Raquel Leviss is coming clean. Amid allegations that she had a months-long affair with Tom Sandoval during his relationship with Ariana Madix, Leviss spoke out about the scandal in an exclusive statement to ET.
Read her statement in full:
“I want to apologize for my actions and my choices foremost to Ariana, and to my friends and the fans so invested in our relationships. There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.
I am reflecting on my choices, speaking to a counselor and I am learning things about myself such as my patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved. I have sought emotional validation through intimate connections that are not healthy without regard for my own well-being, sometimes negatively affecting others and often prioritizing the intimate connection over my friendships. I am taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices.
Although I chose to be on a reality show accepting the good and bad that comes with it, beyond my own actions I have been physically assaulted, lost friendships, received death threats and hate emails in addition to having had my privacy violated.
I have begun counseling to end my unhealthy behavioral cycle, learn to set stronger emotional boundaries and learn to protect my mental health. I don’t expect sympathy, understanding or forgiveness. Right now I must focus on my own health and well-being and as I strive to be a better person moving forward, I will prioritize my mental health and learn from my mistakes.” – Raquel Leviss
Leviss’ statement comes after she sent legal letters to Sandoval and her Vanderpump Rules castmates about the situation. The 28-year-old reality star’s letters followed People‘s reporting that Madix learned of the alleged affair by discovering a NSFW video of Leviss on Sandoval’s phone.
ET obtained a copy of the letter Leviss’ legal team sent to Sandoval, which read in part, “We understand that sometime recently you and Ms. Leviss engaged in an intimate exchange on Facetime, which you recorded without the permission of Ms. Leviss. California is what is called a ‘two party consent’ state, and accordingly such recording is illegal in California and can potentially expose you to both civil and criminal penalties. Please be further advised that any distribution of this recording would constitute a violation of several California laws.”
The letter also instructed Sandoval to delete the video and inform Leviss’ legal team of any people who have seen the video.
Meanwhile, a source told ET that Leviss’ letters are not meant as a legal attack on the cast, but rather her way of “making them aware of the seriousness and to further stop the video from going out.”
News of Sandoval and Leviss’ alleged affair first broke earlier this month, with a source telling ET that there have been “too many instances where Ariana felt like Tom disrespected her and she finally ended things.”
“Tom and Raquel’s incident has created a major split in the group with almost everyone against Tom and Raquel,” another source told ET. “The group feels like Tom has been going through some sort of midlife crisis, with the creation of his band and acting out at times. The girls are rallying around Ariana, but know in time she’ll be OK.”
Sandoval publicly reacted to the drama shortly thereafter, calling it “a very personal thing” in an Instagram post.
“I fully understand and deserve ur anger and disappointment towards me, but please leave Schwartz my friends and family out of this situation,” Sandoval wrote in reference to his best friend and business partner, Tom Schwartz. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions.”
Early Wednesday morning, Sandoval shared another personal message on his Instagram account, and started his statement by apologizing to “everyone I’ve hurt.”
He then focused his apology at Madix, writing, “Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana. I made mistakes, I was selfish, and made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love. No one deserves to feel that pain so traumatically and publicly.”
Meanwhile, Vanderpump Rules has resumed production with plans to include the breakup and its fallout in season 10, a source told ET. That split, another source told ET, is for good as neither Madix nor Sandoval want to get back together.
“Ariana has no plans to get back with Tom after what he did to her and Tom is ready to move on,” the source said. “Ariana is devastated and feels betrayed, something she won’t be able to get over for a long time.”
Reporting by Anthony Dominic.
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