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Tom Schwartz Claimed Tom Sandoval Forced Him to Kiss Raquel Leviss Before Cheating Scandal Was Revealed

Tom Schwartz Claimed Tom Sandoval Forced Him to Kiss Raquel Leviss Weeks Before Cheating Scandal Was Revealed
Tom Schwartz, Tom Sandoval, and Raquel Leviss. Gregory Pace/Shutterstock; Faye's Vision/Cover Images/INSTAR; Charles Sykes/Bravo

In the know? Weeks before news broke of Tom Sandoval‘s affair, Tom Schwartz claimed he was encouraged by his business partner to pursue Raquel Leviss.

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“I’m guilty by association,” Schwartz, 40, joked to ET Canada in February about his onscreen kiss with Leviss, 28, in season 10 of Vanderpump Rules. “Oh my God. [Sandoval] made me do it. I didn’t want to do it. He’s like, ‘If you don’t do it, you’re a wussy.’ He steamrolled me.”

Sandoval, 39, for his part, publicly showed his support for a potential connection between Schwartz and Leviss. “I was stoked [about their kiss]. I thought it was fun,” he added at the time. “They went behind this little greenery wall and I went and cracked two beers and handed it to them.”

Before filming kicked off on season 10, Katie Maloney and the Minnesota native announced their decision to part ways. As cameras started rolling, Us Weekly confirmed in August 2022 that Schwartz hooked up with the beauty pageant contestant at Scheana Shay and Brock Davies‘ wedding.

Ahead of the hit Bravo show’s return, Schwartz noted that he stood by his brief romance with Leviss. “In the moment, there was momentary passion in the air. I kind of disappeared into that kiss, I’ll be honest. It was kind of a transformative moment,” he exclusively told Us in February. “In terms of any long-term romance with me and Raquel, I don’t know how much chemistry is there.”

The TomTom co-owner added: “I’m glad to know her closer as a friend and I really appreciate her now and I see her in a whole different light. Not because of the kiss, but just getting to know her on a deeper level as a human being. She’s so cool and I never really got to that point with her.”

At the time, Schwartz revealed he felt bad about Maloney’s reaction. “I regret hurting Katie though because that was never my intention,” he continued. “Maybe it was a little selfish because I just was so sick of having this little rain cloud above my head.”

Tom Schwartz Claimed Tom Sandoval Forced Him to Kiss Raquel Leviss Weeks Before Cheating Scandal Was Revealed
Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval. Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Earlier this month, news broke that Sandoval and Ariana Madix called it quits due to his infidelity.

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“They were having problems for a while,” a source told Us on March 3, adding that things “only came to a breaking point” when the Florida native, 37, was made aware that her then-boyfriend was unfaithful with Leviss.

The bar owner originally released a statement defending his Los Angeles businesses before issuing a second apology to 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,” 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.”

Meanwhile, Leviss addressed the scandal in her own public statement, writing via Instagram on Wednesday, March 8, “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.”

Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, Raquel Leviss Vanderpump Rules Stars Raquel Leviss and Scheana Shay Joked About Being the Other Woman Before Tom Sandoval Cheating Scandal
Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, and Raquel Leviss. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

The cast’s former Vanderpump Rules costars have since weighed in on the drama, with Kristen Doute offering a glimpse at how involved Schwartz was in the scandal. (Doute, 40, dated Sandoval from 2007 to 2013.)

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“Schwartz only found out about it a month ago,” the former reality star revealed on Wednesday’s episode of her “Sex, Love and What Else Matters” podcast, adding that she and Schwartz were “texting yesterday” about the drama.

Doute continued, “[Schwartz] said that he told [Sandoval] he needed to tell Ariana before it blew up in his face and humiliated the hell out of her … Too little too late.”

Doute and other pals such as Shay, 37, have been rallying around Madix amid the bombshell affair. Amid the drama, Leviss filed a restraining order against Shay following an alleged physical altercation after their joint Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen appearance on March 1.

The “Scheananigans” podcast host’s lawyer Neama Rahmani denied the accusations, telling Us exclusively on Thursday, March 9, “The supposed dark markings around her left eye have been there for months. Neither Scheana nor other cast members want anything to do with Raquel going forward. The judge has only heard a one-sided account of what happened, and we look forward to presenting the full and true story at the March 29 hearing.”

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