After accusing Ariana Madix of threatening and punching him after secretly dumping her on Valentine’s Day, the Vanderpump Rules star addressed his live-in dynamic with ex-girlfriend Ariana while also chatting about Raquel’s kiss with Tom Schwartz, looking back on his sexless relationship with Ariana, and more.
“This past year or so, we’ve both been dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression, and we handle it very differently. We’re very different people,” Sandoval said of himself and Ariana on the April 11 episode of Howie Mandel Does Stuff. “I don’t know how to explain it but we just sort of kept growing apart.”
After turning 40, Sandoval started to look at his life, which he felt he “accepted.”
“I accepted it. Like okay, [Ken Todd] and [Lisa Vanderpump], they probably don’t have sex all the time,” he reasoned. “You get in a relationship for a long time, you just stop having sex… So I accepted it. I got porn. I can just go crack one up in the bathroom.”
Helping Sandoval “accept” his relationship with Ariana was the fact that “there were so many other perks.”
“The building of the brand, the everything, the image of it all. We did have each other’s backs for sure and that was nice,” he admitted. “There was a big-time safety to it and stability… but as I turned 40, I started to look at my life and it looked very bleak… I started to lose my optimism in life, my drive… I started to feel trapped.”
While Sandoval had reasons to split from Ariana, he chose to remain in a relationship with her — while also embarking on a months-long affair with Raquel that was ultimately uncovered in early March.
“I think it was just really shocking,” Sandoval said of the affair news blowing up in the press. “There’s a lot of sh-tty things that happen in the news all the time. This happened on a time where there just wasn’t a lot going on. I mean, hell, CNN’s covering this? CNN? I watch CNN? I don’t wanna watch this sh-t on f-cking CNN! You think I wanna hear about that? No.”
Amid the backlash, Sandoval said he was snubbed by a number of his close friends.
“What hurts is that people I’ve known for so long have taken this opportunity to bring skeletons out of the closet from like seven, eight years ago and I’m just like, ‘Dude, why would you do that? Why would you try to kick me while I’m down?'” he wondered. “[They’re] also using this to make it seem like everything I’ve done for them, all the favors, all the times I’ve stuck by them when nobody else would, to make that out to be that I’m a narcissist and that was all just so I could look good … It really f-cking kills [me].”
“I have friends that I’m better friends with than Ariana … they like, don’t even hit me up to try to understand,” he continued. “Nothing is excusable. I handled sh-t wrong. I f-cked up and I definitely deserve the hate but for these close friends to not even shoot me a text and just go to social media and start posting things like, ‘Was I a pawn in this game?’ It’s just, so disappointing and sad.”
According to Sandoval, he’s been “so down” in recent weeks and has struggled with “some really dark thoughts.”
He’s also quit drinking.
“I’m doing better now. I’ve gone like four days without drinking now, which I don’t know the last time I’ve done that. It’s probably been years. I’m trying to handle this in a healthy way cuz I was drinking to handle it and it’s not good. It’s a dark road,” he admitted.
Although Sandoval’s romantic relationship with Ariana is over, the former couple is still living together in their $2 million home in Los Angeles, which Sandoval confirmed has not yet been listed for sale.
“It’s actually been really, pretty calm lately,” Sandoval said of their dynamic, proceeding to hint that he can’t afford to stay in the home by himself.
“To be totally honest, like, I can’t afford to… [And] I don’t have a lot of friends I can stay with right now, a, and b, like… I also, with the house and stuff, I kinda run the house. I handle the gardening, the housekeeping, my assistant comes and cleans, stocks everything,” he explained.
To ensure that they don’t have any awkward run-ins, or at least cut down on them, Sandoval and Ariana have enlisted a “go-between,” who they text when they plan to move about in the house.
“[We] text when we’re coming and going … Sometimes I stay away but I always let them know,” Sandoval explained. “I’ve gone out of town a couple of times. It’s been okay. [But] initially, it wasn’t great and I had to stay away.”
Continuing on to Schwartz and Raquel’s kiss in Mexico, Sandoval said Schwartz didn’t know that he and Raquel had already shared a kiss and noted that they only did so because they’d already faced so much backlash from their castmates.
“Schwartz and Raquel had not done anything but had been crucified and bullied… and then they’re sitting there at Scheana’s wedding… and they’re just like, ‘F-ck this.’ It was more like a rebellious thing,” he explained.
But that doesn’t mean Sandoval wasn’t jealous.
“Well Schwartz kissed her … I was a little jealous… but I was not questioning our connection. I was more proud of them for kinda saying ‘f-ck you,’” he explained.
Then, after they got back from Mexico and Schwartz assured him he had no feelings for Raquel, Sandoval told him about their kiss.
As for where he stands with Raquel today, Sandoval said, “We’re really good friends. We’re not putting any label on it. We’re also just kinda taking, like, a break.”
He also said that they’re not friends of benefits “right now.”
Vanderpump Rules season 10 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.