Lisa Vanderpump reacted to the news that Rachel “Raquel” Leviss will not be returning to “Vanderpump Rules.”
Months after Leviss’ affair with her friend Ariana Madix’s boyfriend Tom Sandoval was discovered, spawning a love triangle scandal that skyrocketed ratings for the Bravo reality show, the former pageant queen has decided not to return for season 11, a source told Entertainment Tonight.
But in an August 2023 interview, Vanderpump said it’s probably for the best, and she made it clear that Leviss isn’t needed to make her show a hit.
Here’s what you need to know:
Lisa Vanderpump Laughed Off Claims That ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Won’t Be Successful Without Raquel Leviss
Vanderpump was caught by TMZ on August 17, 2023, hours after it was confirmed that Leviss won’t be returning to “Vanderpump Rules.”
After she was asked if she thinks the show won’t be as successful without Leviss, Vanderpump stopped in her tracks and said, “It was successful before her, and before she wanted to join and hooked up with James [Kennedy].”
Vanderpump told TMZ that she heard from Leviss’ team as the former SUR waitress sought mental health treatment following Scandoval.
“We wanted to make sure she was in a good place first and I was going to do a one-on-one with her,” Vanderpump said. “She talked about [coming back]. Her team reached out, but in the end, I think she decided not to. The cast don’t really believe anything she says, so there’s no point in her [returning].”
“I don’t really understand anything she does,” Vanderpump added of Leviss.
On August 16, a source confirmed to ET: “Rachel will not be returning for season 11 of ‘Vanderpump Rules.’ There was a possibility up until recently she’d be returning for the new season, but ultimately decided against it.”
The insider added that Leviss is focused on her mental health journey and that she feels that “going back to the show would open her up to trauma she’s been working on healing.”
“Vanderpump Rules” debuted in 2013 as a spinoff of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but Leviss didn’t join the show as a main cast member until season 9, which aired in 2021. Leviss appeared in a recurring role for seasons six through eight as Kennedy’s then-girlfriend. There have long been rumors that Leviss was a fan of “Vanderpump Rules” and sought out Kennedy so she could get on the show.
Raquel Leviss Said She Will Never Return to Reality TV
In August 2023, Leviss opened up about her status on “Vanderpump Rules” on Bethenny Frankel’s “Just B With Bethenny” podcast. Leviss said she was disappointed in her behavior during season 10 and said, “I don’t ever want to be out in a place like that again.”
When asked if she would ever return to reality TV, Leviss said, “Oh hell no!”
“Because I refuse to not respect myself on that level where I would endure that emotional abuse any longer,” she said. “And I can’t do that to myself.”
Leviss confirmed that she was in talks to return to “Vanderpump Rules” for season 11, which began filming in June 2023.
“Of course they want me back,” she said. “And I know other people on the cast are more important than I am, so I don’t even think I’d get a redemption arc, to be honest. I also know that I wouldn’t be able to share all of my story. Whatever I share gets condensed to five minutes max.”
Leviss told Frankel she did initially consider going back to “Vanderpump Rules” but that producers refused to meet her salary requirements. “I asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana and for them to reimburse me for my treatment expenses,” she said. “They refused to pay me equally. I was considering going back if I was going to be paid equally because when you pay your employees it really shows how much you value them.”
In a separate interview posted to TMZ, Vanderpump downplayed Leviss’ complaints about her salary. “She got very well paid, she got paid $361,000,” she claimed of Leviss’ pay for season 10 of “Vanderpump Rules.”