‘Vanderpump Rules’ scandal: Fans discuss Ariana-Sandoval cut up

When I opened my Bravo group chat on Wednesday to say I used to be heading to Schwartz & Sandy’s, the bar and restaurant co-owned by “Vanderpump Rules” stars Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval, the cellphone pings had been swift: “Lucky! Pls report your findings. Tx.” Others had been much less diplomatic.

But it’s not concerning the pasta. It’s concerning the actuality TV dishonest scandal that has my social media feeds — and sure yours too — in a chokehold.

For these with no diploma from Bravo University’s School of Messy Television, the story begins with “Vanderpump Rules,” a by-product of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” that premiered in 2013 and adopted the sordid drama of the handsome waitstaff of West Hollywood’s SUR, owned by then-“RHOBH” star Lisa Vanderpump. A decade later, hardly any of the core forged members nonetheless work at SUR, however their collective drama continues to slosh round our screens. Rage texts, ultimatums, drunken blunders, heated spats that result in slaps or punches, Mamaw’s beer cheese — it’s all been a part of the attract of the ridiculously addictive sequence. And dishonest? It’s as baked into the present as Vanderpump’s title. Much of the primary season revolved round whether or not Jax Taylor, a former forged member, cheated on then-girlfriend, co-worker and castmate Stassi Schroeder with a girl in Las Vegas and probably received her pregnant.

But this dishonest scandal dropped like a bomb on the fan base that had largely grown uninterested in the franchise.

Last week, TMZ reported that Sandoval, a former bartender at SUR who received into the restaurant enterprise with good good friend and castmate Schwartz (extra on him later), allegedly cheated on girlfriend of 9 years, Ariana Madix, additionally a former bartender at SUR who’s about to open a sandwich store with castmate Katie Maloney. But wait — there’s extra. Sandoval cheated with co-star Raquel Leviss, who had beforehand been linked to Schwartz following his cut up from Maloney, after calling off her engagement to James Kennedy, additionally a forged member. (Fans will keep in mind that Sandoval helped pay for Kennedy’s proposal spectacle that was featured on the present.) Reports have suggested the size of the affair stretches again not less than seven months, however there’s been no official affirmation.

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix in an episode of “Vanderpump Rules.”

(Bravo / Nicole Weingart)

The response to the affair activated the fan base in a means that harkens again to the frenzy surrounding the Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie dishonest brouhaha — or as one keen observer described it to the uninitiated: “Imagine if Chandler [from “Friends”] cheated on Monica with Rachel secretly for 7 months and Joey knew all alongside.”

“This feels bigger than Jen Shah, who went to prison. This feels bigger than Erika Jayne,” stated the proprietor of @QueensofBravoPlus on Instagram, who runs their account anonymously, referencing different scandals involving precise crimes which have hit the Bravo universe. “Why? Because I think, in this case, there’s an immediate answer to who’s on the right side and who is on the wrong side. There’s a clear villain and there’s a clear hero and a clear victim. With the Erika and Jen stuff, it almost feels like you had to wait a few months for it to sort of trickle out. But here we have all the answers. People feel played. And they’re putting all the pieces together right now. There’s a lot of deception that comes with it. … People might not be able to identify with scamming old people or [a spouse accused of] taking money from orphans and widows, but this feels relatable, where people know what it’s like to be cheated on or deceived by a friend.”

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The actually dedicated have inhaled the ancillary nuggets, theories and dissections which have made the rounds on TikTookay, Twitter, Instagram, et. al, like they had been fried goat cheese balls scorching from the SUR kitchen. It has Chrissy Teigen launched on “20 different chats going about” the information, whereas actor and “The Talk” co-host Jerry O’Connell proudly posted an image in a Team Ariana shirt.

Weeks after manufacturing had wrapped on the season, filming picked up once more final Friday to seize the fallout so it might be included within the present season, which premiered final month. While there have been experiences that Sandoval threatened to cease filming, as of now he’s nonetheless collaborating, in response to a supply near manufacturing who was granted anonymity to talk candidly. The reunion is slated to happen March 23 and each forged member is predicted to seem in particular person.

In the times since, Sandoval has launched two statements that basically confirmed the dishonest allegations. Leviss, too, has launched a press release. This week, she sought a restraining order in opposition to co-star Scheana Shay days after experiences surfaced that Shay, who’s greatest mates with Madix, allegedly assaulted Leviss after studying concerning the affair.

Leviss, whose actual title is Rachel, alleges within the courtroom submitting that she was “pushed against a brick wall [by Shay], causing injury to the back of the head and punched me in the face causing injury to my left eye.”

Meanwhile, Madix, who has since deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts, has not commented publicly on the matter.

