Drama behind the scenes. Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix‘s split came as a shock to Vanderpump Rules fans, but an insider exclusively tells Us Weekly that the pair were on the rocks for quite some time.
“They were having problems for a while,” the source says of the Schwartz & Sandy’s cofounder, 39, and the Florida native, 37, adding that things “only came to a breaking point” on Thursday, March 2.
One day later, Us confirmed that the longtime couple split after the musician cheated on Madix with costar Raquel Leviss, who joined the cast of the Bravo series in 2016. The California native, 28, previously caused a stir after hooking up with Tom Schwartz at Scheana Shay‘s August 2022 wedding to Brock Davies.
Last month, Madix denied rumors that she and Sandoval — who started dating in 2014 — were in an open relationship.
“I shut it down just because I feel like when you let things ruminate like that, it kind of just becomes more than it is,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in February. “Honestly, it would be really sexy if we were, but we’re not.”
After news of Sandoval’s affair with Leviss made headlines, their fellow VPR costars quickly took sides via social media. James Kennedy, who dated the former pageant queen from 2016 to 2021, slammed his ex-fiancée via Instagram, sharing a screenshot of an article about the duo’s hookup on Friday, March 3.
“Hope you all feel as sick as I do,” the DJ, 31, wrote in the comments section. “This explains everything.”
When one social media user called Leviss and Sandoval the “most vile subhumans,” Kennedy replied, “CORRECT.”
Lala Kent, who previously warned Leviss not to hook up with Schwartz, 40, slammed Sandoval, who’d previously called her “overly douchey” in an interview. “Yeah. I’m the ‘overly douchey’ one. Okay,” the Give Them Lala author, 32, wrote via her Instagram Story.
In a second slide, she added: “Oh Sandoval … Your problem with me is I’m a little too real for your comfort. I’ve seen you for who you are for a long time, and you don’t like that. But, I think now is the time for you to shut the f—k up. I’m eatin good the next time I see you.”
Last month, the Give Them Lala Beauty founder told Andy Cohen that she wanted to get Madix “out” of her romance with the bartender. “Everything annoys me about him,” Kent said during a February appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. “And the fact that he said that I should’ve known better than to get knocked up? I did not get knocked up. … At the reunion, I’m coming for you, dog.”
Sandoval, for his part, slammed his costar as a “bully” after her comments. “Lala’s a bully. She’s been a bully for years. We were really, really cool for, you know, the first seasons. I really looked out for her,” he told Us in February. “I feel like she just randomly chooses somebody to just, like, set her sights on and go after her. I don’t know what to say, I mean, maybe she should get a hobby or something.”
Madix, meanwhile, hasn’t publicly commented on the split or the affair, but she deleted her Instagram and Twitter accounts on Friday.