Tom Sandoval invoked George Floyd when talking Scandoval. It was ‘stupid and ignorant’

Harry Luke
Harry Luke
4 Min Read

Reality TV star Tom Sandoval, still facing the fallout from his “Vanderpump Rules” affair, responded to backlash over another recent controversy: comparing himself to George Floyd.

Sandoval, speaking to the New York Times earlier this month, likened the media attention his cheating scandal (known among fans as “Scandoval”) garnered last year to the nationwide coverage surrounding Floyd’s murder in 2020.

Floyd, who was Black, was killed on May 25, 2020, when former Officer Derek Chauvin of Minneapolis kneeled on his neck for nine minutes. His death was among the catalysts for the Black Lives Matter movement in summer 2020. A year later, Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd.

Read more: Rachel Leviss sues ‘Vanderpump’ co-stars Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix over alleged revenge porn

“I’m not a pop-culture historian really,” Sandoval, told the New York Times, “but I witnessed the O.J. Simpson thing and George Floyd and all these big things, which is really weird to compare this to that, I think, but do you think in a weird way it’s a little bit the same?”

Sandoval’s comments, published Feb. 20, quickly went viral, prompting him to share an apology hours after the story went live. “My intentions behind the comments I made in New York Times magazine were to explain the level of national media attention my affair received,” he said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “The comparison was inappropriate and ignorant. I’m incredibly sorry and embarrassed.”

More than a week later, Sandoval doubled down on his apology, addressing his comments in a new episode of his “Everybody Loves Tom” podcast published Thursday. “Hey everyone, before we get into this podcast, I wanted to again apologize for the comments I made in the New York Times article.”

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

He continued: “I stupidly was trying to make a comparison at the absurd amount of national media that my affair received and the comparison I made was stupid and ignorant and I’m really embarrassed and I’m really, really sorry.”

After the clip of Sandoval’s apology fades to black, the episode carries on as usual, as the TV star breaks down the latest episode of “Vanderpump Rules” with his co-stars.

In March 2023, news broke that Sandoval, 40, had cheated on his longtime girlfriend and “Vanderpump” co-star Ariana Madix, 38, with co-star Rachel Leviss, 29. The cheating scandal generated headlines and a juicy storyline for “Vanderpump Rules.”

A year later and the Scandoval tensions between the former “Vanderpump” trio has yet to subsided. On Thursday, Leviss sued Sandoval and Madix, accusing the former pair of eavesdropping, revenge porn, invasion of privacy and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

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

Leviss’ lawsuit described Sandoval and Madix 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.

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

Sandoval did not address Leviss’ allegations publicly, but hours after Leviss’ lawsuit hit, he shared a hiking video and a teaser for his band’s upcoming tour to his Instagram story.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Harry Luke is a Professor in University of Galway. Harry's journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge, creativity, and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world around him.