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Lisa Vanderpump defends supporting cheater Tom Sandoval after finale backlash
Lisa Vanderpump isn’t ready to address speculation that she knew about Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss’ affair months before it came to light.
“I mean, I never kind of give the game away,” the “Vanderpump Rules” matriarch exclusively told Page Six Tuesday night during an FYC event at The Aster in Hollywood, Calif., where she and executive producer Alex Baskin discussed the show on stage before attending Emmy voters.
Baskin has said a “twist” is coming at the end of the Season 10 reunion, teasing the revelation is so shocking in nature that it might impact whether cast members move forward with Bravo’s unscripted hit.
“I’m not saying what it is,” Vanderpump asserted before joking, “OK, I’ll tell you — it’s me shagging Andy [Cohen]!”
For her part, Ariana Madix — the aggrieved party at the center of Scandoval — recently told “Call Her Daddy” podcast host Alex Cooper that she doesn’t believe Vanderpump knowingly protected Sandoval, 40, amid his sordid romance with Leviss, 28.
The restaurateur, 62 — who is in business with Sandoval, a co-owner of her West Hollywood, Calif., bar TomTom — admitted that it’s tough to navigate the current divide among her cast as she feels like a “mother” to most of them.
Vanderpump is aware that a loud portion of viewers was displeased with her approach to a one-on-one discussion with Sandoval that aired in the explosive finale — during which the cover band singer hyperventilated as he tried making sense of the fallout from his indiscretions.
“A lot of people criticized me and said, ‘Why didn’t I jump on him and chastise him and berate him?’ But everybody had done that already,” she said, clarifying that she “absolutely [condemns]” his infidelity.
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“But I think when you have a child or a teenager or a young adult … when they’ve done wrong and everybody’s told them, what’s the point in me reiterating it?” Vanderpump continued. “He knew that, OK? So yeah, I was trying to say, ‘Calm down, let’s try and look forward.’”
As Sandoval tours with Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras and Leviss continues treatment at a mental health facility, Vanderpump is proud of Madix, 37, for strides she’s made in the wake of a betrayal that left her “heartbroken” and “blindsided.”
“You know what, I love seeing somebody come back from something and not be — even though she was a victim — victimized and act like that,” she said of Madix, who has secured acting roles, major brand partnerships, splashy press opportunities and a new romance with hunky fitness pro Daniel Wai.
“I think that she’s living her best life. And I always say don’t get mad, get even and live your best life,” Vanderpump elaborated.
“That’s why we went to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner together in our gowns and everything. I was like, ‘Come on, let’s go! Let’s show the world that you’re still kicking butt.’”
Baskin is equally impressed by Madix, who swiftly dumped Sandoval — whom she had dated for nearly a decade — in early March after discovering his tryst with Leviss.
“I could not be more proud of her for the way that she’s handled this. She very well could have crumbled, so it’s great to see her soar from all of this,” he gushed, adding that the Something About Her co-founder’s exalted position in the Bravo fandom hasn’t fazed her.
“She also still has a good head on her shoulders, so I don’t think it’s fundamentally changed who she is,” Baskin said. “She’s still hanging out with the same people, but there just is a wild level of interest in her and everything that she does right now.”
“Vanderpump Rules” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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