Tom Schwartz
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Tom Schwartz Almost Quit Pump Rules: ‘It Broke Me’

Tom Schwartz has been through the wringer, to the point where he almost quit Pump Rules altogether. Anyone who would spend so much time with Tom Sandoval is always gonna get some stick.

Schwartz’s choice to stay beside his friend in the wake of Scandoval has been met with mixed reactions. Many fans would agree with Katie Maloney, who essentially finds the friendship unjustifiable at this point.

Nevertheless, it would seem the Vanderpump Rules besties need each other. If Sandoval hadn’t come back for Season 11, Schwartz might not have either.

Schwartz couldn’t resist reading fans’ hate

On February 20, Schwartz spoke with Rolling Stone ahead of his Watch What Happens Live appearance later that day. “I’m just feeling full of gratitude,” he said, his disposition quite cheery. “I’m on a bit of a wave right now after a pretty gloomy past few years, I’m riding kind of high.”

“Gloomy” was perhaps an understatement. There was a time when Tom didn’t want to return to VPR. He faced a major identity crisis amid Scandoval. As he put it, “I think I cowered under the unrelenting hate and just getting roasted online so much.

“If you’re not going through it, you might just think, okay, just don’t look at the internet, stay off social media. But I use that as a tool to market businesses that I’m associated with and brand building, and, I don’t know, it’s hard not to sometimes. There’s a morbid curiosity.”

Why Tom Schwartz decided to stay on VPR

After describing how “scary” it was to have his DMs filled with “caustic, nasty stuff,” he said, “I’m chill to a fault. I had never been under so much scrutiny, and it was scary. I think it broke me. … You guys on the internet. You broke me. I hope you’re happy. But I’m back.”

Schwartz further admitted to feeling “so bleak and despondent,” especially with the bar Schwartz & Sandy’s in a precarious position, that he didn’t want to return to the show. He thought, “‘I’m ready to step away and pursue something new. I can’t deal with this anymore.’ But I would wake up the next day and be like, wait, I love this.

“I love my Bravo family. I love the people that I get to work with. These are my friends, and these are my family. I don’t think of us as just a cast. I freaking love these people. ‘Till death do us part.’”

Ultimately, Schwartz felt that he was carving an identity, and he wanted everyone to know it. “I’m not Tom Sandoval’s sidekick, I’m not just Katie’s ex-husband. I’m Tom Schwartz.”

Vanderpump Rules Season 11 continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.