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

I’ve seen maybe half an episode of ‘Vanderpump Rules‘ ever, but my Twitter feed has been blowing up like crazy for the last week or so since news broke of Tom Sandoval cheating on his girlfriend, Ariana Madix, of 8 YEARS with Raquel Leviss (more on her later). Within the last 12 hours (as of 3/8), both sides have issued (expertly crafted PR) apologies on the matter and they both kinda suck. Let’s talk about it from the perspective of a non-VPR viewer.

tom’s first statement

In true celebrity fashion, Tom first made a Notes app statement on the matter via Instagram on March 4th saying that he “fully [understands] and deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me”, but to leave his business partner, Tom Schwartz, and the employees of their restaurant, Schwartz and Sandy’s, out of it. At first glance, it seems like a fair ask since the employees don’t have any control over Tom’s actions. However, the issue many Bravo fans have with this statement is that Ariana is not mentioned anywhere. This was his girlfriend for 8 years—the fact that she’s only ever been a girlfriend for this long is a little sus, but I’ll let it slide—and the first thing he publicly talks about is his business? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes. -2/10.

Tom’s real “apology”

Today (3/8), Tom officially released his apology statement on his Instagram account that seems like he or his agent made it in ChatGPT. He had to have heard all the complaints about not mentioning Ariana at all because he made sure to put her name in almost every paragraph. I have no idea how this man normally talks, but using language like “I can only imagine how devastating this has been for Ariana…” doesn’t sit too well with me because how could it NOT be devastating? Her boyfriend of 8 years cheated on her with another VPR cast member and it’s become a PR nightmare. Besides the fact that he claimed his love for Ariana was “stronger than any camera could have ever captured”, the real problem with the apology is towards the end. He came up with the phrase “I am beyond sad that it ended the way it did” and somehow thought that was okay? How is he “beyond sad” about it when IT WAS HIS FAULT THE RELATIONSHIP “ENDED THE WAY IT DID”??????????? I am CONVINCED he had not part in writing this and just slapped his name at the end for the effect.

So who is Raquel leviss?

Raquel Leviss, another cast member of VPR, is the other woman in this tricky situation and she just keeps adding to the drama. Longtime viewers say she’s always been this shady and don’t believe that she feels any true remorse for her actions.

raquel’s apology

She eventually posted her statement to Instagram, but Raquel shared her apology today (3/8) through Entertainment Tonight first. Aside from the idea that her legal team probably typed it up first before she slapped her signature on it at the end, this one is a doozy. She takes two separate paragraphs to say that she is “speaking to a counselor” about her behavior patterns, but many fans have been questioning whether or not she would’ve done this counseling without being part of an affair. It begs the question as to whether or not she knew about her poor behavior prior to the affair and didn’t even think to try and correct them until now.

It’s never a celebrity apology without a major contradiction written in. Many are taking issue with Raquel saying that she “is not a victim”, but then victimizes herself later on while discussing the aftermath of the affair coming to light. Raquel noted in her apology that she’s been “physically assaulted” as a result of the affair, most likely referencing an alleged incident between her and cast member Scheana Shay in which Shay gave Raquel a black eye. If I’m being honest, that whole paragraph could’ve been taken out because it added absolutely nothing to her apology.

timing is everything…

Raquel filed a temporary restraining order against Shay that coincides with the upcoming taping of the VPR reunion. Coincidence? I think yes. Lisa Vanderpump, the name behind ‘Vanderpump Rules’, admitted that, like the rest of the internet, didn’t see this series of events coming.

Vanderpump made an appearance on Andy Cohen’s ‘Watch What Happens Live’ to give her take on the whole situation. While she kept her cool for parts of the appearance, she said she believed that Shay did hit Raquel.

It is also worth noting that a major storyline for this current season of VPR is Rachel being seen making out with Oliver Saunders, the MARRIED son of actress and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle Beauvais, and had plans to film a date for VPR. You don’t need to be an avid VPR fan to see that this is extremely messy for various reasons. The show editors are gonna need a hefty pay raise this season.

What’s next in the #scandoval saga?

The cast will be taping the reunion most likely around the time this article will be released. Raquel’s alleged restraining order would in place by this time, which means she will not be able to attend and face the cast. Based on some research, it seems that every current and former VPR cast member (except Lisa) has been involved in at least one cheating scandal within the cast, but why is this one making headlines in a way that the others didn’t? It seems like Tom and Raquel aren’t truly apologetic and only said sorry because they got caught. As other cast members continue to weigh in on the drama, I will definitely be keeping an eye on my Twitter feed in the next coming weeks and maybe I’ll actually start watching if the other seasons are interesting enough.

Jay Forst

Winthrop '23

Hey, I'm Jay! I'm a 2nd Undergrad student at Winthrop studying Musical Theatre. I love music (probably a little too much), theme parks, food, my beauty sleep, and hair care. I also serve as the chapter president of my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, at Winthrop.