“Last time we saw him was at a friend’s house in Orange County for Labor Day — and they were both together — now it makes sense,” Taylor, 43, said during a Wednesday, March 22, appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, referring to an encounter with Sandoval, 40, and Leviss, 28. “I didn’t understand it at the beginning.”
The former Vanderpump Rules star continued: “They were together and I don’t remember but I think Ariana [Madix] called him and said, ‘Hey my grandmother passed away or got sick.’ He didn’t go home — he didn’t leave. He used the fact that he couldn’t get an Uber. Meanwhile, people were coming in and out of the house all day long.”
A source close to Sandoval, however, says Taylor’s claims are untrue and they haven’t seen each other in over a year.
Taylor, who left the hit Bravo series in 2020, also claimed that Tom Schwartz was aware that his business partner was being unfaithful. (Schwartz, 40, for his part, hooked up with Leviss in August 2022 following his split from Katie Maloney.)
“I talked to Schwartz every day so I know for fact, he knew [about the cheating scandal],” the Michigan native added. “He said, ‘I knew for a while. I tried to tell him to come forward with it.’ He’s told me that verbatim and I gotta take his word for it.”
Us Weekly confirmed earlier this month that Sandoval and Madix, 37, called it quits following nine years of dating because he cheated with Leviss.
“They were having problems for a while,” a source told Us, adding that things “only came to a breaking point” when the Florida native found out that her then-boyfriend was unfaithful with their costar.
Amid the drama, the beauty pageant contestant issued a public apology to Madix, writing via Instagram, “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.”
Leviss also addressed where she and the Missouri native stand now.
“Besides the indefensible circumstances surrounding our relationship, my feelings for Tom have always been sincere and born out of a loving friendship,” she explained. “Knowing how many people we hurt, I need to understand my choices and learn to make better ones. I need to take care of my health, work on self growth and take time to be OK with being alone. I care for Tom and I don’t want to label anything or predict what lies ahead. Right now I need to heal.”
Sandoval, however, faced backlash when his initial response to the controversy didn’t mention his ex-girlfriend. He later issued a second statement that mentioned Madix.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana. I made mistakes, I was selfish and made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love,” he wrote via Instagram. “No one deserves to feel that pain so traumatically and publicly. 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.”
In response to the scandal, Taylor weighed in on what led to Sandoval’s affair.
“[Sandoval] never had control of Ariana. She’s a very strong, independent woman and I feel like he couldn’t control her, and he can control Raquel very easily,” the former sweater designer claimed during an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, March 21. “[Raquel’s] very easily manipulated, and you can control her like that just by looking at her. She’s easily controllable, you can just tell she’s very codependent. She’s the definition of codependency.”
The current cast of Vanderpump Rules will address their onscreen ups and downs on Thursday, March 23, during the season 10 reunion taping. Ahead of the Bravo special, Leviss offered a glimpse at her state of mind after she confirmed her attendance.
“I know I have to take accountability for my action so I’m completely prepared to do that,” she told TMZ on Wednesday.