not just a regular ‘ole celebrity cheating scandal, because there is so much more. We are able to watch it play out in front of us and it in a way has united the reality TV watchers of America, which is a rarity, And by the way, Vanderpump Rules may have started out as a Housewives spinoff, but it is much more than that.

Tune into Vanderpump Rules every Wednesday at 9:00pm EST

Cameron Crews is the president of Her Campus at NC State. She is responsible for publishing all articles, leading meetings, encouraging all staff, and overseeing the entire chapter. This is her third year on Her Campus and her second year as President. Outside of Her Campus, Cameron was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s yearbook, which she helped lead to being awarded the best book in the entire state and honored at Columbia University’s scholastic journalism awards. She worked as an intern at Southpark Magazine in Charlotte, NC, where she edited articles, conducted interviews, and assisted the editors. In the Summer of 2023, she attended Regents University in London, England, where she took fashion classes from high players in the fashion industry who have worked with the likes of Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Christian Siriano, and more. She also had the opportunity to interview Brendan Fraser immediately after he won his “Best Actor” Oscar at the 2023 Academy Awards. She is a junior at NC State University majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York, LA, Paris, or London and work in the fashion industry as either a fashion editor or celebrity stylist. Cameron was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, with her younger brother and dog, George Bailey. She enjoys shopping, watching movies, listening to music, writing, hanging out with friends, and traveling in her free time. She is a huge Taylor Swift and Harry Styles fan and has seen them both in concert multiple times. She is also a huge Timothee Chalamet aficionado and is a huge movie fan–with some of her favorites being Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, Barbie, Lady Bird, the Breakfast Club, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.