‘Vanderpump Rules’ Star Defends Lala Kent Hugging Tom Sandoval During Season 11 Filming

Lala Kent and Tom Sandoval

Bravo/Getty Lala Kent and Tom Sandoval.

Lala Kent was spotted hugging Tom Sandoval – or was she?

Five months after the Schwartz & Sandy’s co-owner was caught cheating on his longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix with fellow “Vanderpump Rules” co-star Raquel Leviss, the Give Them Lala Beauty founder appeared to lean into him for a hug while filming a beach scene for the 11th season of the Bravo reality show.

The photo comes four months after Kent slammed Tom Schwartz for suggesting that Sandoval could use a hug if anyone sees him in public. In April, Kent took to her Instagram story to mock Schwartz’s suggestion and said that instead of a hug, “we’re atomic wedgie-ing his a**.”

“We’re punching him straight in the d***,” Kent said in April 2023, per Page Six.

Fans had quite a reaction to Kent’s cuddle with Sandoval, but her co-star Scheana Shay said it’s not as it seems.

Scheana Shay Defended the Photo of Lala Kent Appearing to  Hug Tom Sandoval

On August 10, 2023, several photos of the “Vanderpump Rules” cast filming on a beach were leaked online. In one photo, several members of the group were standing together, and Kent was in between Sandoval and another male. The angle of the photo made it appear that Kent was hugging Sandoval. The mom of one had a smile on her face, while Sandoval looked away from her.

Given Kent’s past bashing of Sandoval, viewers had a harsh reaction to the new photo. “Lala cuddling sandoval weird,” one commenter wrote. “ Of all people, Lala hugging Sandoval???” another asked.

“Ah, yes. Hypocrisy is alive and well I see,” another wrote. “Interesting that someone who was so enraged and so vocal and called him dangerous is smiling and hugging him,” added another.

“IMAGINE ARIANA HUGGING RANDALL- she would be DEAD to LaLa,” another wrote in reference to Kent’s ex, Randall Emmett, whom she has forbidden her friends to talk to.

“After all that smack they talked, they are now kumbaya? Did I miss the campfire? I don’t get it,” another wrote.

While some said they are done with “Vanderpump Rules” and accused it of being “fake” and “scripted,” others noted that it was hard to tell what was going on in the photo and that it almost looked like Kent was pushing Sandoval away from her friend Logan.

And “Vanderpump Rules” co-star Scheana Shay weighed in online to defend Kent.

“All these people saying they aren’t gonna watch the season from photos that have been coming out… like come on! How about you WATCH the damn show and see HOW all these photos happened! NO one knows what’s actually happening in this group right now other than US! Nothing is fake in this group and people are definitely paying for their actions,” Shay wrote.

After another commenter accused Kent of not being loyal to Madix,  Shay replied, “Ariana was there. Watch the season is all I’m going to say.” “One photo does not define everything we have filmed, I promise you that,”  she added.

Shay was previously slammed for posing for a photo with Sandoval while filming in Lake Tahoe in support of Lisa Vanderpump’s upcoming lounge, Wolf, in July. After one fan on Twitter wrote, “All is forgiven I guess,” Shay tweeted, “Who said is forgiven?? We are all here for Lisa.”

Lala Kent Previously Said She Was Trying to Be More ‘Forgiving’

Kent went off on Sandoval while filming the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion in March  2023. “Sandoval is Randall, give it 10 years he is Randall Emmett,” she said. “That is a narcissist everyone needs to be warned about. This person is a dangerous human being.”

But in August 2023, she spoke during an Amazon Live to say she is trying to get into a more “forgiving” place as she stops projecting her own hurt onto others.

After calling the new season “the funkiest season” she has ever filmed, she added, “It is just weird and so hard. We have never had a shift in the dynamic like this before, obviously.”

“I am trying to [be] proactive and a little bit more forgiving, light-hearted and understanding,” Kent added. “There will be a day where the dust settles. People move on.”

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