“To some people this is gonna sound ridiculous, but I think if you’re in it, you get it: I’m stressed and nervous to put my phone down because it’s like, what am I going to miss? But then at the same time, I so desperately need a break from this,” stated Abby Steffens, who runs @RealMomsofBravo with good friend Vanessa Rizi. “It’s a lot. It’s easy to then go down these rabbit holes. I was looking at Raquel’s stories from her Miss California pageant, and I noticed that Sandoval and Ariana and Scheana were all there, and I’m watching the videos and trying to be like, ‘Well, what did he mean by this?’ And I don’t know these people. This isn’t affecting my life, but I’m somehow so sucked into this. I’m not excited by it, but I’m very intrigued. It’s kind of weird. This ruined someone’s life; I’m sure Ariana is devastated. We all want to break from it, but we also can’t get enough of it.”

"Vanderpump Rules" stars Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss.

Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss in an episode of “Vanderpump Rules.”

(Nicole Weingart / Bravo)

After the present struggled to seek out its footing once more following unsuccessful forged additions and main departures, the present season has felt like a return to its addictive drama of the previous, in response to longtime watchers. “It felt like ‘Vanderpump Rules’ was on its last leg,” stated the particular person behind the @QueensOfBravoPlus account. “But this season definitely feels like a return to form in how messy it is.” Cameras have adopted alongside as some forged members navigate new enterprise ventures and others try to rebuild their lives after huge breakups — most notably the top of Schwartz’s marriage to Maloney, Leviss’ breakup with Kennedy and Lala Kent’s cut up from her fiancé, the disgraced movie producer, Randall Emmett. Meanwhile, Schwartz & Sandy’s is a flashpoint all through the season.

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Now, the nightspot, which launched final fall and endured its personal drama in its highway to opening, is embroiled within the scandal. Angry followers bombarded the bar’s Yelp web page with unfavourable critiques within the days since information of the affair broke; its 4.5-star standing fell to a 3 amid the backlash, with reviewers calling Sandoval a “snake” and saying he “deserves to live in a cave.” The web page is now being monitored by Yelp’s assist workforce for the sudden burst of exercise.

It’s nonetheless unclear how the unfavourable consideration will have an effect on the brand new enterprise, which Sandoval and Schwartz co-own with enterprise companion Greg Morris. The “Vanderpump Rules” universe of eating places, which additionally contains SUR, PUMP and TomTom, have turn out to be vacationer points of interest for Bravoholics, with followers wanting to catch a glimpse of the acquainted faces they see on-screen.

"Vanderpump Rules" stars Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz

“Vanderpump Rules” stars Tom Sandoval, left, and Tom Schwartz within the entryway of their restaurant, Schwartz & Sandy’s, within the Franklin Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Situated in a cramped strip mall within the Franklin Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, the vibe contained in the dimly lit Schwartz & Sandy’s was subdued on a weekday as rounds of lobster corn canines and mushroom Gruyere beignets made journeys across the room. To be truthful, this go to passed off round 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, hardly the magic hour for a lounge (and nary a Tom was in sight), however story deadlines can’t await the rollicking vibes to kick in. And, naturally, there was the occasional patron roaming the aisles whereas giddily taking video or picture documentation of the expertise.

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Jessica Clem, 34, who hails from Georgia however not too long ago moved to Los Angeles for work as a touring nurse, arrived as doorways opened. It was her first cease in her “Vanderpump Rules” tour, with reservations for TomTom and SUR slated for later within the night. She admits she’s lapsed in her viewing of the present — she has a 19-month-old child and has been on the highway for the final 15 months — however heard concerning the dishonest scandal.

“I’ve been seeing stuff on what happened and I hate that we haven’t had Bravo,” stated Clem, who was joined by a good friend unaware of the scandal. “I’m not picking sides yet. Everyone deserves to be happy.” (She was awed by the James Turrell-inspired mild set up close to the lavatory.)

Posing for images within the entryway of the area, the place a collage of framed artwork hung over a tufted mustard-colored sofa, Anna Gunder, 32, of Winnetka, was extra unequivocal: “I’m team Ariana.”

“I was very shocked,” stated Gunder, referring to the scandal. “I’ve been bringing it up to people at work. And the thing is, ‘Vanderpump’ is built on everybody cheating on everybody. But this just felt explosive.”

She initially tried to go to the lounge final Wednesday, earlier than the dishonest scandal was uncovered, however it was closed and she or he had hesitations about returning. She finally determined to attempt once more: “What if this is all gone?”

Standing exterior the lounge, the place the neon Schwartz & Sandy’s signal buzzed within the distance, Lauren Albrecht, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, delivered a actuality test. She’s been as glued to the display as different followers, staying updated with the inflow of developments, however she’s conflicted by it.

“I feel embarrassed that I am following everything so religiously,” stated Albrecht. “I think people are invested in Ariana [Madix] and Tom Sandoval. I think people are invested in the show. And I also think maybe we shouldn’t be so invested in reality TV, to be honest. Things like this happen. It’s not often that you see it played out on reality TV. … And so I think that’s why it’s so fascinating. But also I want to be really respectful of Ariana because she didn’t ask for this. And now the internet has exploded. And I think we as fans have glamorized it in a sense, and that’s not fair to her. We’re all like, ‘Team Ariana,’ but in reality, we’re invading her privacy.”