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Lisa Vanderpump Denies Defending Tom Sandoval After Scandal, Teases ‘VPR’ Reunion Ending in Tears (Exclusive)

Lisa Vanderpump teased that Vanderpump Rules fans should prepare for an emotional reunion.

“It starts a little slow and it kind of builds,” Lisa, 63, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her upcoming Hulu series Vanderpump Villa. “Then it ends up with us all in tears.”

The upcoming reunion filmed on Saturday, March 16. During her interview with Us, Lisa addressed viewers who felt she was “defending” Tom Sandoval throughout the season. (Sandoval, 41, was on the outs with his costars during season 11 following his split from Ariana Madix after his affair with Rachel “Raquel” Leviss.)

“If I was defending him, I’d be saying what he did was OK. What he did was not OK. But a lot of other people [on the show] have done it. So if you look at statistics of infidelity, he didn’t kill anybody,” Lisa explained. “So yes, the way he did it [and] the way he handled it was all wrong.”

Lisa Vanderpump Denies Defending Tom Sandoval After Scandal Teases VPR Reunion Ending in Tears
Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Sandoval. Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo(2)
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Lisa made it clear she still supported Ariana, adding, “Of course we were all hurt because of it. But on the show, we talk about it and I told Bravo they had to keep the truth of why it was so important for me to facilitate some kind of cohesiveness within the group.”

While reflecting on season 11, Lisa said Sandoval was “really struggling” with the way the public turned on him.

“It was everywhere and that’s too much for one person to handle,” she continued. “Also there’s a lot of things about Tom Sandoval — so many good things — he’s done that have always kind of gone unnoticed. … He’s not a bad person and that’s what he was being treated like. He did a bad thing.”

She concluded: “So I love them all. And as a mother figure to them [to] see them grown up, I think any person in that position would always try to get everybody to try and really have a better understanding of each other’s actions.”

Lisa Vanderpump Denies Defending Tom Sandoval After Scandal Teases VPR Reunion Ending in Tears
Chelsea Guglielmino/Bravo

In an episode of Vanderpump Rules from earlier this year, Sandoval revealed to Lisa how much the scandal affected him.

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“If I f–king say I am sorry and I cry then it is [called] crocodile tears. I battled with suicide [thoughts]. Don’t tell me what I felt,” he said on a February episode of VPR. “I was hanging on by a thread. The walls start closing and you can’t see past the hurt and the pain. You can’t dream about better days. I was getting to the point where I was like, ‘What is the f–king point?’”

Sandoval later discussed his decision to be so outspoken about his mental health struggles.

“I don’t remember everything that was said, but that was close to a two-hour conversation edited to three to five minutes,” he said on his “Everybody Loves Tom” podcast before addressing his strained friendships. “It’s just tough. You don’t feel heard. You feel attacked. You feel like you can’t do anything right, no matter what you do. I got people left and right trying to pull my friends away from me.”

According to Sandoval, his costars went “so f–king far” with calling him out for his mistakes. “I understand that it was big news, but at a certain point, stop ridiculing Schwartz for being my friend,” he continued. “I’m still a person. I’m not [the villain] Negan from The Walking Dead. I’m not a character. This is real life. Like, I have to move on.”

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Lisa, whose brother Mark Vanderpump died by suicide in 2018, subsequently requested that Scheana Shay and Lala Kent go easier on Sandoval. The cast, including Scheana, 38, Lala, 33, and James Kennedy, later made an effort to interact with Sandoval more on screen.

Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Peacock the next day.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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