“Hi. where to begin? i want to express my most sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support i have received from friends, family, and people i’ve never even met in the last two weeks,” Madix, 37, captioned an Instagram post on Thursday, March 16. “When i have felt like i couldn’t even stand, you all have given me the strength to continue and seen me through my darkest hours. to say i have been devastated and broken is an understatement. however, i know that i am not in this alone.”
She continued: “So many of my closest friends are also grieving this loss right now and reeling from this betrayal on so many levels. i am so f–king lucky to have the best support system in the world and i hope i can repay every single person for the love you have shown me. what doesn’t kill me better run. love, ariana.”
Us Weekly confirmed on March 3, that Sandoval, 40, and the Florida native called it quits after the musician cheated on his longtime girlfriend with Leviss, 28. The Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras frontman and Madix had been dating since 2014.
One day after the cheating scandal made headlines, Sandoval apologized via social media, asking the public to stop targeting his businesses. In the aftermath of the news, his restaurant Schwartz & Sandy’s — which he co-owns with Vanderpump Rules costar Tom Schwartz — was bombarded with negative online reviews.
“Hey, I fully understand an deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz, my friends and family out of this situation,” Sandoval wrote via Instagram on March 4. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”
The restaurant’s official Instagram account also shared a statement on the controversy, reminding Pump Rules fans that Sandoval isn’t the only person with a financial stake in the success of Schwartz & Sandy’s.
“In light of the recent news we appreciate the many words of support but we also understand the outpouring of outrage that has been directed towards our businesses,” read a statement shared on March 4. “However, those of us who are not famous have dedicated our time hearts and money to make this restaurant a reality. We too are disappointed by the current situation as Ariana has always been a good friend and a great supporter of the restaurant. We appreciate that you may feel a certain way but please understand that the livelihoods of others also depend on this business. There are four more people involved in this venture other than just Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz.”
Sandoval’s costars, meanwhile, immediately noticed that the Missouri native’s statement — unlike his restaurant’s — didn’t actually mention Madix. “S*ndoval. Shut up. Employees, abort mission,” Lala Kent wrote via Instagram on Saturday. “Where’s Ariana’s apology in this? It’s called narcissism … & and it’s terrifying.”
James Kennedy, who dated Leviss for five years before they called off their engagement in December 2021, also wondered why Madix’s name was missing from Sandoval’s apology. “Where’s Ariana Madix mentioned?” he asked in an Instagram post on March 4. “Make sure y’all unfollow this clown RIGHT NOW GO.”
Days later, Sandoval issued a second public apology that did mention Madix. “I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” he wrote in a statement shared via Instagram on March 7. “I made mistakes, I was selfish and made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love. No one deserves to feel that pain so traumatically and publicly.”
The Fancy AF Cocktails coauthor continued: “I can only imagine how devastating this has been for Ariana and everyone around us. I feel really horrible about that. My biggest regret is that I dishonored Ariana. I never meant to disappoint so many people, including our loving families and friends.”
Leviss, for her part, issued her first statement on the situation one day later.
“I want to apologize for my actions and my choices foremost to Ariana, and to my friends and the fans so invested in our relationships. There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana,” the SURver said in a statement shared via Instagram on March 8. “I am reflecting on my choices, speaking to a counselor and I am learning things about myself such as my patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved. … I am taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices.”
The reality star also addressed her decision to take legal action against her costars. Earlier in the week, she reportedly sent her colleagues legal notices about sharing an intimate FaceTime session with Sandoval that her lawyers claimed was recorded “illegally without Raquel’s knowledge or consent.” She also filed an order of protection against Scheana Shay in the wake of rumors that the “Scheananigans” podcast host, 37, got physical with her after a March 1 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
“Although I chose to be on a reality show accepting the good and bad that comes with it, beyond my own actions I have been physically assaulted, lost friendships, received death threats and hate emails in addition to having had my privacy violated,” Leviss said. “I have begun counseling to end my unhealthy behavioral cycle, learn to set stronger emotional boundaries and learn to protect my mental health. I don’t expect sympathy, understanding or forgiveness.”
Kent, 32, seemingly responded to Leviss’ initial legal notice in a since-deleted Instagram Story. “Raquel, tell your little Mickey Mouse lawyer, that if he has stuff to send over, he can send it to my lawyer,” the Give Them Lala author said in the clip.
Despite the drama surrounding their relationship, an insider told Us that Leviss and Sandoval “are the real deal” — and they hope to keep seeing each other.
“This isn’t just a regrettable fling or one-night stand,” the source said of the bartender and the former pageant queen. “They have confided to pals that it’s love and they have fallen hard for each other. It’s no excuse for what they did and the people they hurt, but they see a long-term future together. Only time will tell if their bond can survive the backlash.”