‘Vanderpump Rules’ Fans Defend Raquel Leviss for Surprising Reason

Raquel Leviss

Heavy/Getty Raquel Leviss of "Vanderpump Rules."

“Vanderpump Rules”  fans reacted to a report that Raquel Leviss will go back to using her birth name months after getting caught in a shocking cheating scandal with her co-star Tom Sandoval.

According to TMZ, the 28-year-old former pageant queen came to the decision to go back to using her given name, Rachel, while in therapy. But some fans think Leviss was bullied into ditching the nickname she’s had since childhood.

As of July 17, 2023, Leviss changed her TikTok handle to @RachelLeviss.

Heavy has reached out to a rep for Leviss for comment.

Raquel Leviss Decided to ‘Take Back’ The Name Rachel

After Leviss and Sandoval’s affair was revealed in March 2023, cast members accused Leviss of being fake, right down to her first name. Most of them began calling her “Rachel” in interviews. During a May 2023 interview on “The View,”  cast member Lala Kent speculated on why Leviss went by the name Raquel.  “Because she’s a phony!” Kent said on the ABC chatfest. “Because she thinks it’s sexier.”

“She asked her mom if she could change it when she was five because there was a prima ballerina that lived across the street named Raquel,” Kent added. “So, identity issues have been happening for a long time.”

A source confirmed to TMZ that Rachel is Leviss’ legal name and that her family began calling her Raquel at a very young age. The insider also claimed that Leviss’ therapists explained to her that her co-stars and angry viewers “weaponized” the name “Rachel” as a way to hurt her and that by taking the name back it will end their power.

Another source told Entertainment Tonight, “After months of therapy, Rachel decided she wanted to go by her government name moving forward. Rachel is now spending time with people close to her.”

Fans had a big reaction to  Leviss giving up the name she has used since childhood. In a Reddit thread, one fan claimed to be “blown away by the brilliance” of Leviss reclaiming her birth name, but others felt she shouldn’t have given it up.

“Awww idk I still think it’s sad…. She’s been using Raquel for so long. I want her to be called whatever the f*** she wants. Wonder what they will call her now!!!,” one commenter wrote.

Others noted that other stars on the show go by stage names or nicknames and “have no leg to stand on.” “It’s sad that people bullied her so hard that she’s changing the name that she’s been using since elementary school or whatever,”  another chimed in.

“I definitely think it’s sad that it’s got to this point, but given the available options, I think reclaiming it is really smart,” another wrote. “My guess is that she’s okay with being Rachel or Raquel and after a prolonged period of Ariana and Lala getting nowhere using it, she’ll be back to Raquel by the following season.”

Leviss Defended the Use of the Name Raquel During the ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Reunion

Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz, and Raquel Leviss at the season 10 reunion.

Nicole Weingart/BravoTom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz, and Raquel Leviss at the season 10 reunion.

During the “Vanderpump Rules” season 10 reunion taping earlier in 2023, several cast members trolled Leviss by calling her “Rachel,” and Kent accused her of changing her name to Raquel. Leviss said Raquel was a nickname she had since childhood, much like “Lala.”

After Leviss revealed she had never legally changed her name, Kent maintained that if she wanted to be known as Raquel, she should have legally changed her name. In court documents obtained by Heavy, Leviss’ name was written out as Rachel Savannah Leviss.

As for Kent, her birth name is actually Lauren Elyse Burningham, which she later changed to Lauryn Kent, according to Gawker. Kent is her late father’s first name, and Lala is her nickname since childhood.

“I was born LAUREN. People said LOREN, so as a child I got the nickname LALA,” she once told fans on Instagram, according to Life & Style.

READ NEXT: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Teases Surprising TV Role