“I guess I would’ve done the same thing if I were in his position. Just didn’t work out for him,” Shay, 38, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, October 4, while promoting her partnership with appliance brand Ninja. She added: “I mean, I’m glad he filmed with me.”
Sandoval, 41, insinuated on the debut episode of his “Everybody Loves Tom” podcast earlier this month that he only agreed to film with Shay and costar Lisa Vanderpump if he’d be able to appear on Bravo’s Winter House.
“They dangled that carrot in front of me, and so I film,” Sandoval claimed, noting that after he filmed the scene with Shay and Vanderpump, 63, Bravo allegedly wouldn’t let him join the Vermont-set spinoff.
Shay, for her part, doesn’t regret agreeing to shoot with Sandoval.
“I feel like that scene was so raw and real, and it was a 15-year friendship that fell apart because of his actions,” she told Us. “I think that that was something the show needed. Of course, you needed his conversation with Ariana [Madix], but then you needed another side of it and I felt like I was able to provide that in that conversation with him.”
She added: “And hey, not saying it was from that scene, but we are nominated for two Emmys!”
Us confirmed in March that Sandoval and Madix, 38, had ended their nine-year relationship after he had a months-long affair with costar Raquel Leviss. Following the cheating scandal, many of Sandoval’s friendships with the Vanderpump Rules cast — including Shay — fractured. By the season 10 reunion, which aired in May and June, Sandoval was alone on an island with only Tom Schwartz and Leviss, 28, in his corner. (Both Schwartz, 40, and Leviss have since cut ties with Sandoval as well.)
Shay further detailed to Us why she was willing to speak with Sandoval on camera after the scandal made headlines.
“He had always been a good friend to me, and that’s what was the hardest part about this is because I’ve always been someone who’s like, ‘Well, you didn’t do it to me, but there was just something different about this where it did feel more personal,’” she told Us. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, you didn’t cheat on me, but you did betray me [and] you did lie to me.’ There were other things.”
Shay — who teased that even more of those conversations will air on Vanderpump Rules season 11 — noted that the friendship drama is “challenging” because he was “one of my longest friends.”
“To lose him because of his actions, it was really hard for me,” Shay said, playing coy on if she thinks Sandoval has grown post-scandal.
The drama also affected Shay’s wellness, who found herself dropping an “unhealthy” amount of weight.
“I didn’t step on the scale for several months because once I got back in the [100s], I was like, ‘OK, that’s not OK,’” Shay said on Wednesday, noting she’s since gained the weight back. “I just feel better [and] I feel healthier. I started working out with my trainer again. That was something that I wasn’t prioritizing at all.”
She continued: “Just getting back into my fitness and remembering to eat because that’s the thing too. It’s, like, I’m never purposely starving myself, [but] I forget to eat. I’m so busy. I make sure [my daughter, Summer, is] fed and sometimes I’ll eat her leftovers, but then I’m like, ‘I’ll eat the next meal. I’ll eat later.’ And then it’s like, that’s not good for me.”
“[Strawberry and lemonade] are two of my go-to’s. I love those mixed together, but also the peach mango for energy,” she gushed. “This is the perfect thing for me midday, because most energy drinks are, like, 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is a little too much. I don’t want to be cracked-out jittery. So this being 50 milligrams per 12 ounces is the perfect amount of energy to get through the rest of my day, but I can still go to sleep at night. … This has completely replaced my energy drinks and gives me just the right amount that I need.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi