“Besides the indefensible circumstances surrounding our relationship, my feelings for Tom have always been sincere and born out of a loving friendship,” the 28-year-old reality star said in a statement shared via Instagram Stories. “Knowing how many people we hurt, I need to understand my choices and learn to make better ones. I need to take care of my health, work on self growth and take time to be OK with being alone.”
Leviss concluded: “I care for Tom and I don’t want to label anything or predict what lies ahead. Right now I need to heal.”
Us Weekly confirmed on Friday, March 3, that the Vanderpump Rules costars were secretly hooking up behind his longtime partner Ariana Madix’s back. “Ariana found out after looking at Tom’s phone while he was on stage performing his new song,” an insider told Us, adding that there were “real” feelings between the pair. “They have confided to pals that it’s love and they have fallen hard for each other.”
Sandoval and Madix subsequently split and Bravo cameras resumed filming season 10 of the series to capture the controversy dubbed by fans as “Scandoval.” Leviss spoke out for the first time on Wednesday, March 8, apologizing to Madix.
“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,” she said. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana. … I have sought emotional validation through intimate connections that are not healthy without regard for my own well-being, sometimes negatively affecting others and often prioritizing the intimate connection over my friendships. I am taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices.”
Leviss went on to slam Scheana Shay, who she has accused of hitting her in the face after the “Good As Gold” singer learned of the affair on March 1.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
While Shay has yet to address the physical altercation claims, which resulted in Leviss filing for an order of protection against her, the “Scheananigans” podcast host has made it clear she’s “Team Ariana.”
Sandoval, for his part, released a second statement on Tuesday, March 7, after he came under fire for only addressing his business ventures in his initial reaction.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Madix and Sandoval were first linked in 2014 and bought a home together in 2019.