‘Vanderpump Rules’ Stars Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss’ Friendship: From Costars and Allies to a Messy Love Triangle

Friends to foes? Ariana Madix and Raquel Leviss’ friendship was going strong until an affair with Tom Sandoval broke them up. The Vanderpump Rules costars were first seen on screen together during season 5 in 2016. By 2018, the women were popping up on each other’s social media pages and in 2021 fans couldn’t get enough of Madix and Leviss. As Leviss’ romance with James Kennedy flourished that same year, Madix and Sandoval, who began dating in 2014, grew even closer to the pair. The Fancy AF Cocktails coauthors were among the group of Bravo stars who were at “Rachella” in spring 2021 when Kennedy asked the California native to marry him. “My party people 😜☁️9,” Leviss captioned a group shot via Instagram from the engagement weekend in May 2021. However, seven months later, the former Miss Sonoma County announced that she and the DJ had parted ways after five years together. The twosome shared the news via social media in December 2021 ahead of filming the show’s season 9 reunion special. Leviss broke her silence over the split in January 2022 and revealed that she leaned on Madix and Sandoval in the weeks leading up to the breakup — even if the then-couple didn’t know it. “There wasn’t one thing exactly [that led to the split]. James has always felt like my parents haven’t embraced him into the family the way that he wanted to be,” the Sonoma State University alum said during an appearance on the “Scheananigans” podcast. “I found myself making excuses for him [after an argument he had with my dad]. It was getting to the point where my family and him were not meshing well.” Leviss revealed that she had to keep up appearances in late November 2021 when she went to Disneyland with Kennedy, Madix and Sandoval. “I felt like I had to put on an act for that, just to make sure that I was safe,” the TV personality continued. “Disneyland just isn’t as fun when you aren’t in love with the person that you’re with anymore, so it wasn’t my favorite experience. I’m so happy that Ariana and Tom came.” Madix, for her part, was by Leviss’ side after the split, kicking off the new year together and going out for multiple girls’ nights to Schwartz and Sandys after the restaurant opened in fall 2022. The ladies, however, have since seemingly had a falling out after news broke in March 2023 that Leviss hooked up with Sandoval amid his romance with Madix. (The California native previously raised eyebrows when she kissed costar Tom Schwartz shortly after his split from Katie Maloney in 2022.) Us Weekly confirmed in March 2023 that Madix and the Missouri native called it quits after nine years amid the affair claims. The Flagler College alum deactivated her social media accounts in the wake of the scandal while Leviss’ ex-fiancé, Kennedy threw subtle shade at his former partner. “Hope you all feel as sick as I do,” the U.K. native wrote via Instagram after sharing a screenshot of a headline related to Leviss and Sandoval’s scandal. “This explains everything.”Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more! Scroll down to see how Madix and Leviss’ friendship began — and where they stand now: