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Vanderpump Rules drama surrounding Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix explained

The Bravo co-stars were in a nine-year-long relationship

vanderpump rules explainer
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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The drama surrounding Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix's relationship and the affair that caused it to end continues to dominate vast swathes of the internet — one gossip columnist even called it "our Brangelina", and The New York Times has covered it.

The Vanderpump Rules co-stars had been together for nine years before an allegedly months-long affair with fellow Bravo star Raquel Leviss created a rift.

Here's a breakdown explaining everything that went down between the reality TV couple and all the different ways in which it has exploded.

tom sandoval with ariana madix© Photo: Getty Images

Tom and Ariana met in 2013 and began dating the following year

Tom, Ariana, and Raquel's relationship explained

Tom, now 39, and Ariana, now 37, had been together for nine years following the former's break-up with fellow Vanderpump star Kristen Doute. They met in 2013, when Ariana was introduced on the second season of the show, a spinoff of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills starring restauranteur Lisa Vanderpump; they began dating in 2014.

They eventually moved in together, and in late 2022 Ariana spoke openly about their future, admitting that she didn't see marriage "on the agenda".

MORE: Vanderpump Rules' Ariana Madax 'rallying' with friends after discovering Tom Sandoval's affair: all we know

Raquel, 28, meanwhile, was introduced to the show in season five in 2016 as the girlfriend of cast member James Kennedy. The two got engaged in 2021 but split up a few months later.

Allegedly, while Tom and Ariana had been having problems for a while, she discovered his affair earlier this month, which led to their break up.

raquel leviss© Photo: Getty Images

Raquel joined the show as James Kennedy's girlfriend

How Vanderpump Rules has been affected

A few of the stars from the show have spoken out about the affair as new episodes of the current season continue to air. 

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Lala Kent slashed the prices for products part of her make-up collab with Raquel, while Scheana Schay shared a photograph of herself with Ariana writing: "Always got your back! #TeamAriana" Check out below how Scheana has further supported Ariana.

WATCH: Vanderpump Rules' Ariana Madix 'rallying' with friends after discovering Tom Sandoval's affair

Even Bravo boss Andy Cohen spoke of the news on his radio show, specifically regarding the Vanderpump reunion that would be filming in less than two weeks, saying: "This is a reunion that's going to be… I'm girding my loins."

Page Six also reported that Raquel sent a legal letter to her co-stars for circulating an intimate video of hers with Tom that caused the end of his relationship.

View post on Instagram

Tom broke his silence with an apology to Ariana

Tom and Raquel break their silence

Tom initially reacted by sharing a message on social media asking people to not directly attack his business partner and friend Tom Schwartz, who had been implicated in the drama for protecting his friend and the affair especially as the backlash has trickled down to his two restaurants, TomTom and Schwartz and Sandy's.

However, earlier on Wednesday, he shared a statement on Instagram apologizing to Ariana and seemingly admitting the affair, stating that he "made reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love".

Raquel then also shared a statement with ET admitting her part in the relationship and apologizing to her fans and specifically Ariana, adding that she was seeking counseling.

View post on Instagram

Raquel followed suit with a statement she shared with ET

"There is no excuse, I am not a victim, and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana," she wrote.

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While Ariana herself has not spoken up about the incident, her co-stars have rallied behind her, and her true feelings will most likely be part of the upcoming Vanderpump Reunion special.

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