“This is what production pointed to because I called them once I started seeing the episodes and I was like, ‘Are you telling me you guys didn’t get that this was happening?’ And they said they all kind of followed Ariana [Madix]‘s lead,” the Bravo executive producer, 54, recalled on his SiriusXM show Radio Andy on Thursday, May 4. “And Ariana was saying, ‘No. I know Raquel and this is not happening.'”
According to Cohen, the cameras chose not to pursue the story line because of Ariana‘s response.
“The funny thing is — if you think about it now — if you listen to what Ariana is saying she is not saying, ‘Tom would never do that,'” he noted. “Isn’t she mainly pointing to Raquel? She [kept saying] that Raquel is not that kind of girl and that we were barking up the wrong tree.”
The Missouri native recalled being shocked when Tom, 40, and Raquel’s affair made headlines, adding, “I think because Ariana was shutting down the conversations about them being in an open relationship and she was shutting down the idea that Raquel could ever even do that. That is why no one took it further and that is why it actually was a surprise. Then you look at this footage and you’re like, ‘This story wrote itself.'”
Us Weekly confirmed in March that Tom and Ariana, 37, called it quits after nearly a decade of dating due to his infidelity.
The TomTom co-owner later issued a public apology to the Florida native after initially only addressing the negative response his Los Angeles business received amid the fallout.
“I want to first and foremost apologize to everyone I’ve hurt through this process. Most of all, I want to apologize to Ariana,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “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. 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.”
Tom later argued that his breakup with Ariana was a long time coming. “Like many relationships, it felt like it became more of like a best friends, family [thing] — sometimes roommates,” he said on an episode of the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast in April. “There were a lot of ways where the relationship was just lacking the intimacy, the connection. We would travel more by ourselves than we would together. I would go to weddings by myself.”
He added: “As I turned 40, I started to look at my life and it looked very bleak. I started to lose my optimism in life and my drive. I started to feel trapped. I started thinking like, ‘I don’t need this house, I don’t need this s–t, but I feel like I need to make a change to feel motivated, to feel optimistic again.'”
Meanwhile, Ariana defended Tom and Raquel, 28, on screen when their relationship was called into question during season 10.
“Raquel is my friend. She is someone that is kind and sweet and loyal and just a delight since the day I met her,” the former SUR bartender told Katie Maloney in Wednesday’s episode of the hit Bravo series. “Obviously I love Raquel dearly and she’s one of my closest friends. I not only trust and love her — I trust and love my boyfriend.”
Raquel, for her part, also publicly apologized to her former friend amid the drama. The former beauty pageant contestant has since entered a mental health facility after facing backlash for her cheating scandal.
“Raquel and her family decided before the relationship was discovered that she would enter a voluntary facility for mental health counseling,” a statement from a spokesperson for Leviss told Us in April, noting that she was in rehab, but not seeking help for substance abuse issues. “Raquel had planned to admit herself before the VPR reunion was taped on March 23. She was scheduled to go in pre-reunion but decided she wanted to finish her filming commitment. Bravo and production were aware and in support of her journey towards better mental health.”
Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.