Ariana Madix on If She’s Spoken to Raquel Leviss, Rumors Affair Scandal is Fake and Her Biggest Lesson, Plus Talks Red Flags, Season 11, and “Bloodbath” Reunion

by Lindsay Cronin Comments
0 comment
Ariana Madix on If She’s Spoken to Raquel, Rumors "Scandoval" is Fake and Her Biggest Lesson, Plus Talks Red Flags, Season 11, and "Bloodbath" Reunion

Credit: Faye`s Vision/Cover Images/, Shutterstock/Eugene Powers

Ariana Madix slammed rumors claiming “Scandoval” was fabricated to offer Vanderpump Rules a rating boost during a television appearance on Thursday.

As she also discussed her blind loyalty to Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss, her new man, Daniel Wai, and her plans for season 11, Ariana fired back at the suggestion that Tom Sandoval and Raquel’s affair was “fake,” looked back on the red flags, and shared her biggest lesson.

“It was really hard to watch the first time. I definitely put that off for a while,” Ariana told TODAY of the finale episode on May 18.

“I think that so many people can relate to one or many of those layers because, yes, cheating happens. But it’s not just that — it’s the cheating, the best friend. It’s the manipulation, it’s the gaslighting,” she continued. “I mean, there’s a laundry list of layers. And I think that people can really relate to one of those things happening to them.”

Throughout season 10, Ariana was seen sticking by Sandoval and Raquel as questions were raised about their potentially inappropriate relationship.

Looking back, Ariana said a big lesson was learned.

“I think that my sense of loyalty and trust in the people that I love and care about is something that I really want to hold on to and not lose after all of this happening. But I do think a big lesson that I’ve learned is — I want to make sure that I’m actually getting that back from the people that I give it to,” she shared.

While Ariana was convinced that Sandoval and Raquel would never betray her in the way they did, she admits there were red flags leading up to the uncovering of their affair.

“There’s definitely things watching back that I’ve noticed that I thought were a little odd. But it’s like, if it was just any one of those things I still wouldn’t have thought it was that big of a deal,” she noted. “It’s that it’s on top of them having an affair.”

On Wednesday’s episode of the Pump Rules finale, in one of the more cringeworthy moments, Sandoval accidentally called Raquel “Ariana” as they spoke of their sordid romance.

“Watching him call her my name by mistake was very, very cringe. I would have been very embarrassed,” Ariana said in response to the awkward moment.

While Ariana did have some contact with Raquel after learning of her former best friend’s relationship with her now-ex, she told TODAY that they haven’t spoken since two days after the news broke.

“She has not reached out to me directly since March 3, but I blocked her, so she can’t reach out to me,” Ariana confirmed.

As for Tom Schwartz, Ariana said her former friend, who knew about the affair for months, “had a much bigger hand in doing some of the other Tom’s dirty work” than she realized at the time.

“I know more about that now,” she said cryptically.

Also, on Wednesday’s finale, James Kennedy was seen calling his ex-fiance, Raquel, to confront her about her secret romance with Sandoval.

“James is just someone who I just — I love him so much — and watching him call Rachel and ask her about it — I mean, he would be the person to do that because he just has that, I don’t know, he sees something he wants to do, and he just does it. And I kind of love that about him,” Ariana admitted. “And also, I think that James’ feelings kind of got lost in all of this because, as you saw in his interview (in the finale), he also feels like he really, really lost a friend (in Tom Sandoval). And I feel really bad.”

After describing the upcoming reunion as “jaw-dropping, a bloodbath and scary,” Ariana revealed when she met Daniel.

“I met Daniel at a wedding about 10 days after all of this. Two of my oldest and dearest friends that I met, like, 20 years ago almost, got married,” she shared.

Regarding her potential season 11 return, Ariana said she believes she’ll be back.

“I think I’ll be back, if they’ll have me back,” Ariana told TODAY‘s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.

And while Ariana knows she can’t “control” the fate of Sandoval or Raquel, she said she has “no interest in speaking with them” and doesn’t “plan” on ever being in the same room. Instead, regarding the new episodes, Ariana said her focus would be elsewhere.

“I can’t predict what my life is going to be, clearly,” she said. “For me, I’m just going to be focused on myself and my career and getting my sandwich shop with [Katie Maloney] open.”

“There is a group of people who are friends, and then there’s two and a half people on an island somewhere that no one speaks to,” she added.

As for her reaction to the reports claiming “Scandoval” may have been created by producers, Ariana insisted it was “something I am really going through” and “did really go through.”

“That’s not true,” Ariana said of the speculation on the May 18 episode of The View, via Page Six. “First of all, it’s very real. I find that to be very insulting to me personally.”

“And [it’s] not just me, but our friends as well that were close to both of them – it’s as though our collective pain didn’t mean anything,” she added.

Ariana also shut down the idea that producers knew before she did, saying that while there may have been “rumblings or suspicions,” producers “didn’t give credence to it.”

“One of the first conversations I had with outside of my immediate friend group was with our showrunner Jeremiah, and he was as devastated as I was on some level,” she said on TODAY.

The three-part Vanderpump Rules season 10 reunion begins next Wednesday, May 24, at 9/8c on Bravo.