While filming a new episode of her Amazon Live show on Monday, November 13, Lala, 32, revealed Ariana’s initial reaction to her decision to step in when Vanderpump Rules fans booed Sandoval, 41, at the series’ BravoCon panel.
“I think in the moment after I said that she was probably annoyed with me. But I have really great conversations with Ariana,” Lala shared. “This season is going to look very different. And I think everyone is very raw and confused.”
Lala noted that Bravo viewers would need to watch season 11 of Vanderpump Rules for context. However, she hinted that “not everybody” changed their opinion after filming with Sandoval in the aftermath of his cheating scandal.
“There’s a couple of people who are still standing strong in how they feel,” Lala added. “But I know that Ariana knows me and sometimes I have to remind her that, ‘Even though I say these things, it doesn’t mean I’m going to invite him to Christmas dinner. It doesn’t mean I’m checking in on him. Like, you are my friend. I will always be honest with you and I will always support you.’”
The Vanderpump Rules cast had their world rocked earlier this year when news broke that Sandoval cheated on Ariana, 38, with their costar Raquel Leviss. His infidelity subsequently ended Sandoval’s nearly decade-long romance with Ariana. Shortly after the controversy made headlines, most of the show’s cast members sided with Ariana. Tom Schwartz was the only star who publicly stood by Sandoval.
According to Lala, filming season 11 shifted her perspective on the situation.
“I felt like what [Sandoval] did to my friend was so crazy. But I also had my own personal experience. All of the things he said to me during that time that I was like ‘Oh, I’m on fire.’ Cut to eight months later,” she continued on Monday. “I know what I said and I stand behind everything I said. But at some point, you gotta move on.”
Lala concluded: “If I’m not that invested in someone who personally affected me then people in the comments section cannot be. You just watched it. You weren’t personally attacked or affected by what happened. It’s pretty intense.”
Earlier this month, BravoCon attendees were shocked when Lala stepped in after Sandoval was immediately met with boos from the crowd at a Vanderpump Rules panel.
“In a weird, weird way, I don’t care if you f–king boo me. … With everyone really hating on Tom, he still went out, he still performed shows,” she said at the time. “Life went on. … If I were in his position, I’d tell y’all to go f–k off.”
During an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, Lala stood by her decision to defend her costar, explaining on November 4, “I just felt like it was enough. I don’t know that it was really directly for Sandoval. It was just like, we can’t keep doing this. We’ve got to move on at some point. And I didn’t feel like the punishment is fitting the crime any longer.”
Regardless of her brief support for Sandoval, Lala is still on good terms with Ariana.
“I am not blind to what you have gone through. So, I feel like we are in a really great place,” she concluded on her Amazon Live. “If she ever became my enemy, it would not be because I chose that, and I don’t see her choosing that either.”