Vanderpump Rules alum Rachel “Raquel” Leviss is seeing Tom Sandoval in a new light after reexamining how he treated her after their affair.
During the Thursday, February 1, episode of her “Rachel Goes Rogue” podcast, Leviss, 29, was asked by an iHeartRadio producer whether she could be friends with Sandoval, 41, again.
“It’s so clear to me now [why I wouldn’t be]. But back then I was still in communication with him but trying to distance myself and not call him from the Meadows,” Leviss recalled while referring to her 90-day stay at a treatment center. “This is a landline conversation by the way.”
Leviss and Sandoval were in consistent communication while she worked on her mental health amid the backlash from the scandal.
“We had scheduled phone times in this inpatient trauma therapy center. Then if I didn’t reach out to him one or two days, he would be upset by it,” she shared. “And [he would] really kind of take out his frustration on me and so it made me feel like I had a responsibility to maintain his emotional needs.”
Looking back at that time period, Leviss doesn’t have fond memories of Sandoval, adding, “The amount of times that Sandoval called me selfish while I was in the Meadows and [said] that I’m running away from my problems. And [said] that I’m dependent on this place that’s basically an assisted living facility.”
Leviss felt as if Sandoval was “guilt tripping” her for working on herself.
“That just reveals the type of person that he is,” she continued. “Knowing how important mental health has become in my life and how much of a priority that is to me, there’s no question that Sandoval and I will never be friends again.”
The pair made headlines in March 2023 when news broke that Sandoval and Ariana Madix called it quits after nearly a decade of dating due to his infidelity. Leviss and Sandoval both issued public apologies before facing the outrage from their Vanderpump Rules costars at the season 10 reunion.
After filming the Bravo special, Leviss checked herself into a mental health facility in April 2023 and remained in treatment for 90 days.
“Part of the reason why I wanted to take some time away is just because it was so chaotic and loud and there was such vitriol online. But then the other part of the reason why I wanted to go to a treatment facility was to understand my behaviors,” Leviss explained on the “ReWives” podcast in August 2023. “And my goal was to really get down to the bottom of, ‘OK, why am I choosing men that are unavailable? Why do I keep finding myself in unhealthy relationships? What are the things that I need to change about my behavior?’ And in knowing that I needed to make a change, I first had to know what it was that leads to those behaviors.”
Leviss credited the center in Arizona for helping her reexamine her past choices.
“It took me a while to accept, but I learned about love addiction and it’s a real thing. It’s where you confuse intensity for intimacy,” she added at the time. “And those chemical changes in the brain are the same chemical changes that happen when you take drugs. So it is addictive, and it explains why I couldn’t stop seeing this person, but it also doesn’t excuse the fact that it happened. But now I know better.”
That same month, Leviss confirmed she had no plans to return for season 11 of Vanderpump Rules. She attempted to maintain distance from her former costars but Sandoval seemingly didn’t get the message as he made numerous public attempts to contact Leviss.
“Rachel, I really hope ur finding peace and happiness. Miss u friend,” he wrote via Instagram in September 2023. Leviss then shared screenshots of Sandoval’s Instagram account, which she blocked.
Sandoval subsequently threw shade at Leviss’ social media activity, telling Variety, “When somebody said she blocked [me], I was like ‘Oh, OK, whatever. Maybe her parents were going to dock her allowance this week or something,’ but to post that on her story is pretty childish. I just wished her a happy birthday. I didn’t think she had a lot of people reach out to her, so I wanted to. I mean, if she’s working on herself, I think it’s a little immature — it’s a little thirsty — to post that.”