According to Jax, he was not surprised by the Scandoval that rocked the Bravoverse earlier this month. On March 3, the news broke that Tom cheated on Ariana with their good friend Raquel. Tom and Raquel engaged in a seven-month-long affair that started mid-summer 2022. When Ariana uncovered the affair, she ended her and Tom’s nearly decade-long relationship.
The former Bravoleb insists that he knew Tom would eventually cheat on Ariana; however, his wife, Brittany Cartwright, was shocked by the news.
“I got a text message. It said, ‘You were right all along,'” Jax tells PEOPLE. “It wasn’t shocking to me. I’ve known Tom Sandoval for 20 years, we grew up together. I just know his lifestyle. I know who he is, and I’ve said it many times. No one wanted to believe me.”
“It was with Raquel, right under their noses — that’s what’s so shocking,” Brittany adds.
While Jax admits he can’t condemn Tom for cheating considering his own past infidelities, he does have a theory about why Tom cheated with Raquel, of all people.
“There’s a reason why it’s Raquel. [It’s] because she can be controlled,” he explains. “Ariana’s a very strong, independent woman — that’s how Brittany is — but you can’t control her. And I think Raquel’s very easily influenced. I think he likes to be able to tell her what to do. I think she’s very codependent, and I think he preys on that. He can control her, and she’ll do whatever he says. And she’s a fangirl a little bit. That wasn’t happening with Ariana.”
Brittany says she “did not see” Raquel ever betraying Ariana like that.
“It’s just all bad,” Brittany says. “I feel terrible for Ariana having to go through this so publicly. I know that feeling. I feel for her big-time.”
Meanwhile, Jax also takes issues with the first apology Tom released on March 4. In the apology, Tom acknowledged that fans were disappointed in him but asked them not to take their anger out on his business or business partners. There was no mention of Ariana or any remorse for his actions.
“I’ve done my fair share of bad things, but where I have a problem is having your crisis PR team write you a message. You got to step down from your little pedestal for a minute. Stop making this about Tom Sandoval and making do better decisions. You should have called [Ariana] first. There’s just no empathy there,” Jax quips.
After continuing to get heat from the Bravoverse, Tom issued a second apology days later. In his second apology, Tom called himself “selfish,” claiming that he regrets the “reckless decisions that hurt somebody I love.”
“Because he didn’t say ‘I’m sorry’ to Ariana first, I think that’s what was not a good look,” Brittany points out.
Fans and members of the Pump Rules cast have wondered if Tom Schwartz knew about Tom’s affair with Raquel before it became public knowledge earlier this month. Jax believes Tom know about the cheating long before it came to light in the public.
“Schwartz has known,” Jax insists. “I talk to Schwartz all the time. He told me. I don’t know how long, but it’s been at least a couple [of] months. Again, this is a controlling thing. He controls Schwartz. One can’t be without the other. They’re not good separate; they’re only good together.”
Brittany admits she also has heard that Schwartz “found out recently, before it dropped.”
However, Jax puts all the blame on Tom Sandoval, especially if he put Schwartz in a position to lie for him.
“I think Schwartz is a good guy,” Jax says. “He’s not going to rat on his friends. Sandoval’s being very selfish. He shouldn’t have put Tom in that position.”
The Kentucky native says the whole cheating scandal is “a really hard situation.”
“Sandoval should have just broke up with Ariana if he was going to do that,” she adds before noting that she’s heard gossip that Tom wants to be in a real relationship with Raquel moving forward.
“When you get to a certain point, you think you have this diva mentality where you’re just not going to get in trouble, and you’re not going to get caught,” Jax notes. “He’s gotten to that point where he’s [thinking], ‘I can’t be touched. I can do whatever I want.’ And it caught up with him.”
As for their friendships with the Vanderpump Rules cast, Jax and Brittany say they are still close with many of their former cast members despite no longer being a part of the hit Bravo show.
“There’s times and events where I saw them together, and it just didn’t even click until now,” Jax says of being at events with both Tom and Raquel over the past year. “We saw them Labor Day at our friend’s house. They were together. But I wouldn’t have thought anything until this came up.”
Jax says he’s questioned Tom’s character for years, but now he has to own all his bad behavior and man up for the sake of his career and future.
“I don’t want to say I told you so,” he says. “I’ve been down this road. It’s a scary, dark place where he is right now, but he put himself there. He’s got to be man enough to own it and give Ariana her space.”
Brittany adds, “Hopefully, Tom will learn from all this.”
The couple wraps the interview up by making it clear that they “would definitely” be up to making an appearance on Pump Rules this season or next season.
“Whether it’s that show or another show,” Brittany says, “we’re ready for some reality TV back in our lives.”
Until Bravo gives them the call, though, the couple will re-live their reality TV glory days on their new podcast, When Reality Hits, which premieres on PodcastOne March 28.
Vanderpump Rules airs on Wednesdays at 9 pm on Bravo.
Thoughts on Jax’s comments? Sound off below!
According to Jax Taylor, Tom cheated with Raquel because he believed she could be easily controlled, unlike Ariana who is a strong and independent woman.
Jax Taylor claims that Tom Schwartz knew about the cheating for at least a couple of months before it became public knowledge.
Yes, Jax and Brittany say they are still close with many of their former cast members despite no longer being a part of the show.