Romantic relationships aren’t the only ones ever-changing at SUR. Scheana Shay and Raquel Leviss bonded when the latter joined the cast of Vanderpump Rules amid her romance with James Kennedy, but the two women’s friendship took a turn amid Scandoval.
Shay, an OG on the Bravo series, is known to embrace a new cast member and Leviss was no exception despite her rocky relationship with Kennedy. The SURvers grew even closer when Leviss and Kennedy called it quits in late 2021.
“When [Raquel] said, ‘We’re calling off the engagement,’ in the reunion, I didn’t know that meant, ‘We’re breaking up.’ I just thought they were going to put a pause. … So I was like, ‘Oh wow.’ Was not expecting that,” Shay told Insider in January 2022. “It was super shocking because you know, I mean, we’ve just spent months celebrating them and their engagement.”
Shay took it upon herself to help Leviss move on — and suggested she pursue Tom Schwartz amid his divorce from their costar Katie Maloney. (Schwartz and Maloney split in February 2022 and announced their breakup one month later). When cameras went up in July 2022 to film season 10 of the show, Maloney was angry at Shay about the situation.
“There was a conversation that happened between Katie and I … and Katie said, ‘I think they would make a good couple,’ or ‘They might be a good match,’ or something along those lines,” the “Good As Gold” singer claimed on Page Six’s Virtual Reali-Tea podcast in February 2023. “So I took that and ran with it, and I told Raquel, ‘Katie kind of gives you her blessing if you want to pursue that.’”
Us Weekly broke the news that Schwartz and Leviss did make out at Shay and Brock Davies’ August 2022 wedding. Leviss also served as a bridesmaid at the ceremony.
As the ladies stood together to defend Leviss amid any backlash for the Schwartz makeout, things took a turn in March 2023 when it was revealed that Leviss had a secret affair with Tom Sandoval amid his nine-year relationship with Ariana Madix.
Shay reportedly learned about the scandal after appearing with Leviss on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. Rumors surfaced that things got physical between the twosome and Leviss subsequently filed for an order of protection against the “Scheananigans” podcast host.
“Although I chose to be on a reality show accepting the good and bad that comes with it, beyond my own actions I have been physically assaulted, lost friendships, received death threats and hate emails in addition to having had my privacy violated,” Leviss said via her lengthy apology statement. “I have begun counseling to end my unhealthy behavioral cycle, learn to set stronger emotional boundaries and learn to protect my mental health. I don’t expect sympathy, understanding or forgiveness.”
A source told Us at the time that Leviss and Sandoval were quickly “losing a lot of friends,” including “both people on the show and away from the cameras” after their relationship was exposed.
Shay, a longtime BFF of Madix, was one of the first to arrive at the former couple’s home as the news made waves. “Always got your back! 👊🏼 #TeamAriana,” Shay wrote via Instagram at the time.
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Scroll through for Shay and Leviss’ ups and downs: