scandoval

Rachel Leviss Is Suing Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix

Almost exactly a year later, and there is still Scandoval fallout. Vanderpump Rules star Rachel Leviss, formerly known as Raquel, is suing Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix. As Deadline reported on February 29, Leviss is suing the former couple for revenge porn, eavesdropping, and invasion of privacy.

“[Scandoval] caused mayhem in Leviss’s life, culminating in monthslong in-patient treatment at a mental-health facility and her departure from the show,” the suit reads, according to excerpts published by Deadline. “Fomented by Bravo and Evolution in conjunction with the cast, Leviss was subjected to a public skewering with little precedent and became, without exaggeration, one of the most hated women in America.”

In her suit, Leviss claims that she was “a victim of the predatory and dishonest behavior of an older man, who recorded sexually explicit videos of her without her knowledge or consent, which were then distributed, disseminated, and discussed publicly by a scorned woman seeking vengeance, catalyzing the scandal.” If you recall, Madix found out that Sandoval was cheating on her with Leviss after looking through his phone. On her podcast, former cast member (and fellow Sandoval ex-girlfriend) Kristen Doute said that Madix found an explicit screen-recorded FaceTime call of Sandoval and Leviss. When news broke of the affair, Leviss’s lawyers reached out to several VPR cast members, warning them not to share the video as it was recorded “illegally without Raquel’s knowledge or consent.”

Bravo and the production company Evolution Media are not defendants in the case, but Leviss’s lawyers do not let them off the hook. In the filing, they claim that both companies led Leviss to believe she could not speak out about Sandoval and Madix’s alleged mistreatment.

“As a result, she suffered in silence as Bravo and Evolution watched viewership explode, and the rest of the cast enjoyed unseen levels of public recognition and professional opportunity,” the suit claims. “Meanwhile, Leviss, who was humiliated and villainized for public consumption, remains a shell of her former self, with her career prospects stunted and her reputation in tatters.”

Leviss does admit that her actions “were morally objectionable and deeply hurtful to Madix.” She is seeking unspecified damages, and the destruction of any copies of the NSFW video that still exist.

“This lawsuit is squarely about illegal behavior and those who traffic in it and enable it. Rachel has apologized for her part in an affair. That’s not a crime. Tom and Ariana are alleged here to have engaged in criminal acts. They then doubled down and used those actions to shame, bully, belittle, and intentionally try to destroy Rachel’s mental health,” Leviss’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, said in a statement to the Cut.

Earlier this month, Vanderpump Rules’ titular star and executive producer, Lisa Vanderpump, called the lawsuit “ridiculous,” telling TMZ, “I think if you don’t want to have somebody share your porn, then don’t send it to your best friend’s boyfriend, right?” She also joked that Madix never shared the video with her. “Why did she leave me out? I don’t get it,” she said.

Leviss didn’t appreciate her former boss’s response. On the March 11 episode of her podcast, Rachel Goes Rogue, Leviss accused Vanderpump of “victim shaming,” saying, “I know Lisa and I were never super, super tight in the same way she is with Tom. But it doesn’t feel good to have somebody speak out about this lawsuit and the situation that’s very sensitive.” She said it’s “disappointing” that Vanderpump is pushing “a certain type of story that isn’t anywhere near the truth of what has happened.” Leviss also claims that Vanderpump “turned on” her and has been “talking about and spreading certain propaganda and straight-up lies as a way to change the public’s perception of” her.

Leviss’s filing followed another bombshell Bravo lawsuit, in which former Real Housewives of New York star Leah McSweeney alleged that producers intentionally put her in situations where she might falter in her sobriety. She also claimed that Andy Cohen has a “proclivity for cocaine usage with his employees.”

The Cut has reached out to representatives for Sandoval and Madix for further comment and will update this post when we hear back.

Rachel Leviss Is Suing Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix