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Leave Tom Sandoval Alone — The 'Vanderpump Rules' Star Doesn't Deserve The Hate

Photo: @tomsandoval1 / Instagram
Tom Sandoval

The main villain of "Vanderpump Rules," Tom Sandoval, released the premiere episode of his new podcast called "Everybody Loves Tom" on September 28, 2023.

In the episode, Sandoval spoke with his bandmate and the podcast’s producer, Jason Bader, while the two sat on a highly-stylized set that was decorated with a bar cart, potted plants, and an acoustic guitar hung against a backdrop of blue curtains. 

Throughout the course of their conversation, Sandoval touched on the emotional fallout he felt after news of his affair with Raquel Leviss broke in early March of 2023.

Sandoval mentioned the “really dark days” he spent “wallowing in misery.” He even opened up about feeling suicidal, saying, “When you get into that headspace, it's like a domino effect. Your world starts collapsing on itself and you cannot see outside of your feelings.”

It’s time to let go of the hate and leave Tom Sandoval alone. 

Sandoval described the experience of suicidal ideation as something he’d previously not understood, until he went through it himself.

RELATED: Leave Raquel Leviss Alone — The 'Vanderpump Rules' Star Doesn't Deserve The Hate She's Getting Over The Tom Sandoval Affair

As he explained it, “Your peripheral goes away. Your sense of like, thinking about the future, like your ability to snap out of it goes away. And there were some times where I was, you know, felt very, very close.”

At the start of the podcast episode, Sandoval offered up his reason for casting his hat into the proverbial ring of the podcast economy. He exclaimed, “In these past six months or so, the narrative of my life has been more, sort of, been written by everyone else.”

He hoped the podcast would shed light on what his life has been like since Scandoval’s epic reveal, which included times when his mood was so low that his executive function suffered, and he stopped bathing or getting dressed.

It’s clear that Sandoval is aiming for some sort of redemption arc. He explained that there were “steps that I’ve taken to really sort of better myself and try to use this whole situation as a positive in some way, in any possible way, because I feel like in any situation, whether it’s failure or loss, you can really sort of try and take something from it.”

While he’s not wrong in his understanding of learning through hardship, he’s not entirely right in his characterization of himself as someone with no agency, with no hand in how his narrative unfolded in the eyes of viewers.

RELATED: All The 'Proof' The Scandoval Affair May Have Been Staged To Boost 'Vanderpump Rules' Ratings

At certain points in the episode, Sandoval, 40, utilized language in a way that sanitized his misbehavior. By labeling his affair with Leviss “a situation,” he twisted semantics to let himself off the hook for being unfaithful to Ariana Madix, his partner of 9 years.

Without mincing words, the “situation” he’s referring to is the 6-month-long affair he had with his girlfriend’s friend, which he conducted while allowing his daily life to be filmed. 

It’s time for audiences to move on from hating Sandoval for his affair with Leviss, while accepting the fact that all people make mistakes and cause harm.

It would be easy to make the claim that Sandoval deserves all the negative attention he’s getting, that he behaved badly and shouldn’t expect to be praised or forgiven for what he did. In an overall sense, Sandoval has benefitted from living a publicly-facing life, while existing in a way where he didn’t see immediate consequences of his actions. 

The precariousness of his emotional state after his affair speaks to the riskier part of being on reality TV, which is that strangers are going to weigh in on your life. If you act poorly, people will see it and respond to your actions, perhaps on a larger scale than you’d want or expect them to, in a way that most humans aren’t capable of navigating in a graceful way. 

There are probably many members of Team Madix that believe Sandoval deserves all the hate. There are probably people who think that the dark, emotional lows he reached were some sort of penance, or the way he “should” have felt after his infidelity.

Yet no one, no matter who they are or how they act, deserve to feel like they want to end their life.

Sandoval’s distress is not something to celebrate. The experience of suicidality is not something that should be wished upon anyone. There’s so much to the experience of suicidality that’s considered taboo; for Sandoval to reveal that he felt suicidal is an innately vulnerable act. 

Sandoval sidled up to giving an apology for his destructive behavior, saying, “It sucks and I’m sorry for all the people I hurt in that process. I have definitely learned a lot and as I continue to learn and reflect on these situations, all I can do is just try to be better.”

As for the issues of accountability and forgiveness, Sandoval’s next steps will reveal his true character, and if he’s actually ready to change. 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433, or contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. There are trained, caring professionals ready to help.

RELATED: How Tom Sandoval Weaponized The Body Insecurity Of Women Everywhere To Shame Ariana Madix On National Television

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.