VPR’s Lisa Vanderpump Has Soft Spot for Tom Sandoval After Drama


Scheana Shay, Lisa Vanderpump, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix.
Gizelle Hernandez/Bravo (2)

Lisa Vanderpump isn’t openly picking sides, but her Vanderpump Rules costars think she has a preference between Team Ariana Madix and Team Tom Sandoval.

During the Tuesday, February 6, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Scheana Shay was asked who she thinks Vanderpump, 63, has a “softer spot” for between Madix, 38, and Sandoval, 41.

“Sandoval. You will see it this season,” Shay, 38, teased about the upcoming drama.

Season 11 picked up three months after news broke that Sandoval and Madix called it quits due to his affair with Rachel “Raquel” Leviss. Vanderpump broke her silence days after the scandal made headlines in March 2023 by asking that Bravo viewers tone down their anger toward Sandoval and Leviss, 29.

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Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval faced major backlash for their cheating scandal — and their Vanderpump Rules costars have been front and center throwing shade. The couple made headlines in March 2023 when Us Weekly confirmed that Sandoval and Ariana Madix called it quits after nearly a decade together due to his infidelity. The beauty (…)

“It’s a show, but (the cast is) all hurting. And I am not saying we should let them off the hook,” she said during an appearance on WWHL. “Condemn their actions but don’t condemn the people. All this (online) aggression has serious ramifications. I really mean that — I think everyone should be careful.”

Vanderpump subsequently filmed with both Madix and Sandoval in additional footage that was captured for season 10. She faced backlash from fans and cast members alike for showing Sandoval support on screen.

Madix admitted on WWHL in May 2023 that she found Vanderpump to be a “little too nice to” Sandoval during the season 10 finale. Vanderpump, for her part, stood by the decision to show Sandoval some compassion at a low point in his life.

Scheana Shay Says Lisa Vanderpump Has Softer Spot for Tom Sandoval Than Ariana Madix After Scandal NUP_202121_02169810
Casey Durkin/Bravo

“Everybody else was chastising him. I didn’t feel like joining the pack. I mean, it seemed so kind of slanted. Everything was against him, you know?” the restaurant owner exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “I’ve known him for a long time. Of course, I’m condemning what he did. That’s why I said, ‘You’re not a bad person. You just did a bad thing.’ And my heart was always with Ariana. Maybe I didn’t kind of, you know, scream at him and lambast him, but everybody else had done that.”

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Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss‘ cheating scandal came with an unexpected paycheck for several Vanderpump Rules stars. When the Bravo series kicked off season 10 in February 2023, the topic on everyone’s mind was Tom Schwartz‘s hookup with Leviss amid his divorce from Katie Maloney. One month later, Us Weekly confirmed that Sandoval and Ariana (…)

Vanderpump added: “The man that was sitting in my living room, it felt like a broken man. So, I just didn’t want to pile on, to be honest. Have I had conversations and held him accountable? Yes, I mean, I felt the same way, absolutely, that everybody else did. But at some point, they’re like my children in some way.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum noted that it was hard for her to choose a side.

“They’ve grown up with me. … You might scream at him for a second, and I did that before, but when I saw him, then you’ve gotta try to at least move forward or look for the path forward — even though it was too early to move forward (or) look for the path forward,” she concluded. “But of course, we were all very upset. We felt duped. We were disgusted, we were hurt — all of those things.”

Vanderpump Rules Where Are They Now

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 (…)

Vanderpump later showed her love for Madix when she attended the Dancing With the Stars season 32 finale in December 2023. Vanderpump got emotional while watching Madix almost win on the ABC dancing competition show.

“I never knew she was capable of anything so magnificent,” Vanderpump told cohost Alfonso Ribeiro. “I’ve watched every week, and it’s brought tears to my eyes.”

Season 11 of 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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