Rachel Leviss’ Lawsuit Against Ariana and Sandoval Explained

(Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo via Getty Images)

After her affair with Tom Sandoval broke the internet, Rachel Leviss sought care for her mental health, as Tom went on a tour with his band. As for Ariana Madix, she dumped Tom, and her star rose in turn. However, the tides might now be changing, for multiple cast members on this series. You see, Rachel has found her voice, and she wants her day in court, but she’s also bringing along her former Vanderpump Rules costars for the ride.

But cheating isn’t illegal, you might be thinking, because we sure were. To explain, Rachel is not focusing on the affair. Instead, she’s focusing on the actions taken right after it came to the light. She’s also naming a few others in her lawsuit, to help lend credence to her claims.

This lawsuit is messy and dark. There are also many levels to Rachel’s lawsuit, which we will explain now. But first, a warning, as if topics surrounding domestic abuse allegations cause you harm, we’d like for you to go ahead and skip the following section.

James Kennedy Is Noted in the Lawsuit

James Kennedy/Instagram

James Kennedy and Rachel were together for 5 years. This was Rachel’s introduction to the series, as she began filming alongside James during VPR Season 5. In her lawsuit, which Deadline shared, James is not listed as a defendant. Yet, he’s still noted in the complaint. To note, the following is what Rachel has stated. It’s all allegations, not proven facts. Read the following with this in mind, please.

“Kennedy would regularly berate Leviss, falsely accuse her of cheating, and act in a generally unhinged manner. Kennedy’s history of violent and dangerous behavior was well-known by Bravo, Evolution, and the cast. Kennedy once physically assaulted then-cast member Kristin Doute on camera; the footage, however, never aired.” The complaint then states that Lisa Vanderpump likely protected James.

Furthermore, “In 2021, after three seasons as a recurring character, Leviss was cast as a lead. At the same time, however, Leviss was in a vulnerable state due to the breakdown of her engagement with Kennedy, which was catalyzed by his chronic substance abuse, emotional instability, and controlling behavior. While she had previously moderated her alcohol intake because of Kennedy’s heavy drinking, Leviss began drinking much more heavily in the aftermath of their breakup. Leviss was encouraged to do so by production and Sandoval, who believed it would make for better television and readily provided alcohol for her consumption.”

To close, it states “By Season 10, Kennedy had resumed drinking again and picked up a new girlfriend weeks after his break-up with Leviss. All of this caused untold harm to Leviss’s mental health, inducing her to drink more and leaving her vulnerable to what followed.” By stating all of this, Rachel was laying the groundwork to help explain her behaviors.

Rachel’s Claims Against Ariana Madix

No Filter with Zack Peter/Instagram

Ariana is the one who busted Tom for his affair with Rachel. Basically, while Tom was covering other people’s songs on stage, his phone slipped out of his pocket. Knowing that he was with Ariana, an audience member reached out and gave her his phone. Having a gut instinct that something was off, Ariana checked it and inside, she found a video of Rachel, masturbating.

She then sent this video to Rachel, who was taping an episode of Watch What Happens Live that evening. In her text to her now former friend, Ariana let Rachel know that the gig was up, and that their friendship was DOA. This is where Rachel’s claim against Ariana comes into play.

Rachel’s lawsuit against Ariana states “that Madix obtained at least two illicit videos of Leviss and distributed them and/or showed them to others without Leviss’s knowledge or consent. At a minimum, Madix circulated the illicit videos to herself and Leviss. She also immediately informed production about what she had found. In addition, many other individuals have demonstrated intimate familiarity with their contents, leading Leviss to believe the circle of recipients is wider.”

Rachel’s Claims Against Tom Sandoval

Page Six/Instagram

Rachel’s doing more than just blocking Sandoval online these days. She’s suing her former narcissistic lover now as well. In her claim against Tom, Rachel notes “On March 4, 2023, the day after news of the affair had broken, production directed Leviss to film with Sandoval at her Los Angeles apartment. With cameras rolling, Leviss confronted Sandoval for secretly recording pornographic videos of her and storing them unprotected on his phone.”

The complaint goes on to state that “Sandoval responded to Leviss’s fury with cowardice and lies, claiming falsely that he had obtained permission to record her. Seeing that Leviss was having none of it, however, Sandoval ultimately offered a reluctant admission and a sheepish apology.”

Mainly, Tom was “concerned that being accused of recording nonconsensual pornography would “paint him in a negative light.” Sandoval reportedly threatened to cease all further filming for the show unless he was granted editing rights over the scene.”

In her lawsuit, Rachel’s attorney notes that “Shockingly, Bravo and Evolution obliged his demand.” Furthermore, “Recording someone engaged in sex acts without their consent is a crime, and Sandoval appears to have admitted to it on camera.” In my opinion, this is the claim that seems to hold the most weight for Rachel’s lawsuit.

What Rachel Is Asking for in Her Lawsuit


Rachel’s lawsuit is civil in nature, not criminal. As for her endgame, Rachel wants every illicit video destroyed. She also wants her legal fees covered. Finally, she’s seeking compensatory damages, including an award for punitive or exemplary damages.

Rachel is not suing Bravo or Evolution Media at this time. However, Rachel’s connections on this cast and with the network remain strained.