In a sneak peek video posted in June 2023, the bar owner explained why he joined the cast of “Stars on Mars,” a Fox reality competition set in a simulation of Mars. The show was filmed in Australia in May 2023, as the Scandoval drama involving Schwartz’s best friend and business partner, Tom Sandoval, and Raquel Leviss hit a fever pitch, and in the aftermath of Schwartz’s own messy divorce.
“I chose to do this little ‘Stars on Mars’ experiment [because] maybe ironically, I needed a break from reality, specifically my reality,” Schwartz admitted. He also described his Bravo reality show as “kind of a derivative of The Housewives. … It’s like people work and have sex with each other.”
Tom Schwartz Also Left Town to Film “Winter House” Days After Scandoval Broke
“Stars on Mars” isn’t the first time that Schwartz skipped town during Scandoval. In March 2023, just days after the scandal began making headlines, he was spotted filming scenes for the Bravo series “Winter House.”
Schwartz had originally been set to film with Sandoval on the mashup series that features stars from “Summer House,” “Southern Charm,” and other Bravo shows, but the joint filming opportunity fell through.
“Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz were anticipated to film for season 3 of ‘Winter House,’ but will now miss filming due to the ‘Vanderpump Rules’ saga,” an insider told Entertainment Tonight in early March 2023. A production source described the duo’s involvement in “Winter House’ as “ in flux.”
But as Sandoval dealt with his scandal back home, Schwartz was seen filming “Winter House” with “Family Karma” star Brian Benni and fellow Bravo alum Kory Keefer at a restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, according to Page Six.
Tom Schwartz Was Painted as a Co-Conspirator for Helping Tom Sandoval Cover His Affair With Raquel Leviss
It’s no wonder that Schwartz wanted to get away from the drama that was brewing in West Hollywood. In the aftermath of Sandoval’s cheating scandal, Schwartz has been labeled as the wingman.
Sandoval tried to clear his pal’s name in an Instagram post shortly after his affair was made public. He told his followers that Schwartz had only recently found out about his relationship with Leviss and that he “definitely did not condone” it.
But in a “Vanderpump Rules” scene that was shot around that same time, Schwartz’s ex-wife, Katie Maloney, warned him that by “being so closely associated” with Sandoval he was “going to lose a lot of friends.”
Sandoval’s ex, Ariana Madix, also called him Schwartz out for his involvement in covering for his business partner. After Schwartz told Madix that he hated “being painted as this coconspirator” in Sandoval’s scandal, Madix informed him that she no longer considered him a friend of hers.
During a May 2023 appearance on “Watch What Happens Live,” Madix accused Schwartz of doing more than just “covering” his best friend’s affair. “I don’t think it was just covering. I think it was actively participating in my downfall.” she said. She also said that if Schwartz “wants to save himself in any way,” he should end his association with Sandoval for good.