Ariana Madix on Tom Sandoval: Hes managed to not grow in ten years at all

In the still unfolding aftermath of the Vanderpump Rules Scandoval, it really feels like everything is coming up Ariana. She’s filmed a Lifetime movie; has brand deals with Bloomingdales, Bic Razors, and Uber Eats; has attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; is rumored to be on Dancing with the Stars; and has been doing interviews on The Today Show, The View, and with… The New York Times. The paper published an interview with Ariana after the season finale in which she shared her thoughts on Tom and Raquel, filming after learning about the affair, and her newly raised profile. Some highlights:

On filming with Tom after learning about the affair: When he sat down on that couch [during filming] and tried to give the sad sack act, I knew he was going to try to sell a bit. I knew he was trying to be that person so that I would be the angry person; I could see what was happening in front of my face, and it was really frustrating. Honestly, when he started yelling at me, I felt a little bit satisfied that he was finally going to be the real him.

On Tom and Kristen’s breakup all those years ago: Their relationship was much different than my relationship with him, but at the same time, I think there is a common denominator when it comes to certain problems. What’s crazy is their relationship ended 10 years ago, and yet, somehow, he’s managed to not grow in those areas at all.

On whether there’s redemption for Tom and Raquel: I think any chance that either of them separately had for that ended when they started giving trash interviews victimizing themselves, her TMZ [interview] and his Howie Mandel [interview]. I think had they not done or said all of those horrible things, maybe one day, but I think the answer ultimately is no. In our friend group, the answer is no.

On her current career success: It is a lot of pressure because for any public-facing woman or any woman in general who goes through something, there are a lot of expectations around how you’re supposed to handle things. But it is really incredible to have that support and I feel as though it did come at a cost, a very unexpected cost.

On how she feels about being on reality TV: I’ve always had a little bit of that anxiousness about saying something that would upset someone or whatever, and I still have that to some degree. But I also feel as though the worst possible things that could happen to somebody happened to me on this show: the loss of my dog of 18 years, the loss of my grandma, this whole thing happening very publicly. Part of me feels like, What’s the worst that can happen? The worst already did. So going forward, it feels a little bit like, What can I not handle at this point?

[From The New York Times]

This interview was so good, as all her interviews have been. Even I felt a little satisfied when Tom started yelling at her because he was clearly trying to make himself the victim in the moments before. He’d been setting up the narrative for weeks, if not months, that he was trying so hard and she was so mean to him, as a way to justify what he’d done. And Ariana’s right that he hasn’t grown — watching season two he handles his breakup with Kristen exactly the same way and says he was trying and she was distant. Anyway, I agree with her there is no redemption for the affair partners — they’ve shown such a lack of remorse so far that their friends won’t forgive them and public opinion will not turn in their favor. I also think Ariana is handling the heightened attention and opportunities perfectly. But it’s true that it came at an unexpected cost and as we watch it all play out I can only imagine about how hard it must be to go through all this painful stuff so publicly.

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