Raquel Leviss, Scheana Shay Film Vanderpump Rules Reunion Separately
Bravo has certainly had to navigate nasty legal disputes between cast members to film the reunions, as some members of “The Real Housewives” community like to send cease and desist notices. But never before has a cast member taken out a temporary restraining order against another, as is the case with “Vanderpump Rules” — with Raquel Leviss claiming Scheana Shay physically assaulted her on March 2.
On March 8, Leviss’ request for a TRO was granted by a judge, which called into question the March 23 filming of the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion. (Shay denied the allegation, saying through her attorney, “Scheana never hit Rachel, period.”)
In her Instagram Stories on Wednesday, Leviss, despite that restraining order, affirmed, “Yes, I will personally attend the reunion tomorrow.”
And on Thursday morning, Shay’s lawyer – still committed to calling Raquel ‘Rachel’ – released a statement saying: “Scheana will be present in person at today’s taping. Scheana intends to follow the law, but wants be part of the reunion If Rachel attends, Scheana and ‘Vanderpump Rules’ will make sure Scheana stays 100 feet away to comply with the restraining order.
And so the Vanderpump Rules reunion taping — hosted by Bravo impresario Andy Cohen — set to film in Los Angeles on Thursday will have the entire cast in attendance, but with Leviss and Shay playing musical chairs. Since the restraining order is still in effect, they will have to switch places as the day goes on, with one of them on the couch with Cohen and the rest of the cast, and the other watching from a distance on the set.
After all, there is much to discuss. On March 3, TMZ broke the news that “Vanderpump Rules” host Tom Sandoval and Leviss — introduced to the show in Season 5 as DJ James Kennedy’s girlfriend — were engaged in a months-long relationship that spanned nine-and-a-half years. about Ariana Madix. Bravo and production company Evolution Media immediately put the show back into production to capture the aftermath of the news (dubbed #Scandoval) in real time. That episode will air at the end of the series’ 10th season, followed by what Bravo hopes will be a three-part reunion.
Clockwise from top left: Raquel Leviss, Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix. Courtesy of Bravo
A paparazzi interview with Leviss Wednesday, obtained by TMZ, offered a preview of the reunion. In it, Leviss doubled down on her accusations against Shay, saying, “Scheana knows what happened that night.” She later said she had a “permanent scar on her eyebrow” as a result of what happened. When asked how he felt about the reunion, Leviss said, “I know I have to take responsibility for my actions, so I’m fully prepared to do that.”
She said she apologized to Madix on the phone and in text messages, but that she “didn’t receive it well”. Mystifyingly, Leviss continued to talk to the paparazzi, likely infuriating Bravo, and said she doesn’t know where she and Sandoval stand right now: “I don’t know where our relationship is going to be.”
On Monday, Bravo released the midseason teaser for “Vanderpump Rules,” revealing new footage for the first time. At one point in the trailer, Shay says, “I had so much anger in me—” which led viewers to wonder if the end of that sentence was Shay confessing that she hit Leviss, as alleged.
Shay is close friends with Madix, and according to Rashomon-style reports from the Vanderpump Rules gossip machine, Madix learned of Sandoval’s infidelity under particularly humiliating circumstances. While Variety is joined by listening to multiple podcasts, Madix looked at Sandoval’s phone, which contained an intimate Facetime video of Leviss that he had recorded. Leviss and Shay, who had previously been allies this season, had just taped Cohen’s Bravo late-night show Watch What Happens Live together in New York when Madix told Shay what happened. And that’s when Shay, according to Leviss, attacked her.
On March 7, Leviss sent legal letters to the cast members of “Vanderpump Rules” — particularly angering Lala Kent — warning them not to share the video. It’s unclear if Sandoval received one, given that he appears to have recorded the video himself, which the letter says was “unlawfully made without Raquel’s knowledge or consent.”
This reunion, unfortunately, won’t air until late spring after season 10 ends.