“It occurs to me that you are the villain. Ariana [Madix] is the hero. Tom is another character who doesn’t take the hit as much as you in this scandal of all. But you’re right, the realm is making a lot of money and now it took three of you in a recipe to create the scandal,” Frankel, 52, told Leviss, 28, on iHeartRadio’s “ReWives” podcast on Wednesday, August 16.
“As people who are partially produced … Let’s just say that it’s real in a very unreal circumstance. So now you have one of the three characters that can’t even afford to pay for your treatment that you just went through,” Frankel said, referring to Leviss’ stay in a mental health facility after season 10 of Vanderpump Rules wrapped. “Because it’s my understanding that you get paid in a year less than my interns get paid.”
Leviss was surprised by Frankel’s remark, but alleged that Bravo producers encouraged her to be messy on screen.
“One of the things that producers also told me is that you get paid based off of your performance from the season prior,” she claimed. “So that already set me up to want to perform well going into season 10. I was like, ‘OK, this could be my season. I could really stand out and I’m single for the first time. Like, I wanna embrace that.’ And I took direction well.”
The former beauty pageant queen’s personal life was at the center of season 10 following her split from James Kennedy. She originally was linked to Peter Madrigal and Oliver Saunders before hooking up with Tom Schwartz in August 2022. As the drama played out on screen, Us Weekly confirmed in March that Sandoval and Madix, 38, had split because of his secret romance with Leviss.
Leviss told Frankel she wasn’t thrilled by how she became the villain in the situation.
“I just heard what you were saying on TikTok and using my example as using my case as an example of exploitation. And the way that the network is running to the bank with this scandal and I haven’t seen a single penny,” she told Frankel on Wednesday. “So in that way, I feel it’s not fair and I feel like a toddler saying, ‘It’s not fair.’ But it really isn’t.”
Leviss continued: “The mistakes that I’ve made on camera live on forever. And you mentioned something about the addiction of doing reality TV and the way that they always dangle that carrot in front of you. Like [they say], ‘You need to tell your side of the story, otherwise it’s gonna be written for you.’ And that’s terrifying.”
During the interview, Leviss admitted she “almost went back” to film season 11, hinting she won’t appear at all as Bravo is currently filming new episodes of the hit series with Madix, Sandoval, Lala Kent, Katie Maloney, Scheana Shay, Schwartz, 40, and Kennedy, 31.
Before cameras started rolling again, Madix made it clear that she has no plans to reconcile with Sandoval or Leviss.
“No. I have nothing to say to either of them,” she told The New York Times in May when asked whether she was “open to filming with” her ex and former friend after their affair. “Our show is very real and follows a real group of friends, and neither of them are in the group of friends, so, good luck.”