Making a statementVanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval broke his silence on his messy split from now-ex-girlfriend Ariana Madix and his cheating scandal with their costar Raquel Leviss by taking to Instagram to defend his friends and family. 

“Hey, I fully understand and deserve ur anger [and] disappointment towards me, but please leave [Tom] Schwartz, my friends and family out of this situation,” Tom, 39, wrote in a lengthy note on Saturday, March 4. “Schwartz specifically only found out about this very recently, and most definitely did not condone my actions. This was a very personal thing.”

The business owner then pointed to the apparent backlash that Schwartz & Sandy’s has been facing, adding, “Also, Schwartz & Sandy’s might have my name on it, but also there are 3 other partners and 20 employees, who especially rely on the restaurant for income for them and their families. Just like TomTom, I’m a small part of a much bigger thing. Please direct ur anger towards me and not them. They did nothing wrong.”

Tom concluded by apologizing to his business partners and employees who had to “suffer for [his] actions” and announced that he “will be taking a step back [and] taking a hiatus out of respect for my employees [and] partners.” 

“I need some time to address everything else,” he wrote. “Sorry for everything.”

Just hours after Life & Style confirmed the pair’s breakup, the Bravo personality, 39, took the stage on Friday, March 3, with his band, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras, and made a rather telling comment. 

“Have you ever been one of the most hated people in America?” Tom asked the crowd, according to Us Weekly. In response, many fans started yelling Ariana’s name, to which the VPR star responded by saying, “We love her.” 

ariana tom split

Earlier that day, rumors circulated that the Schwartz & Sandy’s co-owner had cheated on Ariana, 37, with Raquel, 28, during their relationship, which ended after nine years together. 

A source close to Ariana later confirmed the speculation by telling Life & Style, “The rumor is true — they, in fact, broke up due to Tom cheating on her with Raquel.” 

Shortly after news broke of her and Tom’s breakup, Ariana deactivated her Instagram account. However, Tom’s account remains active. 

For Raquel’s part, she previously made headlines when she had a one-time makeout session with Tom Schwartz in August 2022 following his split from ex-wife Katie Maloney

Although neither the TomTom co-owner nor the Paradise City actress have publicly confirmed that they split, their costars took to social media to weigh in on the cheating news, and they didn’t hold back with their opinions. 

James Kennedy was the first to share his reaction by reposting TMZ’s article via his Instagram page, writing in a comment, “Hope you all feel as sick as I do. This explains everything.” In a separate comment, he added, “Read it and weep. Tom’s a f—king creep!”

James, 31, started dating Raquel in 2016. They split in December 2021, seven months after they got engaged. 

Apart from the Bravolebrity, Lala Kent also chimed in on the news by taking to her Instagram Stories to send Tom a message. 

“Yeah. I’m the ‘overly douchey’ one,” the “Give Them Lala” podcast host, 32, across an article headline that read, “Tom Sandoval on feuding with ‘overly douchey’ Lala Kent.” 

Lala then added, “Oh Sandoval … Your problem with me is I’m a little too real for your comfort,” she wrote. “I’ve seen you for who you are for a long time, and you don’t like that. But, I think now is the time for you to shut the f–k up. I’m eatin’ good the next time I see you.”