Leaving their mark on reality TV. Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix found themselves at the center of drama after joining Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules.
Viewers were initially introduced to Sandoval’s love life through his tumultuous relationship with Kristen Doute. Amid their on-and-off relationship, the former couple’s future was called into question when Madix came to work at Lisa Vanderpump‘s restaurant ON.
Rumors swirled that Sandoval and Madix hooked up while he was still with Doute — which both of the bartenders denied. Following his offscreen split from the former SUR waitress in 2014, Sandoval moved on with Madix later that year.
Doute, for her part, was vocal about her dislike for her ex-boyfriend’s new relationship. During season 3, the Michigan native shocked her fellow cast members when she invited a woman from Miami who claimed she slept with Sandoval to Los Angeles.
Madix later admitted that she didn’t have many regrets about the way she chose to handle the bombshell while cameras were rolling. “I don’t know. I was going to say yes. I should’ve just, like, stayed there and not left,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in October 2021 about fleeing the scene with Sandoval. “But we just went to a bar next door, had a drink and chilled until they were, like, ‘You have to come back here.’”
She continued: “The reason why we left is because we felt like production was pulling this whole thing. We were, like, ‘Oh, so random people just show up now. I do regret, I guess just not fully calling out the whole real story, like on camera and staying there.”
Earlier that year, Sandoval also questioned his decision to let Doute’s mistake rattle him so much. “If I can do anything over again, I just would have never even filmed with [Miami girl]. I just don’t think it’s really fair. Like, so I can, like, make up something about anybody and then end up on our show?” he told Us in August 2021. “I wish I would have just never even engaged in that at all.”
After mending their issues with Doute, Sandoval and Madix settled into their relationship. Although the pair are happy together, the Paradise City actress revealed throughout her time on Vanderpump Rules that she was struggling with her mental health.
Madix previously used her platform on the show to discuss topics, including her bisexuality and depression. During season 8, the Fancy AF Cocktails author revealed to Stassi Schroeder and Lala Kent that she wasn’t in a good place.
“I don’t enjoy most things very much, but you guys don’t know that because we don’t talk one-on-one,” Madix told Schroeder and Kent during an episode in February 2020. “I’m considering driving off the f–king freeway bridge when I’m driving home at night. I don’t talk to you guys about that stuff because it’s not safe. It’s not safe.”
At the time, Sandoval applauded Madix for addressing her issues and allowing others to see how she handles her depression.
“Obviously it’s something that she struggles with on a regular basis,” he shared with Us that same month. “All I could do is try to be supportive, try not to be annoying. Because I’ll try to overcompensate it and it’s annoying. I know it’s annoying, but I don’t know what to do. I want to help. I want to help, but you can only do so much.”
Later that year, Madix gushed about her boyfriend’s support and love for her in a special Instagram tribute. “Took a trip into the vault for this post and ended up with too many gems to fit into the slideshow. 7’s are lucky numbers to many people, but your double 7/7 birthday makes me the luckiest one ☺️ my favorite parts of life with you are the quiet mornings when we get to sleep in, eating too much food together, all the cuddles with our girls, and getting to see the world with you,” she wrote via Instagram in July 2020. “Even if it’s just a walk around the block, i love seeing everything with you. i love you so so much! happiest of birthdays 🥰.”
In March 2023, Us confirmed that the twosome called it quits after nine years together after Sandoval’s affair with costar Rachel Leviss. According to a source, the pair “were having problems for a while” before hitting their “breaking point.”
Two months later, Madix revealed that she knew Sandoval was unfaithful with Miami Girl. The Schwartz & Sandy’s cofounder, for his part, admitted during the season 10 finale of Vanderpump Rules that there “was one other time” when he cheated before his affair with Leviss.
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Scroll down to relive Sandoval and Madix’s offscreen romance: