In the first episode of his podcast, 'Everybody Loves Tom,' the 'Vanderpump Rules' star confessed that the revelation of his affair with Leviss pushed him to the edge
In the first episode of his podcast Everybody Loves Tom, the Vanderpump Rules star confessed the revelation of his affair with Leviss pushed him to the edge of contemplating suicide.
The Bravo star described feeling overwhelmed, unable to see past his emotions. Sandoval said the intensity of those feelings culminated one day upon returning to the home he once shared with his ex, Ariana Madix.
Sandoval remembered running into late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington a few days before he died by suicide in July 2017, with Sandoval saying he never understood how Bennington could be in that frame of mind until he found himself in the middle of the exact same thoughts.
"I'll never forget this. Like I went to the Grove and I was a huge Linkin Park fan, and I saw Chester at The Grove coming out of the garage,” Sandoval told his friend, celebrity jewelry designer Kyle Chan.
“He seemed happy or, I don't know, he just was animated, energetic on the phone. I saw him. I was like, ‘Oh my God, it's Chester.’ Literally, days later, he died. He had, you know, killed himself. And I couldn't, I could never understand why, but when you get into that headspace, it's like a domino effect. Your world starts collapsing on itself and you cannot see outside of your feelings. Your peripheral goes away. Your sense of like, thinking about the future, like your ability to snap out of it goes away. And there were some times where I was, you know, felt very, very close.”
The TOMTOM Bar owner made headlines in March when news of him cheating on Madix with Leviss broke. Sources told PEOPLE it lasted six months, leaving Madix both "blindsided" and "devastated."
Sandoval credits a handful of steadfast friends, including Vanderpump Rules co-star Billie Lee, for standing by him amidst the turmoil, acknowledging that their unwavering support essentially saved his life. The reality TV star also delved into his dynamics with Leviss, 28, highlighting the challenges of loneliness he faced while she was undergoing treatment in a mental health facility.
“I was like at her beck and call in a sense because you couldn’t have your phone in there. No access to anything. And so I had to wait for her call, which can only happen maybe twice, once a day,” Sandoval said. “And so when I would get that call from her, it would be like, 'Oh, my gosh,' But I was constantly waiting there. And then, you know, some days, I wouldn't get that call and it would, you know, it would really affect my mood.”
After the revelation of Sandoval's prolonged affair with Leviss, her representative confirmed she sought mental health treatment at an Arizona program. Her rep confirmed she was not there for "rehab," but rather a program focused on "mental health and trauma therapy."
Following the controversy, Sandoval and Leviss parted ways. While Leviss has opted out of VPR, Sandoval chose to return in the recent season. On the podcast, Sandoval said he hasn't spoken to Leviss since the end of June.
Amidst the turmoil, Sandoval reflects that his infidelity towards Madix taught him valuable lessons, and he's striving to improve himself.
"It has been such a learning experience, you know, with going through everything and with what I did and taking time to actually see the repercussions of my actions," the Bravo star said. "And, you know, when you're in a scenario like that and you're so emotionally wrapped up in your feelings, you don't think logically and you're just f---ing selfish."
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.
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