Making her move! Ariana Madix is upping her star power — and expanding her resume — in the wake of her split from Tom Sandoval.
The Vanderpumps Rules star, 37, has landed a role in the upcoming Lifetime original movie Buying Back My Daughter, Deadline reported on Wednesday, March 22.
The film, which also stars Meagan Good, centers around a mother named Dana (Good) who learns her daughter, Alicia, is being sex trafficked on an escort website and decides to do something about it. Madix, for her part, will play a police officer named Karen, who helps investigate the case while navigating her personal connection to the story.
Rodger Cross and Faith Wright have also been cast in the picture as Dana’s husband, Curtis, and daughter, respectively. Filming is already underway on the project, per Deadline, but no release date has been announced.
Madix — who began her career with 2008’s short film Swing Vote: What Side Are You On? — has acted in a handful of movies over the years, including 2019’s Dead End. She most recently appeared on one episode of 2021’s Paradise City.
The Florida native’s latest casting comes amid controversy in her personal life. Us Weekly confirmed on March 3 that Madix and Sandoval, 40, split after nine years together after the TomTom cofounder cheated with their Bravo costar Raquel Leviss.
Sandoval publicly apologized to his ex-girlfriend, whom he started dating in 2014, on March 7 after previously asking fans not to penalize his business ventures for his mistakes.
“I want to apologize to Ariana. I made mistakes, I was selfish and made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love,” the Schwartz & Sandy’s co-owner wrote via Instagram at the time. “No one deserves to feel that pain so traumatically and publicly. … My biggest regret is that I dishonored Ariana. I never meant to disappoint so many people, including our loving families and friends.”
Leviss, for her part, issued her own statement the following day. “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,” the former Miss Sonoma County, 28, wrote via social media on March 8. “There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana.”
Madix, meanwhile, kept quiet about the incident until March 16. “I am so f—king lucky to have the best support system in the world and I hope I can repay every single person for the love you have shown me,” she said in her Instagram post. “What doesn’t kill me better run.”
A source exclusively told Us on Monday, March 20, that Madix isn’t letting the scandal known as “Scandoval” get her down.
“Ariana knows she’ll be more than OK. She has her whole life ahead of her and knows she has so much to look forward to,” the insider said, noting fan support has “absolutely contributed to her being in such a good place.”
One day later, the Fancy AF Cocktails coauthor appeared to be unfazed by Leviss as she threw subtle shade at her in a video.
“I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Madix said in a clip posted by TMZ on Tuesday, March 21, when asked if Leviss had apologized for her affair with Sandoval. Eagle-eyed fans noticed that the comment was reminiscent of the 2009 radio interview in which Mariah Carey quipped she was unfamiliar with Jennifer Lopez.
While Madix is seemingly focused on her career amid the drama, Leviss has been trying to navigate her different legal filings ahead of the season 10 Pump Rules reunion later this week.
The former pageant queen served fellow Bravo star Scheana Shay with a temporary restraining order on March 7. At the time, she claimed that Shay, 37, struck her earlier that month and punched her after learning of the affair. The “Good As Gold” singer, however, has denied the allegations via her attorney.
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Leviss is also dealing with the fallout from sending legal notices to several Pump Rules costars in March regarding an explicit video of her and Sandoval. She asked her castmates to delete and not to distribute the clip which was recorded “illegally” and without Leviss’ “knowledge of consent.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!