The kiss that launched a Bravo scandal. Tom Sandoval revealed that his affair with Raquel Leviss started before her hookup with Tom Schwartz.
During the Tuesday, April 11, episode of the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast, Sandoval, 40, noted that he had already kissed Leviss, 28, before Scheana Shay and Brock Davies‘ wedding in August 2022.
“We just kissed. It was magnetic,” he recalled, before throwing shade at his romance with Ariana Madix. “I felt something that I hadn’t felt in so long emotionally.”
The TomTom co-owner said his first kiss with Leviss pushed him to get into therapy. “The feelings were something very, very strong,” he continued. “Those feelings that I had started to take over in a sense. Logic went out the window. Because I wasn’t experiencing that [with Ariana] — I hadn’t experienced that [before].”
Sandoval’s bombshell confession came one month after news broke about his split from Madix, 37, 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 exclusively with Us Weekly in March.
At the time, the insider revealed that Sandoval and Leviss were hoping to have 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 Missouri native broke his silence after Vanderpump Rules fans shared negative comments about his restaurants in response to the scandal. He later issued a separate statement apologizing to Madix.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” he wrote via Instagram. “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.”
Sandoval 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.”
Earlier this month, Schwartz, 40, weighed in on how much he knew about the affair before it made headlines.
“I learned about the affair in August. The one-night stand was in August and then it became, from my point of view, it became an emotional affair,” the Minnesota native, who hooked up with Leviss in August 2022 after his split from Katie Maloney, said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Wednesday, April 5. “Which is still inappropriate, but I didn’t think it was linear. [Then] in January, he came to me and told me that he was in love with Raquel.”
Schwartz admitted he had some concerns about his business partner’s behavior amid the drama. “He’s not realizing the negative impact this has had on his other ventures,” he added. “Businesses, bars, the band. … He’s addicted. It’s an infatuation of all infatuations. … Raquel is Tom’s heroin.”