Vanderpump Rules fans believe Tom Sandoval was filmed with a black eye caused by Ariana Madix allegedly punching him after he tried breaking up with her on Valentine’s Day. This reported incident happened about three weeks before the reality star, 37, discovered that Tom had been cheating on her with their co-star, Raquel Leviss, 28. The footage of Tom with a small bruise under his eye can be viewed in the midseason trailer for Season 10 of Vanderpump Rules, which debuted in March, and an image of Tom with his reported black eye can be seen below.

Tom Sandoval
Tom Sandoval’s right eye appeared to have a bruise next to it in the above photo, taken from the ‘VPR’ Season 10 trailer (Photo: Bravo)

The footage of Tom resurfaced after he claimed on the April 11 episode of the Howie Mandel Does Stuff podcast that his ex physically attacked him when she learned he no longer wanted to be with her. “So obviously she was very upset, she punched me and all this s***,” he claimed of their breakup to host Howie Mandel. “But after she calmed down, we started talking, and a couple days later I sit down and talk to her again and she’s like, ‘I’m not letting u leave me. You’re gonna have to force me out of this relationship.’ I was like, ‘I don’t think I can be faithful in a relationship with you right now.’”

“I hadn’t told her about Raquel yet but I was saying all these things,” he continued. “She’s like, ‘If you break up with me, you will effectively be ending my life.’ And I didn’t know what to do. She was completely in denial and not accepting it.” Of course, Ariana would discover Tom’s affair with Raquel weeks later along with the rest of the world. Although he previously said he wishes he had handled their split and his affair differently, Tom maintained that he was single starting on Feb. 14.

Tom Sandoval Ariana Madix
Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix were reportedly broken up when his affair made headlines in early March 2023 (Photo: JA/Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

“I actually did break up with her on Valentine’s day. So I had already broken up with her two weeks [before the affair news broke],” he stated. “I told her, ‘We don’t need to put anything on social media.’ We were on hold for a big brand together. So I was like, ‘We can keep this between us like we always have kept stuff between us and figure out a way to navigate this that helps us both out and makes it easier.’”

As fans may recall, Ariana was spotted supporting Tom and his band’s show at his restaurant, TomTom, in West Hollywood, in early March. That’s reportedly when she discovered the affair. “I was actually with Ariana and Tom that night — we were watching his band play at TomTom,” Kristen Doute recalled on the March 8 episode of her Sex, Love, and What Else Matters podcast. “He’s done playing and we’d all gotten up to just kind of chatter and grab a drink. All of the sudden I realize Ariana’s gone for, it had to be like 20 minutes or something, because she left her coat and her purse.”

“So what had happened was during Tom’s performance his phone fell out of his pocket and a mutual friend of theirs picks up the phone and hands it to Ariana,” she explained. “The real truth is that Ariana had his phone and she told me that she just had this gut intuition to look at it.” What Ariana found was proof that Tom had been unfaithful.

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