“I actually did break up with her on Valentine’s Day,” Sandoval, 40, said during a Tuesday, April 11, appearance on the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast.
Us Weekly confirmed on March 3 that the Missouri native and Madix, 37, were over as Sandoval’s infidelity came to light. However, according to the Schwartz & Sandy’s entrepreneur, he previously made multiple attempts to end the nine-year relationship.
“I made it pretty clear in therapy that I wanted to, like, take the steps to break up. And then actually Ariana kind of just started really started fighting for it and I felt so, so bad about it because she was being so unbelievably sweet and amazing,” he told host Howie Mandel.
Sandoval also claimed that Madix was “completely in denial” about him wanting to call it quits. “She’s like, ‘I’m, like, not letting you leave me. You’re gonna have to force me out of this relationship. … If you break up with me, you will effectively be ending my life,’” he alleged.
The TomTom cofounder continued: “We were broken up. She knew we were broken up. We didn’t tell anybody, but she knew.”
Madix, for her part, addressed the scandal for the first time via Instagram on March 16, thanking her loved ones and fans for their support. “To say I have been devastated and broken is an understatement,” she wrote in the lengthy caption.
The Florida native had an opportunity to air her grievances with Sandoval and Leviss during the season 10 reunion of Pump Rules, which was filmed on March 23. After the shoot, Jax Taylor called out Sandoval for allegedly not owning up to his mistakes during the reunion.
“From what I heard, he was going in on her and deflecting. He didn’t just tuck his tail between his legs and say, ‘You know what? I screwed up. I made a bad decision and I am sorry,’” Taylor, 43, told wife Brittany Cartwright during an April episode of their “When Reality Hits With Jax and Brittany” podcast.
Sandoval, meanwhile, told Mandel, 67, on Tuesday that he thinks the split itself has been harder on Madix than his infidelity.
“There’s two things that happened here: the ending of a relationship and the affair. I can tell you right now [that] the most painful thing for Ariana is the ending of the relationship. That’s also the most painful thing for our friends. They referred to us as Mom and Dad,” he said. “People are grouping the breakup and the affair together. And I understand that.”