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Vanderpump Rules’ Raquel Leviss Says She Had ‘Nightmares’ About Marrying Ex James Kennedy, Gives Back Engagement Ring in Reunion Teaser


Split SUR-prise. Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy tiptoed around their breakup news in the first look at the Vanderpump Rules season 9 reunion — which was filmed just days after they called off their engagement in December 2021.

Related: Vanderpump Rules' Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy: The Way They Were

“Something is afoot,” host Andy Cohen says in the reunion’s teaser, which dropped on Tuesday, January 18, while looking at Raquel, 27, and James, 29. Raquel then admits that she was “having nightmares about our wedding day” before they pulled the plug on the romance.

The former couple announced their split via social media on December 5. When they arrived to film the show’s reunion two days prior, however, none of their castmates knew they were no longer a couple.

“Do you feel like she’s still your soulmate?” Cohen, 53, host asks the British TV personality in the new teaser as the exes try to explain what went wrong.

Raquel Leviss Gives James' Engagement Ring Back During ‘Pump Rules’ Reunion
Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy. MediaPunch/Shutterstock(2)

As the promo continues, Scheana Shay turns to Ariana Madix to see whether she knew anything about the breakup. Ariana, 36, responds, “No idea.”

Lisa Vanderpump is later shown confronting James during the taping and claiming that he fooled everyone with his and Raquel’s romance. “We believed what you were showing us was the truth,” Lisa, 61, says in the video, to which James replies, “It was.”

The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum, however, isn’t convinced, adding, “But it wasn’t!”

Things take a dramatic turn when Raquel asks James if he wanted her engagement ring back right then, proceeding to pull the diamond sparkler off her hand and seemingly returning it to her former fiancé.

Related: Pump Rules' Raquel Details James Split for 1st Time, Reveals When It Ended

Raquel and James got engaged in May 2021 after five years of dating. The romantic proposal played out on season 9 of the Bravo reality series — but off screen, the pair’s relationship fizzled out after an argument between James and Raquel’s dad in November 2021 left the California native feeling rattled.

“The future of Thanksgivings and Christmases and holidays was looking like it was going to be either James or my family,” Raquel said on the January 7 episode of the “Scheananigans” podcast. “Especially, like, if we had a baby, James would make my parents out as, like, the ‘not good’ grandparents and kind of put that in their heads. Foreseeing this future and what it was all coming down to, [I realized] I don’t want that.”

Despite the exes’ ups and downs during their relationship, Raquel told Scheana, 36, during her podcast appearance that James was “calm” when she finally broke things off.

Related: Every Bravo Star Breakup in 2021: Lala and Randall, Kathryn and Chleb, More

“I was preparing for the worst, and it was the best possible outcome, I guess, that it could have been,” she recalled. “Because he really did listen to me and was understanding of where I was coming from. He respected my decision. He was like, ‘If your heart isn’t in it anymore then I understand. We need to go our separate ways.’”

The Sonoma State University alum noted that the anxiety she felt about taping the Vanderpump Rules reunion is what caused her and James to address their split on camera.

“[It was] gut-wrenching because I was so horrified that I might say something — speak my mind, where it wasn’t going to put James in a good light,” Raquel remembered, adding that the duo made the decision to talk about their breakup once they arrived on set.

The season 9 Vanderpump Rules reunion special airs on Bravo Tuesday, January 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

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