James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss shocked their costars when they announced their split at the beginning of the reunion.
“We have decided to break off the engagement. It’s been something that I have been thinking about for a while, and I think that James has noticed that my heart hasn’t been fully in it,” Raquel, 27, emotionally shared on Tuesday, January 25. “I didn’t want to give up on him because he really has shown me how dedicated he is to me and the things that he is willing to do to better himself. But I feel like it is something deep within. I have been having nightmares about our wedding day, and I think that’s a telltale sign that something is wrong.”
James, 30, explained that a previous conversation about their love for one another changed the trajectory of their romance.
“We had a conversation a couple of months ago. I asked her if I am your soulmate and she said, ‘Do you think I am your soulmate?’ It was almost like the first time that I felt like we weren’t destined in the galaxy,” he recalled. “It wasn’t a clear answer. It wasn’t like, ‘Absolutely you are my soulmate.’ That’s how it should be I feel like. At least that is what I want. And we rather just end it and pull the Band-Aid off before we get married, have a baby and f–king get a divorce. That is literally the last thing I want.”
The exes previously confirmed that they split after filming wrapped on the Vanderpump Rules reunion special last month.
“After these 5 wonderful years we had together, we decided we have two different goals and made the decision to call off the engagement,” they wrote in a joint statement in December 2021. “We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore. We want nothing but the best for each other so please keep any thoughts positive. Sending Love.”
Ahead of the reunion airing, James posted photos from his 30th birthday celebration in Vegas which included him holding hands with a mystery woman. A source exclusively told Us Weekly that the DJ was “not dating” since going his separate ways with Raquel.
“He went to Vegas for his birthday with a group of six friends,” the insider said on Tuesday. “He’s been down about the breakup and has been busy working, so he really wanted a fun trip to Vegas.”
That same day, the former beauty pageant queen reflected on how “anxiety ridden” she was while preparing to watch the reunion.
“It definitely is one of the most emotional days of my life and I am on the verge of panic and rage. Even though it doesn’t look like I am, I am,” Raquel wrote via her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, before later adding, “Thank you guys so much for checking in with me. I’m feeling much much better. I just needed a few minutes and it’s really nice to know that I have friends supporting me and that are in my corner, so love you guys.”
Lala Kent‘s split from Randall Emmett was another hot topic of conversation at the VPR reunion after the beauty mogul, 31, previously gushed about her then-fiancé, 50, throughout the season. Lala originally went public with Randall in 2018 and announced their engagement later that year. After they postponed their April 2020 wedding ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic, the pair welcomed daughter Ocean one year later.
The Give Them Lala author sparked breakup rumors when she deleted all the photos of the director from her Instagram feed in in October 2021. The following month, Us confirmed that Lala and Randall ended their engagement.
“Randall did not want to split but it was Lala’s decision. The trust is gone,” an insider exclusively shared with Us at the time. “He’s been trying to win her back. … For now, she’s not wearing her ring and she’s truly focused on her daughter and her projects. She’s trying to keep everything private.”
After filming the reunion special in December 2020, Lala opened up about what she learned from sharing so much of her life on television.
“I’ve been on this show for six years, I’ve changed a lot as a person — no one can tell me otherwise. … So, when I think back on my time [on the show], I love it, it’s been the ultimate mirror for me, but after that reunion, I sat back and thought, ‘Is this the space for me anymore or do we need to do some soul searching?'” the Row actress revealed during an episode of her “Give Them Lala” podcast that same month.
“I didn’t hear from one person on my cast except for Raquel [Leviss] to say, ‘Hope you’re doing OK,'” she added at the time. “That was very telling for me. … I’m not saying that this group of my friends are bad people in any way. Just because I’m going through something doesn’t mean the world stops. … But I was visibly upset on the reunion, and for not one of them except for my little Bambi to reach out and say, ‘I just want to say I’m sorry for what you’re going through,’ was, like I said, eye-opening.”
Scroll through the gallery below for more revelations from the Vanderpump Rules reunion: