The calm before the storm. Tom Sandoval gushed about Ariana Madix and their strong bond on Vanderpump Rules — which was filmed months before news broke of his affair with Raquel Leviss.
In a new episode of the hit Bravo series, which premiered on Wednesday, March 8, the businessman, 39, admitted he was “sad” that Ariana, 37, was leaving him for a girls’ trip. The Florida native returned sooner than expected after she received tragic news about her dog Charlotte’s declining health.
“Ariana has never had much interest in bearing children but if she could have given birth to Charlotte, she would have,” Tom said in a confessional while showing his support for his then-girlfriend. “We obviously knew that this day was coming but now that it is here, I am very concerned about how this is going to affect Ariana.”
He added: “I just need to be there in any way I can. She’s my girl.”
The interaction, which was filmed in July 2022, came months before Us Weekly confirmed Tom and Ariana’s split due to his Infidelity.
“Ariana found out [about the affair] after looking at Tom’s phone while he was on stage performing his new song,” a source shared with Us on Tuesday, March 7, days after the breakup made headlines. “It’s still unclear when Tom Schwartz knew or if he was blindsided.”
According to the insider, Sandoval and Raquel, 28, are looking forward to having a future together. “Tom and Raquel are the real deal. This isn’t just a regrettable fling or one-night stand.” the source added. “It’s no excuse for what they did and the people they hurt, but they see a long-term future together. Only time will tell if their bond can survive the backlash.”
The TomTom co-owner, for his part, broke his silence after Vanderpump Rules fans shared negative comments about his restaurants in response to the drama. He later issued a separate statement apologizing to Ariana.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” Sandoval wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 7. “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 added: “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.”
Raquel, for her part, also took to social media to address her fractured friendship with Ariana.
“I want to apologize for my actions and my choices foremost to Ariana, and to my friends and the fans so invested in our relationships,” the beauty pageant contestant wrote via Instagram on Wednesday. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”