Romance rewind! Tom Sandoval and Kristen Doute dated for years before they made their Vanderpump Rules debuts — and their ups and downs were reality TV gold.
Doute began working at SUR in 2008, one year after she and Sandoval sparked a relationship. The pair’s romance, however, didn’t survive the reality TV curse as the twosome called it quits in 2013 shortly after taping seasons 1 and 2 of the Bravo series.
During the show’s sophomore season, which filmed in spring 2013, the cracks in Doute and Sandoval’s dynamic became clear. Their relationship fell victim to cheating rumors and scandals on both sides, which they each addressed during the season 2 reunion in early 2014.
The James Mae founder slept with costar Jax Taylor while still dating Sandoval, while the Schwartz & Sandy’s co-owner admitted to kissing castmate Ariana Madix before he and Doute officially parted ways. (Taylor was trying to win back ex-girlfriend Stassi Schroeder when he had sex with Doute.)
“I do understand from a fan point of view that it’s something that people are always going to talk about, and that’s something I’ve accepted and I’ve forgiven myself at this point,” Doute wrote in her June 2020 memoir, He’s Making You Crazy, referring to her 2013 fling with Taylor. “And I think Jax has forgiven himself, and I think we’ve forgiven each other and I know that Tom has forgiven me. So that to me is enough.”
While Sandoval insisted that he and Madix didn’t do anything but kiss when he was dating Doute, the former TV personality wasn’t convinced.
“When we broke up, he started dating someone else immediately — or, you know, maybe they were already secretly dating; they don’t ever have to cop to it, but I can theorize about it in my own book!! And now I love them both,” Doute wrote in her memoir. “I made a choice to let everything go, because whether or not I thought those rumors about an illicit rendezvous or two behind my back had been true or not, it didn’t matter anymore.”
She added: “A girl can’t actually steal someone’s boyfriend. He made a free-willed choice to leave me, and a free-willed choice to be with her. I needed to let them be happy. … They needed to find their own path to forgive me.”
Sandoval and Madix went on to date for nine years before Us Weekly confirmed in March 2023 that the bartenders broke up amid his affair with costar Raquel Leviss. As the scandal made waves among Bravo fans, Doute was one of the first people to have Madix’s back.
“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 designer — who appeared on Vanderpump Rules for eight seasons before being fired in 2020 — wrote via Instagram in March 2023. “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.”
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Scroll down to relive Doute and Sandoval’s ups and downs before and after their 2013 split: