Tom Sandoval Says He Was 'Very Close' to Committing Suicide Amid Cheating Scandal
The 'Vanderpump Rules' star says his cheating scandal left him contemplating suicide.
7:02 AM PDT, September 29, 2023
In a deeply emotional and candid revelation, Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval shared his struggles with suicidal thoughts following the fallout of his cheating scandal with co-star Raquel Leviss. Sandoval's confession came during the inaugural episode of his new podcast, Everybody Loves Tom.
The Bravo star described the emotional turmoil that engulfed him after the revelation of his affair with Leviss, which had lasted for six months, leaving his former partner, Ariana Madix, devastated. Sandoval revealed that he felt overwhelmed and unable to see beyond his emotions, which eventually led him to contemplate suicide.
Sandoval recalled a chance encounter with the late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington just days before Bennington's tragic suicide in July 2017. He expressed that he could never understand why Bennington had taken his own life until he found himself grappling with the same dark thoughts.
"I'll never forget this. I went to The Grove and I was a huge Linkin Park fan, and I saw Chester at The Grove coming out of the garage," Sandoval told his friend, celebrity jewelry designer Kyle Chan.
"He seemed happy or, I don't know, he just was animated, energetic on the phone. I saw him. I was like, ‘Oh my God, it's Chester.’ Literally, days later, he died. He had, you know, killed himself. And I couldn't, I could never understand why, but 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. Your peripheral goes away. Your sense of thinking about the future, your ability to snap out of it goes away. And there were some times where I was, you know, felt very, very close.”Tyler Henderson
Sandoval credited a group of unwavering friends, including Vanderpump Rules co-star Billie Lee, for standing by him during this challenging period, emphasizing that their support played a crucial role in saving his life.
During the podcast, Sandoval also discussed his relationship dynamics with Leviss, highlighting the loneliness he experienced while she was undergoing mental health treatment in an Arizona treatment facility.Tyler Henderson
"I was like at her beck and call in a sense because you couldn’t have your phone in there. No access to anything. And so I had to wait for her call, which can only happen maybe twice, once a day," Sandoval said. "And so when I would get that call from her, it would be like, 'Oh, my gosh.' But I was constantly waiting there. And then, you know, some days I wouldn't get that call and it would, you know, it would really affect my mood."
Following the controversy surrounding his affair with Leviss, she confirmed seeking treatment at a mental health facility but clarified it was not for "rehab" but rather for "mental health and trauma therapy." Sandoval and Leviss have since parted ways, with Leviss choosing to exit Vanderpump Rules while Sandoval returned for season 11.Tyler Henderson
Reflecting on his infidelity towards Madix, Sandoval acknowledged the valuable lessons he has learned and expressed his commitment to personal growth.
"It has been such a learning experience, you know, with going through everything and with what I did and taking time to actually see the repercussions of my actions," the Bravo star said. "And, you know, when you're in a scenario like that and you're so emotionally wrapped up in your feelings, you don't think logically and you're just f**king selfish."
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.