Stassi Defends Sandoval From Fans' 'Vitriol' Despite 'Disgusting' Affair

A change of heart? Stassi Schroeder is weighing in on the continued backlash directed toward former Vanderpump Rules costar Tom Sandoval in the wake of his affair with Raquel Leviss.

The Bravo alum, 34, spoke about the lasting impact of Scandoval during the Wednesday, June 14, episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, explaining that she isn’t a fan of the way Sandoval, 40, has been treated online due to her own experience in the public eye.

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“I’ve been in a position where I’ve received so much hate before,” she said. “I don’t like where we’re at, like, in society where, like, that’s how we punish people. … It’s like emotionally beheading people.”

Schroeder expressed her distaste for the extreme level of negativity spewed via social media. “Who’s to decide what the punishment should be? Like, who makes someone the authority on that?” she wondered. “What makes this person on their computer the authority on what they think is enough hate for him to receive? I don’t get down with that. … I don’t like it.”

The New Orleans native — who was an original member of the Pump Rules cast before being fired from the show in 2020 — clarified that her feelings toward Sandoval and his “disgusting behavior” have not changed, but she doesn’t always believe “the online vitriol” is warranted.

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Sandoval has been the target of fans’ contempt since news broke in March that he split from Ariana Madix after she learned of his affair with Leviss, 28. The former couple were together for nearly a decade before calling it quits.

As details continued to emerge about the scandal, Bravo cameras picked up to capture new footage for an emotional season 10 finale. Madix confronted her now-ex in their shared home.

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“I regret every moment that I stood up for you, defended you, supported you,” she said in the May 17 episode. “You’re worth nothing and I want you to feel that deep in your soul. I want you to hear those words coming from the mouth of the woman who f–king stood by you and loved you and was ready to build the rest of my life around you.”

Fans and cast members alike quickly rallied around Madix following Sandoval’s affair. During part 3 of the bombshell reunion special — which was taped just two weeks after the duo’s breakup made headlines — the Something About Her cofounder opened up about what the public support has meant to her.

“My friends and my family, you guys, and strangers — people I’ve never met — it’s honestly what kept me going,” she said through tears in the June 7 episode. “I had a week and a half where I, like, didn’t eat. I lost, like, eight pounds. I couldn’t do anything. I had someone stay with me every night because I felt like I needed to be babysat, honestly.”

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After watching the dramatic conclusion to season 10, Schroeder confessed that she felt like her “talents were wasted” by no longer being part of the cast. “This was when I really could have really just like given it to [Sandoval] and been like, ‘I always knew!’” she teased on the podcast.

The Off With My Head author didn’t often see eye to eye with Sandoval throughout their time on Pump Rules. “I felt like he was always so beloved, and I would even say to my producers, I’m like, ‘When is he going to get the edit that I feel like the rest of us see?’” she said. “Why does he keep, like, getting away with being just this dude who just wants to, like, give people things and ‘help people out, man.’ That’s not what I’m seeing.”

Schroeder explained that she always had her suspicions about the TomTom co-owner. “I’m seeing somebody who’s constantly blaming others for things and dredging things up from the past and, like, just deflecting constantly,” she continued. “If the rest of us look bad, then he looks good. And I’ve always felt that way.”

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When it comes to the aftermath of Scandoval, the Next Level Basic author pointed out how “dark” it is that the show’s ratings have consistently improved as Madix’s and Sandoval’s relationship has crumbled. “The success of the show is, like, directly tied to how badly the cast hurts each other, and that feels weird,” she said. “It’s dark. … It’s f–king dark.”

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