There’s no denying that the “Scandoval” affair between Raquel Leviss and her “Vanderpump Rules” costar Tom Sandoval is messy beyond belief. A woman’s longtime partner cheating on her with her best friend? The good old-fashioned man-and-his-secretary dalliance would be less unseemly.
Accordingly, Leviss has become something of a pariah since the news broke as an angry backlash to the affair has erupted among “VPR” fans. But recent rumors and developments make it seem like the uproar may be taking a dangerous toll, and it might be time to ask if the backlash toward Raquel Leviss has gone too far.
‘Vanderpump Rules’ star Raquel Leviss is reportedly in a mental health facility.
A range of rumors about Leviss’s whereabouts have circulated with Sandoval himself claiming she’s been pushed to check into a mental health facility amid the scandal, her own team has suggested the facility stay was planned even before the scandal broke and — according to rumors circulating on DeuxMoi — fellow “VPR” castmate Tom Schwartz has been out and about claiming that people close to her “are concerned about her harming herself.”
All the while, fans have accused Leviss of staging the whole thing for attention or even claimed that she’s actually hiding out at the ultra-posh Miraval resort in Arizona, living a life of spa treatments and massages.
Putting aside the cruel implication that someone would fake a mental health crisis, one thing is clear — Raquel Leviss is shutting herself off from the outside world and sometimes when someone needs a break, we should give them one.
The stars shocked the world when the news broke in March 2023 that Sandoval and Leviss had been having an affair behind costar Ariana Madix’s back, after nine years in a relationship with Sandoval and a long-running friendship with Leviss.
The angry reaction from the show’s fans is a perfectly understandable response, especially once the details of the affair came out—Leviss and Sandoval first had hooked up in Madix’s car, in Madix’s driveway, while she was in the house mourning the death of her dog.
Anger towards Leviss is about the least surprising thing about this entire mess, but the outrage has gone overboard and it’s clear those involved are suffering. It’s not our relationship so maybe it’s time to stay out of it.
Lala Kent may have said it best when she questioned the real motive behind Raquel Leviss’s action.
In an April 2023 ‘VPR’ episode that aired just days before Leviss’s announcement, costar Lala Kent confronted her directly about her mental health issues during a conversation the two had at costars’ Scheana Shay and Brock Davies’ wedding. In the conversation, she confronts Leviss for kissing Schwartz, the ex of yet another co-star Katie Maloney.
Kent cautioned Leviss that she believes her entire sense of self is derived from her dating relationships. “You know what I think? I think that your self-worth comes from the approval of a man, which is very sad to me,” Kent told her. That’s an unhealthy state to be in under any circumstances, let alone for someone in the midst of an extremely public relationship mess.
This may be part of why Kent went on to tell Leviss she thinks she “has a mental breakdown coming.” She cautioned Leviss that she’s “gonna need some love and… some support.” That is, of course, the opposite of what she’s gotten, at least on a public level. Leviss has even reported receiving death threats because of the affair.
It’s time to leave Raquel Leviss alone.
What she did is sordid, unkind, a betrayal—the whole nine, and the experience of being cheated on can be profoundly damaging. Some people never recover from that breach of trust.
But there’s reason to believe Leviss is in sincere and dangerous trouble. Ask anyone who’s been through it—people being worried that someone they know and love is on the verge of harming themself is a terrifyingly serious matter.
A startling number of people do not survive—according to 2021 data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 14% of people with serious suicidal ideation go on to make a suicide attempt, and one of them dies of suicide every 11 minutes.
Related Stories From YourTango:
It’s safe to assume those risks magnify when you are a public figure with the full force of a television show fandom and social media attacking you on a daily basis. And sure, Leviss “asked for it” by signing up to be on a reality show, and celebrities love and crave attention, and “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”—and all the other hackneyed, cliché boilerplate we trot out any time a person’s fame goes necrotic.
She’s still a human being and one who’s in trouble. We can deal with whether or not she “deserves” what’s coming to her once she’s no longer in a serious mental health crisis. This isn’t a difficult concept and shouldn’t be controversial to say, especially given how disproportionate the hate for Leviss has been compared to the man she had an affair with.
Hate Raquel Leviss if you want. Nobody’s asking for her to be forgiven. This shouldn’t need to be explained, but there’s a huge difference between absolving someone and laying off them so that they don’t hurt themselves. It’s not that complicated.
So loathe her until the end of days if you must. But as far as an outward projection of that loathing goes, maybe keep it to yourself. It’s time to maybe take a look inward and give the Raquels of the world a break. The point has been made. Enough.
John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.