Howie Mandel Addresses Lala Kent's 'Vitriol' Over Tom Sandoval Interview

Defending his approach. Howie Mandel had no regrets about his conversation with Tom Sandoval about infidelity — and he doesn’t care what critics like Lala Kent think.

“It’s funny because they say that I didn’t do homework? It’s very funny because I’m watching some of the people talk about what I did, and they have some very funny takes on me,” Mandel, 67, said during a Wednesday, April 12, appearance on Extra. “Lala in her [Instagram] Story … she’s sitting in some hotel room in New York, in the dark, saying that the lighting was bad on my podcast. She’s in the dark! That was her criticism!”

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The America’s Got Talent judge noted that he has “never felt this kind of vitriol” directed toward him. “Twitter feed is a mess of hate,” he said about the online “negativity” that made him feel like he’s “on lockdown.”

Kent, 32, for her part, had some choice words after Sandoval, 40, chose to address his affair with Raquel Leviss on Mandel’s podcast. “It’s not that I don’t dig Howie Mandel. Dope, cool, got it, whatever, but what a weird f–king first interview,” she said via her Instagram Stories on Tuesday, April 11. “That is so f–king random. Like, the game show host? The one who fist-bumps you because he’s scared of germs?”

The Utah native referred to the conversation as “strange and so off-brand” due to Mandel’s lack of knowledge on Vanderpump Rules drama.

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Kent later clarified her comments about the comedian, saying in an Instagram video on Wednesday, “Something that I realized today is that Howie is a judge on America’s Got Talent. How could I forget about that? He’s, like, legit. For some reason I thought he did Deal or No Deal.” (Mandel hosted Deal or No Deal from 2005 to 2009.)

Mandel’s bombshell interview with Sandoval marked the first time the Missouri native spoke at length about his split from Ariana Madix. After his cheating scandal made headlines in March, Sandoval recalled how he initially developed a bond with Leviss, 28.

“The feelings were something very, very strong,” he said during the Tuesday episode of the “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” podcast, referring to his first kiss with Leviss in August 2022. “Those feelings that I had started to take over in a sense. Logic went out the window. Because I wasn’t experiencing that [with Ariana] — I hadn’t experienced that [before].”

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The TomTom co-owner claimed his relationship with Madix, 37, was over before he developed a romance with the beauty pageant contestant. “Like many relationships, it felt like it became more of like a best friends, family [thing] — sometimes roommates,” he continued. “There were a lot of ways where the relationship was just lacking the intimacy, the connection. We would travel more by ourselves than we would together. I would go to weddings by myself.”

According to Sandoval, he remained in consistent contact with Leviss before coming clean to Madix. “I was seeing Raquel as often as I could. I know that sounds horrible,” he shared. “And FaceTiming her all the time. And Ariana didn’t even notice because that’s just how separate our lives were. I had to actually tell her, ‘How have you not noticed how distant I’ve been lately?’”

The Schwartz & Sandy’s cofounder also clarified where he and Leviss stand amid the drama, adding, “We’re really good friends. We are not putting any label on it.”

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Madix has yet to publicly address Sandoval’s claims about their split. After taking a brief social media break amid the drama, the Florida native previously issued a statement thanking those that supported her.

“Hi. where to begin? i want to express my most sincere gratitude for the outpouring of love and support i have received from friends, family, and people i’ve never even met in the last two weeks,” she wrote via Instagram in March. “When i have felt like i couldn’t even stand, you all have given me the strength to continue and seen me through my darkest hours. to say i have been devastated and broken is an understatement. however, i know that i am not in this alone.”

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Madix continued: “So many of my closest friends are also grieving this loss right now and reeling from this betrayal on so many levels. i am so f—king lucky to have the best support system in the world and i hope i can repay every single person for the love you have shown me. what doesn’t kill me better run. love, ariana.”

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