Us Weekly Investigates: Tom Sandoval’s excuses for cheating.
In light of the Vanderpump Rules star’s controversial interview with Howie Mandel — in which he detailed his various reasons for having an affair with Raquel Leviss amid his relationship with Ariana Madix – Us is comparing how Sandoval justified being unfaithful during his romance with Kristen Doute.
When fans met Sandoval on the season premiere of the Bravo show in 2013, he had been dating Doute for several years. During season 2, their relationship fell apart amid mutual admissions of infidelity. In the 2014 premiere, he confessed to cheating on Doute with a bottle service girl in Las Vegas while traveling for a modeling job.
“[We] hadn’t had sex in three months,” Sandoval told Doute when she confronted him. “You also cringed every time I hugged you.”
At the reunion, he added: “I knew something was going on because literally I couldn’t even give Kristen a hug or kiss her. Her shoulders would go up and she treated me like I was a creeper for months.”
“Like many relationships, it felt like it became more of, like, a best friends, family [thing] — sometimes roommates. There were a lot of ways where the relationship was just lacking the intimacy, the connection,” he said on the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast on April 11. “[Any] sexual experience with me would be maybe a 19-year-old [on] his second time. I had no mojo, no game anymore. That was what I felt reduced to. We just didn’t have the intimacy.”
While speaking about Doute at the 2015 special, Sandoval also told Andy Cohen that he cheated because he “was at the point where I did not want to be in the relationship anymore.”
Earlier this month, meanwhile, he claimed he didn’t want to be with Madix anymore even before he developed feelings for Leviss.
“I turned 40 and I started to look at my life and it looked very bleak,” he said of “growing apart” from Madix. “I started thinking that my best years were behind me and I started to lose my optimism in life and my drive. I felt like I needed to make a change to feel alive again, to feel motivated, to feel optimistic again.”
In addition to the waitress he cheated on Doute with, Sandoval also admitted to kissing Madix during a different trip to Sin City.
“Three years ago, me and Ariana made out in a swimming pool at the f—king Golden Nugget. Yes, that did happen,” he said on season 2, episode 12.
Despite Doute’s insistence, Sandoval maintained he didn’t sleep with Madix at the time. He used similar language describing his first kisses and connections with Madix and Leviss.
“I met up with [Ariana], like, the sun was coming up, so we just ran out to the pool. … It was after, like, a whole night of drinking. We just kind of kissed,” he said at the season 2 reunion. “I’m, like, so much happier [with Ariana].”
Nine years later, he told Mandel: “[Raquel and I] literally talked ’til the sun came up the first night with my friend Brett. … Days later, we just kissed. It was magnetic. I felt something that I hadn’t felt in so long, like, emotionally.”
Doute, for her part, owned up to sleeping with Jax Taylor twice and admitted to having an “emotional” affair with another SUR employee during her romance with Sandoval.
“When I kissed Ariana in Vegas, it was after Kristen had had a three-month affair with another SUR employee,” Sandoval said at the same reunion. “She never came clean about it. … So my whole thing was that she didn’t deserve the truth. … [Kristen] started, like, being cold to me. [She] slept on the couch [on] Valentine’s Day.”
Sandoval accused Madix of the same kind of distance.
“We for a while had been sort of having our own lives,” he told Mandel. “We would travel more by ourselves than we would together. I would go to weddings by myself.”
He and Doute, meanwhile, both admitted that they stayed together longer than they should because they had a lease — and shared a cable box.
“I fell back into those habits … because we live together,” he said in 2015 of not ending things with Doute when he should’ve.
Sandoval also cited a convenience factor in his romance with Madix.
“We built a business and we had a house together, we were a brand,” he told Mandel. “We always wanted to make sure and keep the optics that we were a solid and powerful couple, because that was our brand.”
He added that the twosome are still living together in the house they bought in 2019. “I don’t have a lot of friends I can stay with right now,” Sandoval said. “I kind of run the house. I handle the gardening, the housekeeping. My assistant comes and cleans and stocks everything. I basically run everything in the house. … This is a big house. We have a go-between. We text when we’re coming and going.”
While revisiting the season 2 reunion, Us rediscovered another eerie moment — Madix saying she wasn’t worried Sandoval would cheat on her the way he did on Doute.
“I’ve been friends with him for three years,” she told Cohen at the time. “I know him really well. It’s not a thing for me, at all.”
Us confirmed in March that Madix learned about Sandoval and Leviss’ affair after discovering a graphic video on his phone. As fans know, Doute learned about his adultery via phone receipts too.
“It’s the most upset and angry I’ve ever seen her,” he said on April 11, claiming he ended things with Madix on Valentine’s Day amid his months-long affair with Leviss. “I think she went through my phone to see if anything had happened with someone in Miami, but we were broken up. She knew we were broken up. We didn’t tell anybody.”
Sandoval told Mandel that he and Leviss were “on a break” amid the Scandoval fallout.