Vanderpump Rules’ Ariana Madix received an outpouring of support when her ex-boyfriend Tom Sandoval had an affair with their costar Raquel Leviss — but she knows that public opinion could change at any time.
In response to an Instagram user’s recent prediction that Pump Rules viewers will “hate Ariana” and “develop a soft spot for Tom” during season 11, Ariana, 38, wrote back, “certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the audience swings that way.”
Fans got their first glimpse at how Ariana and Sandoval’s dynamic has changed during a teaser for season 11 that dropped earlier this month. (The highly anticipated new installment premieres in January 2024.)
“Ruin my life, my home and then attempt to kill my f–king dog. My lawyer will be dealing with you,” Ariana yelled at Sandoval, 41, in the trailer.
After the clip premiered at BravoCon, Ariana exclusively told Us Weekly that the allegation that Sandoval tried to kill her dog was based on him continuing his “reckless, careless behavior.”
Elsewhere in the clip, the exes — who called it quits in March after nine years of dating in the wake of the scandal — attempted to enjoy a beach outing with their costars. James Kennedy literally drew a line in the sand, telling the group, “That’s Ariana’s side, Sandoval’s side over here. Don’t go over the line.”
Although the Pump Rules cast reunited to film the new episodes, not everyone in the group is chummy with Sandoval. Lala Kent explained where she stands with the restaurateur after she defended him from a booing crowd at the Vanderpump Rules BravoCon panel earlier this month.
“I know that Ariana knows me and sometimes I have to remind her that, ‘Even though I say these things, it doesn’t mean I’m going to invite [Sandoval] to Christmas dinner,’” Lala, 33, explained during the Monday, November 13, episode of her Amazon Live show.
She continued: ‘“It doesn’t mean I’m checking in on him. Like, you are my friend. I will always be honest with you and I will always support you.’”
Lala added that fans will have to tune in to see how the cast handled the fallout from the affair. “This season is going to look very different. And I think everyone is very raw and confused,” she said.
While Sandoval will face the music during season 11, Raquel, 29, decided not to return to the Bravo reality series. She opened up about her choice during an August appearance on Bethenny Frankel’s “ReWives” podcast.
“I know that other people on the cast are more important than I am. So, I don’t even think that I would get a redemption arc, to be honest,” said Raquel. “I also know that I wouldn’t be able to share all of my story. Whatever I share gets condensed to five minutes max.”
Raquel also said that she “asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana” and for reimbursement for her stint in a mental health treatment facility after the scandal. “They refused to pay me equally,” she claimed. Frankel, 53, chimed in to say that Raquel made less money than her interns.
Lisa Vanderpump subsequently shot down the claims, telling TMZ that Raquel made $361,000 on season 10 of Pump Rules.
“When [Raquel] was in the facility, her team texted and emailed us. We wanted to make sure she was in a good place first and I was going to do a one-on-one with her,” Lisa, 63, told the outlet in August. “She talked about [returning]. Her team reached out. But in the end, I think she decided not to.”