LOS ANGELES — Ariana Madix isn’t getting publicly sucked into the “Scandoval” cheating drama that has consumed the cast, fans and juggernaut ratings of Bravo reality show “Vanderpump Rules.” Not yet, at least.
“I don’t pay attention to any of that,” the reality star told a paparazzo while leaving a Los Angeles nail salon Wednesday, according to Page Six.
The “Buying Back My Daughter” Lifetime movie actor declined to say more, perhaps saving her thoughts for the Thursday taping of the series’ Season 10 reunion episode.
Madix’s dismissive remark came as her co-star Raquel Leviss promised “to take accountability” for her actions following the bombshell cheating scandal that ended Madix’s long relationship with co-star Tom Sandoval. Madix reportedly discovered Sandoval had been having a monthslong affair with her friend Leviss when she found a recording of a FaceTime call and “inappropriate” messages between them on Sandoval’s phone. Days after the revelation, the TomTom restaurateur and Madix called it quits on their nearly nine-year relationship. (Although they reportedly still live together.)
Both Leviss and Sandoval — whose age was called into question and restaurants have been review-bombed in the wake of the scandal — issued public apologies as “Scandoval” reached a fever pitch earlier this month. Madix broke her silence on it last week, issuing a fiery statement via Instagram thanking fans for their support and saying “what doesn’t kill me better run.”
Then, in a candid and separate nail-salon interview with a TMZ photographer, Leviss dished on the fallout. She said her relationship with Sandoval “started off as a friendship, and then it turned into something more.”
“I don’t know where our relationship will be,” she said when asked whether she and Sandoval would continue dating. “We’re just trying to get through these next steps, make amends, hear everybody out. I know a lot of people are angry … We’re not putting a label on it or anything, just kind of taking a break for now.”
Leviss also confirmed on Instagram that she would be attending the taping of a reunion episode “in person” on Thursday — this after she filed for a temporary restraining order against Madix’s pal and co-star Scheana Shay, accusing her of getting physical amid the fallout. Shay will indeed attend the reunion taping too, according to a Thursday statement from her attorney Neama Rahmani, but will have to remain 100 yards away from Leviss.
“Scheana intends to follow the law, but she wants to be part of the reunion. If Rachel attends, Scheana and Vanderpump Rules will make sure that Scheana remains 100 yards away to comply with the restraining order,” Rahmani said, referring to Leviss by her legal first name.
“There is no real way for the temporary restraining order to be dropped, so it will remain in effect until the permanent hearing on March 29 and then it will just lapse if Rachel doesn’t pursue it. And if Rachel does pursue it, Scheana intends to call witnesses and present evidence to disprove her false accusations,” Rahmani said.
According to Variety, the entire cast is set to attend the L.A. taping, but Leviss and Shay will move around a bit and shoot in person at separate times. One of them will be on the couch with Cohen and the rest of the cast while the other will watch remotely on the set, perhaps scaling down the expected fireworks to avoid legal ramifications.
After the scandal exploded up earlier this month, Bravo and production company Evolution Media immediately put the show back into production to capture the aftermath in real-time, Variety said. That episode is expected to air at the end of the season and will be followed by what Bravo hopes will be a three-part reunion special.
Back on Instagram, co-star Lala Kent — whose relationship with embattled producer Randall Emmett has also been a plotline on the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” spinoff series — said she “can’t wait” to see Leviss during the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion shoot.
Meanwhile, their former co-stars Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright appeared on Wednesday’s episode of Bravo’s late-night talk show “Watch What Happens Live!” and couldn’t avoid the messy firestorm either.
Host Andy Cohen, who is expected to moderate the dramatic Season 10 reunion episode, asked the pair if they had “any suspicion” of Sandoval and Leviss’ alleged affair.
“There was times whenever we went to certain events that they came together and I was like, ‘This is kind of odd,'” Cartwright said. “But I just figured Tom Sandoval makes friends, like, really fast with different people. So I was like maybe they’re just close friends right now. And now that this came out, I’m picking up all the Easter eggs.”
She added that Madix is “super upset” but very strong.
Taylor, who left the show in 2020, also recalled repeatedly seeing Leviss and Sandoval together. He offered his armchair expertise, saying that Sandoval “can’t control” Madix anymore but “can control” Leviss because “she’s easily manipulated and she’s very co-dependent … he can’t do that with Ariana.”
Taylor noted that he was in Miami the week Sandoval and Leviss allegedly started their affair. He also swore that Sandoval’s pal and business partner Tom Schwartz knew about their relationship “for a while.”
“I talk to Schwartz every day, so I know for a fact, a 100% fact, on my child, he told me he knew,” the former “Vanderpump Rules” star said. “He goes, ‘I knew for a while,’ kind of left it at that, but then he said, ‘I tried to tell him to come forward with it.'”
In response to a fan-submitted question, Taylor alleged that Sandoval cheated on Madix multiple times throughout their long-term relationship.