Ignoring what was right in front of him? Peter Madrigal questioned past interactions he witnessed between Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss before their affair was uncovered.
“I kind of dismissed it,” the SUR manager, 40, who briefly dated Leviss, 28, recalled on the Monday, March 13, episode of the “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast.
Madrigal claimed he “saw some things” that he wondered about but didn’t point out. “[I thought], ‘Sandoval is loyal to Ariana. He would never do something like that,’” the Vanderpump Rules star confessed, adding that he wouldn’t “get into details” about the alleged interactions.
The Bravo personality called the affair news “a shocker” due to his friendship with Sandoval, 40. Madrigal, however, did not hold back about Leviss, adding, “I thought she was a good person, but then again, I hardly knew her.”
According to Madrigal, his brief romance with the beauty pageant contestant “got weird” while they were filming season 10 in summer 2022. “I think in the back of my mind, there was something else going on, which is now confirmed,” he added, referring to a “separation” off screen. “She was already picking her next target.”
Madrigal went on to slam Leviss — again — for referring to him as a “starter pony” in a Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen interview earlier this month.
“Who the hell are you to call me a starter pony?” he said. “Like, OK, all right, cool, awesome. Well, you’re a home wrecker. Raquel, watch out because, in nine years, [Sandoval’s] probably gonna leave you for someone else.”
During the podcast interview, Madrigal admitted he felt bad about how Sandoval’s business partner and BFF Tom Schwartz got caught up in the drama. (Schwartz, 40, was caught kissing Leviss last year amid his divorce from Katie Maloney, which was finalized in October 2022.)
“I’d hate to be in his position right now,” he concluded. “I love Schwartz, and I’d hate to be in his shoes right now.”
Us Weekly confirmed on March 3 that Sandoval called it quits with Ariana Madix due to his affair with Leviss. The now-exes dated for nearly a decade before their split.
“Ariana found out [about the affair] after looking at Tom’s phone while he was on stage performing his new song,” a source shared with Us at the time. “It’s still unclear when Tom Schwartz knew or if he was blindsided.”
The Missouri native, for his part, initially requested that fans not take their anger out on his restaurants.
“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger & disappointment towards me, but please leave [Tom] Schwartz, my friends and family out of this situation … Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing,” Sandoval wrote via Instagram on March 4. “Also, Schwartz & Sandy’s might have my name on it, but also there are 3 other partners and 20 employees, who especially rely on the restaurant for income for them and their families. Just like TomTom, I’m a small part of a much bigger thing. Please direct ur anger towards me and not them. They did nothing wrong.”
The TomTom co-owner issued a second apology after he received backlash for not mentioning Madix, 37, in his original statement.
“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 continued: “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, wrote in a statement of her own on Wednesday, March 8, that she “deeply regret[s]” her behavior and is “speaking to a counselor.” Days later, Schwartz addressed the controversy while the cast continues to film new footage for season 10.
“[Sandoval’s] OK, I think. Relatively speaking. I mean, he has a sense of profound sadness, rightfully so. I think he feels like a piece of s—t, and to some extent, maybe he is,” the Minnesota native told TMZ on Saturday, March 11. “But he knows he f—ked up. The whole thing is just really sad.”
The Schwartz and Sandy’s co-owner denied rumors that he knew about Sandoval’s infidelity during his own hookup with Leviss.
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“No, that’s not true. Unless I was a pawn in the game,” he added, referring to his July 2022 moment with the California native. “It’s f—king complicated. That’s the understatement of the year. I think Tom’s OK. Really, I’m just sad about the negative impact it’s having on our business, but I think cooler heads will prevail, and I’m just gonna keep on keeping on.”
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