Vanderpump Rules star Raquel Leviss has revealed why Tom Sandoval wanted the cameras to stop rolling when they spoke in private at the Season 10 Vanderpump Rules reunion taping.

Raquel and Sandoval had an affair for about six months while Sandoval was dating Raquel's best friend and Vanderpump Rules co-star, Ariana Madix.

Ariana and Sandoval appeared to end their relationship of nearly a decade in March after headlines surfaced that he had been cheating on her.

"He was not happy with [Tom Schwartz] when he said at the reunion that he found out [about the affair] in August [2022]," Raquel, 29, said of Sandoval during the Tuesday, January 16 episode of her "Rachel Goes Rogue" podcast.

Schwartz, Sandoval's best friend and business partner, initially claimed he didn't find out about Raquel and Sandoval's affair until January 2023.

But during the Vanderpump Rules' Season 10 reunion, Schwartz revealed he actually found out about Sandoval's secret life in August 2022, which was the same month in which he had hooked up with Raquel at their co-star Scheana Shay and her husband Brock Davies' wedding.

"We're partially acting on this show and the main goal is to not break that fourth wall, and Sandoval I think wanted to maintain that," Raquel claimed.

Sandoval allegedly wanted Raquel to stick to the timeline they had discussed for the length of their affair.

Sandoval didn't want Vanderpump Rules viewers to think he had been cheating on Ariana for as long as he had been, according to Raquel, and so he was frustrated when Schwartz spilled the beans.

"That was part of the conversation that we had when he pulled me aside out of the trailer and the cameras went down," Raquel claimed.

"He was like, 'It's not cool that Schwartz came clean with his answer,' or he didn't come fully clean. But he definitely didn't stick to the date Sandoval wanted him to."

Raquel continued, "I think he was reinforcing that I would stick to the story to keep me in his grasp, so I wouldn't go rogue and expose it all. So it was definitely a control tactic and it seemed to have worked for the time being."

One month before the reunion aired on Bravo, Schwartz spoke about "Scandoval" on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen after many fans accused him of covering up for his pal.
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"I learned about the affair in August. The one-night stand was in August and then it became, from my point of view, it became an emotional affair," Schwartz said in April 2023.

"Which is still inappropriate, but I didn't think it was linear. [Then] in January, he came to me and told me that he was in love with Raquel."

Also during her podcast, Raquel suggested that producers seemed to produce storylines based on what fans' comments on social media and what they hoped would happen on the show.

"It is very strange how the fans' comments will influence our story line and how we go about filming. I guess it is part of the producers' jobs to know what the fans want to see and what they are asking for," Raquel said.

"A lot of cast members will self-produce and will be thinking about what story line they're going to be involved in as the season comes up. The comments that the fans will put out there seems to influence [what happens]."

Raquel elaborated, "If there's a little seed of, 'So and so should date so and so.' It seems to come into fruition."

Raquel revealed that producers actually encouraged her to come onto Schwartz after he initially didn't show any interest in her.

"I had this little seed planted in my head that, 'Oh, like that could be a fun storyline for Season 10 and because we're both single,' and so when I made that move, he turned it down, and I was like, 'Okay, that's that's that," Raquel explained.

"I'm not going to try again because it was stupid to begin with and he clearly wasn't into it."

Raquel and Schwartz ultimately kissed in Mexico, pushing forward an exciting plot twist for Vanderpump Rules, and Raquel felt she was later "rewarded" with her birthday trip.

"I was like, 'That's what I've been wanting. That's what I asked for.' So immediately I was rewarded and we were all celebrating," Raquel recalled.

"It just felt like this high. Like I did something right. So no, it wasn't initially a cover to cover up my relationship with Sandoval. It turned into that when we kept the secret and still played into this flirty role that Schwartz and I had."

Raquel concluded, "I question whether or not Sandoval strategized that move so that it could be a cover. But I do know that Schwartz was fully aware of the situation."

Raquel previously expressed how she hated being secretive and so deceitful, sneaking around with Sandoval even around the time Ariana's had grandmother passed away.

After Raquel filmed the Vanderpump Rules reunion, she entered a treatment facility to check her mental health in April 2023 amid backlash over the affair.

Raquel confirmed on Bethenny Frankel's "ReWives" podcast in August 2023 that she had decided against starring on Vanderpump Rules again.

In fact, Raquel said returning to reality television is actually a big "hell no" for her.

"I refuse to not respect myself on that level where I would endure that emotional abuse any longer," Raquel vented. "And I can't do that to myself."

Raquel said "of course" Vanderpump Rules producers wanted her back, but she noted how the footage probably wouldn't be great because she has "a no contact policy with every single cast member."

Raquel also shared how salary negotiations with Bravo were not in her favor. She alleged that Bravo was not willing to pay her "equally" to Sandoval and Ariana and she wants to feel love and validation.

"I asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana and for them to reimburse me for my treatment expenses. They refused to pay me equally," Raquel said.

"I was considering going back if I was going to be paid equally, because I feel like when you pay your employees, it really shows how much you value them."

Lisa Vanderpump previously told TMZ that she believes Raquel was paid $361,000 for Season 10, but Us Weekly reported that people who have starred on the show for a longer period of time earn more.

Ariana, for her part, benefited career-wise and financially from being devastated by Ariana and Sandoval's relationship. Ariana was even asked to make an appearance on Love Island's fifth season and compete on Dancing with the Stars this fall.

Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules is set to premiere Tuesday, January 30 at 8PM ET/PT on Bravo.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.