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Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval speaks out amid cheating scandal with co-star Raquel Leviss

Vanderpump Rules is no stranger to drama, both on and off the show. Now, reality star Tom Sandoval has spoken out amidst a cheating scandal that has rocked the cast and fans of the Bravo series.

On Friday March 3, news broke that restaurateur and bar owner Tom Sandoval had engaged in a six-month long affair with his Vanderpump Rules co-star, Raquel Leviss. The TomTom Restaurant & Bar co-owner was in a relationship with fellow cast member Ariana Madix for nearly 10 years, but the two have since split in the wake of the scandal.

TMZ was the first to report on Friday that Sandoval, 39, and Madix, 37, had called it quits after she learned of his alleged affair with Leviss, 28. That same day, sources later confirmed to People that Madix had found “a selfie video that was sexual in nature from Leviss” on Sandoval’s phone Wednesday night.

Following the cheating scandal, fellow Vanderpump Rules cast members Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, and James Kennedy rallied around Madix as they shared their unfiltered reactions and choice words for both Sandoval and Leviss on social media.

Meanwhile, fans began boycotting Schwartz & Sandy’s Lounge – the restaurant and bar which Sandoval founded with his co-star and business partner, Tom Schwartz. As a result, Sandoval issued a statement about the cheating scandal to Instagram.

“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger and disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation,” Sandoval wrote on Saturday 4 March. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”

The reality star also urged fans to “direct ur anger towards me” and not the “3 other partners and 20 employees” who work at Schwartz & Sandy’s. Sandoval went on to say that he will be “taking a step back” from the business “out of respect for my employees and partners”.

“I need some time to address everything else,” he added. “Sorry for everything.”

Last week, multiple sources told Page Six that Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss had been “communicating inappropriately for months” and that the pair now “want to be together.” Another source claimed that Ariana Madix was “blindsided by the cheating” and noted that she feels “betrayed” by Leviss, whom she considered a “friend.”

On Wednesday, Madix reportedly discovered that Sandoval had been cheating on her with Leviss when she was in Los Angeles to see her then-boyfriend perform in his cover band, Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras. During the concert, a racy video sent from Leviss popped up on Sandoval’s phone, which prompted Madix to uncover their history of inappropriate texts, according to People.

Meanwhile in New York, Leviss and co-star Sheana Shay had just wrapped up an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that same day, when a source told People that Leviss admitted to Shay the truth about her and Sandoval after the taping.

As news broke, cameras quickly began filming to capture the fallout from the cheating scandal. Viewers can expect the drama to play out in season 10 of Vanderpump Rules, which is currently airing on Bravo.

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix began dating in 2014. The two met working as bartenders at Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant, SUR Restaurant and Lounge. Their relationship played out for years on the Bravo reality show, which follows the lives of the employees at SUR in West Hollywood.

Vanderpump Rules, which premiered on Bravo in 2013, is currently airing its tenth season on Wednesdays at 9pm ET.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss for comment.