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The long-anticipated Vanderpump Rules reunion finally kicked off with tears, hostility and even threats of violence as Lisa Vanderpump and her crew hashed out the much-debated controversy surrounding Tom Sandoval cheating on longtime partner Ariana Madix with their co-star Raquel Leviss.
Bravo aired its first installment of the three-part reunion Wednesday, as host Andy Cohen sat down with the show’s stars minus Leviss, who watched the proceedings unfold from a television screen in a private room. Leviss had filed a temporary restraining order against Scheana Shay, and the two were not able to film together. (The order has since been dismissed.)
After viewers saw quick snippets of footage with Cohen tackling the situation known as “Scandoval” by separately interviewing Sandoval, Madix and Leviss in a show first, the group convened on stage, where insults and criticism flowed. First, Sandoval was mocked for shedding tears as he tried to explain how he’s doing. Then, in light of Madix stating that Sandoval hasn’t moved out of their home, Lala Kent compared Sandoval to her ex Randall Emmett, who has been embroiled in plenty of controversy of his own.
“This is a dangerous human being,” Kent said of Sandoval. In what would become a pattern of Vanderpump seemingly defending Sandoval, the restaurateur told Kent this was “ridiculous” to say, to which Kent replied, “I didn’t ask for anyone else’s opinion.”
Cohen asked Madix what caused a divide in her relationship with Sandoval, and she said, “I think he caused the divide in the relationship because he was fucking other people.” Vanderpump chimed in to say, “Other people is very different [than just] Raquel,” to which Madix responded, “He’s fucked more than Raquel.”
Madix blanched at Cohen bringing up Sandoval having alleged that the couple had not been intimate in years. “Having intimacy issues does not excuse literally any fucking thing,” she said. “You work on it, or you break up. So going through the fucking ins and outs of our relationship is fucking pointless.” She also chided Cohen, saying that bringing up their previous intimacy in this context was victim-shaming.
James Kennedy, who was previously engaged to Leviss, was clearly in Madix’s corner throughout the evening. At one point, he said he previously thought of Sandoval as a “big bro,” leading to plenty of pejoratives exchanged between the two men. Kennedy left his seat and approached Sandoval, leading Sandoval to threaten, “Get in my face again, I’ll fuck you up, motherfucker.” Kennedy replied, “I’ll fuck you up so quickly.” Cohen even scattered his note cards on the stage floor as he tried getting Kennedy back to his seat, and Kennedy left the stage briefly to cool off.
Cohen asked Sandoval the question everyone was waiting to hear, namely: Why didn’t he come clean to Madix sooner about Leviss? “I was obviously scared to,” Sandoval said. “Also she was going through a lot during that time, and I didn’t want to add anything.”
Tom Schwartz raised eyebrows when he claimed that Sandoval first admitted in August to having slept with Leviss. In his private conversation with Cohen, Sandoval had stated that he didn’t loop Schwartz in until “mid to late January.”
Talk turned to Schwartz and Sandoval’s recently opened Los Angeles bar, Schwartz and Sandy’s, with Schwartz discussing the bar having taken a hit in business immediately after the scandal broke, and also mentioning that a patron vandalized the bathroom mirror by writing “Team Ariana.” Madix said she wouldn’t speak to anyone who supported Sandoval’s businesses, leading Vanderpump to ask if Madix will also stop speaking to her if she continues to operate TomTom with him.
“We just won’t be as close,” Madix told Vanderpump. “I will have a hard time confiding.”
As for Madix and Katie Maloney’s yet-to-launch L.A. sandwich shop Something About Her, the pair revealed they made roughly $200,000 by selling merchandise, despite the shop not being operational.
From there, the drama continued, including Shay saying Leviss misled her in criticizing Maloney and then calling Leviss a “snake.” Just before the end of the episode, Kennedy told Vanderpump, “You’re sticking up for Tom too much.” He then stormed off the set and was seen heading outside, at which point the first part of the reunion was over. But have no fear: Two more hours of the reunion will be on their way in the weeks to come.
Vanderpump Rules airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo. The reunion episodes, including uncensored extended versions, stream exclusively on Peacock the following day.
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