“She freaking punched me and all this s–t, but after she calmed down, we started talking,” Sandoval, 40, alleged during the Tuesday, April 11, episode of the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast while recalling an attempted breakup.
“A couple days later, I sit down and talk with her again, and she’s like, ‘I’m not letting you leave me. You’re going to have to force me out of this relationship.’ And I was like, ‘Ariana, I don’t think I could be faithful in a relationship with you right now.’ I was saying all of these things. I hadn’t told her about Raquel yet,” he claimed. “She was like, ‘If you breakup with me, you will effectively be ending my life.’ …. I didn’t know what to do. She was completely in denial and not accepting it.”
While on the podcast, Sandoval said that he and Madix, 37, had been struggling for a while. “The breakup was an inevitable thing,” he said earlier in the podcast.
When Mandel, 67, asked about how Madix found evidence of the singer’s affair with their Vanderpump Rules costar on his phone, Sandoval reiterated that he tried to end the relationship prior to that discovery.
“I had already broken up with her two weeks earlier, and I told her, I said, ‘Listen, we don’t have to post anything on social media. Let’s talk through this. Like, I understand,'” Sandoval said, adding that they had professional deals he didn’t want to risk.
“We were on hold for like a big job too, for mixology, like, together,” he revealed. “[I said,] ‘We can keep this between us — like we’ve always kept stuff between us — and figure out a way to navigate this that helps us both out [and] makes it easier.'”
He said he wanted to separate the affair and the split as separate events in his life. “There’s two things that happened here: the ending of a relationship and the affair. And I can tell you right now by far the most painful thing for Ariana … was the ending of the relationship,” he alleged.
The TomTom cofounder continued: “We were broken up. She knew we were broken up. We didn’t tell anybody, but she knew.”
Earlier in the broadcast, the restauranteur revealed that he tried to break up on Valentine’s Day.
“I made it pretty clear in therapy that I wanted to, like, take the steps to break up,” he said. “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.”
Us Weekly confirmed in early March that Madix learned he had an affair with Leviss, 28. Both the former pageant contestant and the Tom Sandoval and the Most Extras frontman issued apologies in the days following.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process,” Sandoval wrote via Instagram at the time. “Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana. 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 continued: “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.”
Sandoval told Mandel on Tuesday’s podcast that he and Leviss have not defined their relationship in the wake of the scandal. “We’re really good friends,” he explained. “We’re not putting any label on it. We’re taking a break.” When Mandel asked if they’re friends with benefits, Sandoval replied, “Not right now.”
Leviss, for her part, made a similar statement last month. “We’re just trying to get through these next through steps and make amends and hear everybody out,” she explained to TMZ on March 22. “I know a lot of people are angry. So, [we’re] just getting through these next few steps and not putting a label on anything. We’re just kind of taking a break for now.”
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.