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Rachel Leviss sues 'Vanderpump' co-stars Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix over alleged revenge porn

Raquel Leviss is in a green shirt, smiling while seated next to Tom Sandoval in a black shirt and Ariana Madix in pink
Rachel Leviss, formerly known as Raquel Leviss, left, sued her former "Vanderpump Rules" co-stars Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix on Thursday. (Nicole Weingart / Bravo via Getty Images)

Former "Vanderpump Rules" personality Rachel Leviss has sued her former co-stars Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix, a year after their messy cheating fiasco — known among fans as "Scandoval" — reared its ugly head.

Leviss (formerly "Raquel Leviss") accused Sandoval and Madix of eavesdropping, revenge porn, invasion of privacy and "intentional infliction of emotional distress," according to her complaint reviewed by The Times on Thursday. The 29-year-old's lawsuit stems from the tabloid scandal that revealed she had been sleeping with Sandoval, Madix's longtime boyfriend.

Leviss' lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, describes Sandoval, 40, and Madix, 38, as longtime romantic partners whose relationship and reality TV fame was on the rocks. Cautious about the prospects of cancellation, the former pair "had every incentive to leverage these salacious threads into the storyline 'Vanderpump Rules' so desperately needed," Leviss' suit said.

Read more: Scandoval put Ariana Madix center stage. Can she stay there?

Legal representatives for Sandoval and Madix did not immediately respond to The Times' separate requests for comment on Thursday.

The days leading up to the Scandoval revelation in March 2023 are the focal point of Leviss' lawsuit. Court documents detail an alleged incident on March 1, 2023, where Madix went through Sandoval's phone after it fell from his pocket during a West Hollywood performance with his band. Madix, according to the suit, found "sexually explicit videos of Leviss."

Sandoval began sleeping with Leviss in August 2022, despite being in a relationship with Madix, according to the filing. The suit alleges that Sandoval recorded sexually explicit clips of his co-star "without her knowledge or consent in or around February 2023."

Read more: Report: After treatment, 'Vanderpump' star Raquel Leviss wants you to call her Rachel

"Given Sandoval's apparent practice of secretly recording their video calls, Leviss has every reason to assume there are additional illicit videos and/or photographs of her that she has not seen," the suit says.

Leviss — who was on "Vanderpump" from 2016 to 2023 — alleges that Madix obtained and distributed at least two sexually explicit videos of Leviss, sharing them "to others without Leviss' knowledge or consent." Madix allegedly informed the "Vanderpump" cast and production team of the videos.

"[Madix] knew or reasonably should have known that she did not have Leviss' consent to do so," the suit says.

On the same night as Sandoval's West Hollywood performance, Madix allegedly confronted Leviss about the affair, sending the sexually explicit videos to Leviss. She was in New York taping an episode of Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" with co-star Scheana Shay. After receiving Madix's text ("you are DEAD TO ME"), Leviss "experienced a swirl of emotions in response, including shock and fear," the lawsuit said.

"She was terrified Madix would leak [the videos] on the internet," the complaint added, before detailing Shay's alleged assault of Leviss.

Read more: The 'Vanderpump Rules' cheating scandal keeps churning. Let us break it down for you

The subsequent news of Leviss and Sandoval's affair (which evolved into "Scandoval") "caused mayhem in Leviss' life," prompting her to leave "Vanderpump Rules" and seek treatment at a mental health facility for three months. Both Sandoval and Leviss apologized for the affair.

The lawsuit also took shots at Bravo and production company Evolution, accusing the "Vanderpump" team of subjecting Leviss to a "public skewering" that made her "one of the most hated women in America." Leviss also claimed that the "Vanderpump" crew edited a filmed conversation between her and Sandoval to "omit any mention of Sandoval's illicit recording or Leviss' lack of consent."

"Bravo and Evolution had apparently decided that Leviss would be their sacrificial lamb," the suit alleged. "Throughout the ordeal, they have sanitized the story to ensure Leviss would be seen as the arch-villain."

Read more: 'Vanderpump Rules' executive producer Alex Baskin on 'Scandoval' and what's in store for Season 11

A representative for Bravo did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Leviss faced "scorn and ridicule" after the cheating scandal, adding that the fallout took a toll on her mental health. "Leviss has been battered and broken irrevocably in service of a salacious storyline," the suit said.

"Sandoval and Madix engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct that transcended the bounds of human decency," Leviss said in her suit.

Hoping to "vindicate her legal right if not restore her sullied reputation," Leviss is seeking an unspecified amount of damages including legal fees. She also requested that the court order the defendants to cease sharing the illicit videos.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.