“I literally had no words. I didn’t see it coming — nobody saw it coming,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum, 62, told Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday, March 8. “I have seen Ariana and I have [filmed] with her. It’s an integral part of the story now. I would say the word I would use [to describe her] is devastated.”
Vanderpump noted that the drama changed her opinion on Leviss, 28, adding, “I clearly didn’t know who Raquel was. She stuck her toe in the Peter [Madrigal] pond, she snagged Oliver [Saunders], she schmoozed with [Tom] Schwartz and she shagged Scandoval.”
During the live show, the restauranteur weighed in on Sandoval’s multiple public statements about the scandal.
“Obviously it was because he got some sort of reaction to the first apology that he felt he needed to [write a second one] for Ariana. But I don’t think these apologies are worth the paper or the social media they are written on,” she shared. “I want to see true contrition and when the reunion comes I hope we can all sit down and have a better understanding.”
According to the U.K. native, the recent events will have ramifications on the hit reality series moving forward.
“We will have a much better understanding when we get through the reunion. But I think it is going to be really tough. I don’t think it is going to be the same reunion where there are these accusations flying because they admitted to it,” she detailed. “I think it is going to be difficult. … This is huge. This is breaking up a couple that has been together for [nearly 10] years and the deceit. [Raquel] acted like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Vanderpump also requested that Bravo viewers tone down their anger toward Sandoval and Leviss on social media. “It’s a show but [the cast is] all hurting. And I am not saying we should let them off the hook,” she explained. “Condemn their actions but don’t condemn the people. All this [online] aggression has serious ramifications. I really mean that — I think everyone should be careful.”
The Bravo personality previously admitted she was struggling with the shocking news about Sandoval’s split from Ariana Madix. “I’m not sure my heart is up to it,” she tweeted to Cohen, 54, on Friday, March 3, in response to his post about having a lengthy Vanderpump Rules season 10 reunion.
Vanderpump’s commentary comes after Us Weekly confirmed on Friday that Madix, 37, and Sandoval called it quits due to his infidelity. “They were having problems for a while,” a source revealed to Us, noting that things “only came to a breaking point” when the Florida native was made aware that the businessman was unfaithful with Leviss.
Before news broke, the Fancy AF Cocktails author deleted all of her social media platforms. Sandoval, however, issued a statement after his restaurants received hateful reviews in response to the controversy.
Sandoval went on to post a second apology after fans questioned why he didn’t mention his ex-girlfriend in the public message.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” Sandoval wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 7. “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.”
He added: “I can only imagine how devastating this has been for Ariana and everyone around us. I feel really horrible about that. My biggest regret is that I dishonored Ariana. I never meant to disappoint so many people, including our loving families and friends.”
Leviss, for her part, also addressed the controversy in a statement. “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,” the beauty pageant contestant wrote on Wednesday. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”
The Missouri native’s costars were quick to pick Madix’s side ahead of Leviss’s response. Lala Kent took to social media, writing via Instagram Stories on Friday, “Oh Sandoval … Your problem with me is I’m a little too real for your comfort. I’ve seen you for who you are for a long time, and you don’t like that. But, I think now is the time for you to shut the f—k up. I’m eatin good the next time I see you.”
Kristen Doute, who previously dated Sandoval, offered her support to Madix. “I don’t know why I feel like I need to make this clear, but there’s so many people right now wondering if this is making me happy,” the Vanderpump Rules alum, 40, said via Instagram Stories at the time. “And you guys, Ariana and I’ve been really good friends for many, many years now. So, I am team Ariana — all day, every day. That’s what’s up.”
Since the affair made headlines, Leviss filed an order of protection against Scheana Shay following a physical altercation between the costars. Vanderpump, for her part, addressed the drama in response to a fan question on WWHL, saying, “I think [Scheana] did it. I think she slapped her. Her feelings were running really high.”
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Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.