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Ariana Madix Reacts to Claims She’s a Vanderpump Rules Villain

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If you ask Ariana Madix, watching the latest season of Vanderpump Rules has been a different experience than filming it.

“You only know what you film so obviously things that are being said amongst other people when I’m not there — I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Madix, 38, shared on Sunday, April 21, while supporting her Single AF Cocktails book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. “I felt like I was filming a season that felt very different than what I’m watching just in terms of the relationships. ‘We’re the Spice Girls’ and then it’s like, no.”

Just months after Scandoval erupted and Madix learned her longtime partner, Tom Sandoval, had an affair with her best friend and costar Raquel “Rachel” Levis, she agreed to participate in another season.

While Madix was hoping her close friends, like Lala Kent and Scheana Shay, would stay loyal to her, they have since taken steps to repair their relationship with Sandoval.

“I think something that is important and part of any reality show is they always want to have conversation,” Madix said while speaking on the University of Southern California campus in a two-piece Showpo outfit and Quay sunglasses. “They don’t want the audience to be on one side or the other so they will always try to even the playing field. They’ve always done that. They always will. I knew going into that they were going to do everything they could to even the playing field.”

So where does that lead Sandoval as the season plays out?

Without naming his name, Madix said, “They’re trying really hard to give someone a redemption season and he’s just not participating in it.”

When Festival of Books moderator Yvonne Villarreal mentioned that some viewers were concerned Madix was going to get the villain edit on the show, the author joked, “Oh, you didn’t think I didn’t?”

In recent episodes, viewers have watched Madix’s costars agree to film and interact with Sandoval. Meanwhile, Madix has set a boundary that she will keep her distance and only speak to her ex when absolutely necessary.

Madix also raised eyebrows when she had little sympathy for Sandoval’s possible suicidal thoughts after the affair. “I can understand that maybe he has had some thoughts and some feelings,” she said in a confessional, “but like, those thoughts and those feelings are based on a situation that he created in which he didn’t give a f— about anybody else’s mental health.”

Looking back, Madix wonders if the current season would have been different if producers had taken a longer pause after Scandoval broke.

Related: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Cast Serves Up High-Fashion Drama at Season 11 Reunion

The cast of Vanderpump Rules brought their fashion A-game to the season 11 reunion. Ahead of the highly-anticipated premiere, Bravo released the first official pics from the special, which saw Ariana Madix, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent and more in high-fashion gowns. Madix went for a “futuristic” and “naked” look, per Bravo, rocking a $1,100 sheer […]

“I understand why they did that,” she said after cameras picked up two months after the explosive season 10 reunion. “When it comes to trauma response — fight, flight or freeze — I’m a freezer so you literally see me frozen in my room with everything I own, putting things in boxes, trying to clean out my closet but I’m literally frozen. For me personally, just as an individual, I think for me, it would have been better for me [to wait to film].”

As new episodes continue to air, the former Dancing With the Stars contestant is left thinking about what her future looks like. After a successful run on Broadway playing Roxie Hart in Chicago, Madix said she would love to return to the stage.

Related: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Cast: Then and Now

While some things never change, the cast of Vanderpump Rules is used to a shake-up … and a touch-up. Vanderpump Rules was introduced to Bravo viewers during a special episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in January 2013. Season 1 starred Lisa Vanderpump, who was a Beverly Hills Housewife at the time, Stassi […]

The future Love Island USA host promised Festival of Books attendees her West Hollywood sandwich shop, Something About Her, will open “very soon.” As for Madix participating in another season of Vanderpump Rules, fans will just have to watch what happens.

“I think ultimately it would have to make sense for me,” she said. “Our show has always thrived, it’s always at its best when it’s at its most authentic and real and I have to be able to show up and be real and be authentic in order for it to make sense for me. So that’s the question I’d be asking myself going into it.”

Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Peacock the next day.

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