“There’s a lot more to this story, but Graham, my gosh. He has a history of aggression and he’s bitten me really hard. I already was considering getting a foster family while going into [the mental health facility] the Meadows and trying it out,” Leviss, 28, told Bethenny Frankel on part 3 of her iHeartRadio’s “ReWives” podcast appearance, which was released on Friday, August 18.
“There’s a reason why I didn’t want James to have Graham,” Leviss — who dated Kennedy, 31, from 2016 to 2021 — explained. “He doesn’t have dog experience and he’s part of the reason why Graham is a biter. James would encourage Graham to bite his hands hard, and he liked that sensation, so of course that trained Graham to be a biter.”
Vanderpump Rules viewers were introduced to Graham while Kennedy and Leviss were still together. Following their split in late 2021, Leviss remained Graham’s primary guardian since the dog was a gift from her parents. Last month, however, Kennedy revealed that he was back in possession of Graham amid Leviss’ 90-day stay at a mental health facility.
“Look who made his way back home, back into my life. I’ll take care of you forever, and I love you,” Kennedy, who has since renamed Graham to Hippie, captioned the Instagram post of him and the dog on a boat while filming season 11.
Rumors swirled at the time about how Graham ended up with Kennedy after Lisa Vanderpump and her Vanderpump Dogs Rescue organization received word that the dog was in a rescue center. Leviss’ mother, Laura, clarified that an incident led to the decision to surrender Graham to trainers at California Doodle Rescue, who later contacted Vanderpump, 62, without her knowledge.
According to Leviss, the choice to find Graham a new home came after she exhausted other options.
“My dog Graham bit my mom’s hand down to the bone, and it was so bad she couldn’t even get stitches. I had the decision to either leave the Meadows and go back and take care of my dog, or try to get him rehomed and finish out my treatment, because I knew I had more to work on,” she continued on Friday. “So I chose myself and we researched a breed-specific dog rescue, and they took him in besides his biting behavior. Bottom line, he couldn’t get rehomed.”
The former beauty pageant queen was surprised Vanderpump got involved. “It was supposed to be a confidential, anonymous [decision] because it’s nobody else’s business,” she continued.
Leviss went on to claim that she reached out to Vanderpump about the situation. Her former boss, however, responded by encouraging Leviss to speak her truth in front of a camera. Leviss accused the Vanderpump Rules cast and producers of using her former dog as a “pawn” to get her to return to the show after she left in the aftermath of her scandal with Tom Sandoval.
“I thought it was a joke at first [when I saw Graham with James]. My heart dropped to my stomach. There was a picture of James walking Graham, and I was like, ‘No.’ Immediately, my mom called the foster who was working with Graham, and she said, ‘Oh, it’s so lovely. Lisa adopted him,’” she recalled. “So now the narrative is, I dumped my dog at a shelter and he was hours away from being euthanized and that’s not true.”
Later in the podcast, Leviss made it clear that she has no plans to return to reality TV as Vanderpump Rules continues to film with Sandoval, 41, Ariana Madix, Scheana Shay, Lala Kent, Katie Maloney, Tom Schwartz and Kennedy. Leviss is however planning her next steps, which include starting a podcast.