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Raquel Leviss is suing her ‘Vanderpump Rules’ co-stars. Here’s why

The reality star alleges that her castmates Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval subjected her to revenge porn, eavesdropping, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress.
/ Source: TODAY

Rachel Leviss is suing her former "Vanderpump Rules" castmates Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix, seeking damages and relief for eavesdropping, revenge porn, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress.

Leviss, who previously went by the name Raquel, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 29, per court documents obtained by NBC News. ("Vanderpump Rules" airs on Bravo, which is owned by NBCUniversal,'s parent company.)

What does the lawsuit say, exactly?

Leviss is suing her former co-stars for damages and injunctive relief alleging Sandoval recorded and Madix distributed explicit videos of her tied to the cheating scandal known as Scandoval, which led to an explosion of viewers of their show “Vanderpump Rules.”

"Leviss was a victim of the predatory and dishonest behavior of an older man, who recorded sexually explicit videos of her without her knowledge or consent, which were then distributed, disseminated, and discussed publicly by a scorned woman seeking vengeance, catalyzing the scandal," the lawsuit states.

In Season 10 of "Vanderpump Rules" Madix discovered that Leviss and Sandoval were having an affair after she watched a FaceTime call between the two. While appearing on an episode of Bethenny Frankel's podcast in August, Leviss said this call was recorded without her consent.

According to the lawsuit, Madix learned about the affair by finding "sexually explicit videos" of Leviss on Sandoval's phone.

"Leviss is informed and believes, and on such information and belief alleges, that the explicit videos were recorded by Sandoval without her knowledge or consent in or around February 2023," it reads.

Madix then obtained "at least" two of these videos and "distributed them and/or showed them to others without Leviss's knowledge or consent," the lawsuit alleges. has reached out to representatives for Leviss, Madix and Sandoval for comment.

Vanderpump Rules - Season 10
Tom SandovalCasey Durkin / Bravo

The lawsuit also addresses the viral nature of Scandoval, a nickname for the cheating scandal, and dives into Leviss’ experiences with Bravo and Evolution Media, the network that runs the show and the production company of the series, respectively.

"‘Scandoval’ injected new life into a previously faltering series, causing its viewership to explode to unseen levels and making its cast members mega-celebrities. Due to a narrative deliberately fomented by Bravo, Evolution, and the cast, Leviss became an object of public scorn and ridicule,” it reads.

Leviss alleges she was "misled" by the network and production company and believed she couldn't speak out publicly about the affair.

"As a result, she suffered in silence as Bravo and Evolution watched viewership explode, and the rest of the cast enjoyed unseen levels of public recognition and professional opportunity,” it reads.

After the scandal went viral, Leviss sought mental health treatment and decided to leave “Vanderpump Rules.”

What have Leviss' lawyers said about the case?

In a statement to NBC News, Leviss' lawyer Bryan Freedman reveals that the mental health aspect of the case appealed to him when he took Leviss' case.

Freedman said he was outraged by what he called NBC and Bravo’s use of “illegal NDAs as cudgels to profit off their employees,” adding, "the idea that human beings are expected to sacrifice their mental and emotional health in service of Bravo’s ratings is obscene." has reached out to NBCUniversal, Bravo, producer Andy Cohen and Evolution Media for comment.

Raquel Leviss, Tom Sandoval, and Ariana Madix in season 10 of "Vanderpump Rules."
Raquel Leviss, Tom Sandoval, and Ariana Madix in season 10 of "Vanderpump Rules."Nicole Weingart / Bravo

Freedman went on to say that "hundreds of reality TV participants" have reached out to him and his partner Mark Geragos and said the team is "committed to ensuring that they have zealous advocates to confront the damage these employers have wreaked on their lives."

Geragos also weighed in on the case and said the lawsuit is “squarely about illegal behavior and those who traffic in it and enable it.”

"Rachel has apologized for her part in an affair. That’s not a crime. Tom and Ariana are alleged here to have engaged in criminal acts. They then doubled down and used those actions to shame, bully, belittle, and intentionally try to destroy Rachel’s mental health," Geragos' statement reads. "The law makes it clear that recording someone without their consent and distributing that illegal recording is punishable by law; however, doing so while knowingly enticing them to engage in sexual acts deserves the harshest of penalties allowable under the law.”

What is Scandoval? 

During Season 10 of the Bravo series "Vanderpump Rules," viewers learned that Sandoval and Leviss were having an affair and he had cheated on his longtime partner, Madix. Madix and Sandoval had been together for nearly a decade at the time.

The fallout played out onscreen, documenting the days after Madix learned of the affair and she broke up with Sandoval.

“I was ride or f------ die for you, and I had her back as well and the fact that she’s continued to smile in my face while also smiling on FaceTime with you is one of the most God awful disgusting things I’ve ever heard of,” Madix told Sandoval.

Vanderpump Rules

Both Leviss and Sandoval publicly apologized for their affair and appeared in an intense reunion special at the end of the season.

In August 2023, Leviss said she wouldn't return to reality TV and said she felt like she had been portrayed as "the ultimate reality TV villain."