Jax Taylor Believes Tom Sandoval Couldn't 'Control' Ariana Madix and 'Manipulated' Raquel Leviss (Exclusive)

Tom Sandoval's former friend had some harsh words for the reality star.

Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright have a lot to say about the recent Vanderpump Rules scandal.

Taylor and Cartwright spoke with ET's Rachel Smith about life after reality TV, their new podcast, and all things Scandoval. 

The couple hasn’t been on the Bravo show for two seasons but are still good friends with most of the cast and have been in touch with several of them since news broke that Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss were having an affair behind Ariana Madix’s back. 

Like many, Taylor remembers exactly where he was when the news of the scandal broke. 

"My buddy, Jason, texted me, he’s like, 'Hey, you were right all along,'" Taylor said. "I thought he was mad at me. Did I do something wrong? So I texted him, and he’s like, 'No, did you see, wake up this morning and read anything, go on any tabloid or whatever?'"

"We had literally just woke up, and I'm looking and I'm like, we both looked at each other and be like, 'Are we reading this? Are you seeing this?' And then it just went all downhill from there."

In December 2020, the couple revealed that they were leaving the Bravo reality show. Taylor had been part of the cast since 2013, while Cartwright joined during its fifth season. 

When asked if he had essentially predicted what had happened, Taylor replied, "I mean, I don't wanna say I predicted it, but I predicted it. I mean, I'm just not surprised, I'm just not surprised, I'll just leave it at that."

"I think it’s surprising that it was them two for sure. I just thought they were, like, good friends," Cartwright added.

"You know, he’s done this before and nobody believed me. It’s just not his first time," Taylor noted, with Cartwright clarifying, "He’s meaning because he, like, on the show, like, brought up this, like, Miami girl thing, but this is before my time, and nobody believed him."

In season 3, Sandoval was accused of hooking up with a woman known only as "Miami Girl" early in his relationship with Madix. 

And Sandoval reportedly cheated on his previous girlfriend of six years, Kristen Doute, with Madix. The two SUR bartenders started dating immediately after Sandoval and Doute ended their relationship.

In season 3, Doute tried to convince Madix that Sandoval had cheated on her during a boys’ trip to Miami. She and the other woman -- Miami Girl -- confronted Sandoval at SUR while he and Madix were working. 

Doute and Sandoval previously dated from 2007 to 2013, during which time they both cheated -- Doute slept with Taylor during season 2.

"Nobody was believing me. See here’s the thing. When I was on the show, everybody would hide behind me, like they would just, I was the villain,” Taylor tells ET before noting that he's "not trying to justify it at all, I wasn’t. But everybody could kind of slide through and get away with things 'cause now you can’t hide behind me anymore, so now all the demons are coming to the surface."

Sandoval and Madix called it quits on March 10, after cheating allegations between Sandoval and Leviss came to light. 

"I called, I texted Scheana [Shay] and Lala [Kent] first thing. We have a group chat and I was like, 'Is this true?' And they just wrote back yes, like, all caps and then I was like, 'Oh my god, how’s Ariana?' Because, like, having to go through this so publicly is so mortifying,” Cartwright said. “Having to live this publicly and being so embarrassed by it and, like, having to go through it, like, I just feel so bad for Ariana having to go through this so publicly."

When asked if she's spoke to Madix, Cartwright said, "Yeah, I’ve checked in on Ariana a couple of times. I haven’t gone to see her yet, but definitely checked in on her and, you know, just trying to be there for her as much as I can. I know that she hasn’t been alone for a second so that’s good." 

Taylor then proceeded to make a shocking claim, saying, "I guess [Ariana] said with all the guys, I’m the only one that’s checked in with her, me out of all people. She was like, Jax Taylor’s the only guy who’s checked in, you know, who checked up on me." 

Meanwhile, Taylor and Cartwright haven’t spoken to Sandoval since the news broke, but have thought back to the last time they saw him, and it was with Leviss. 

"Last time I saw [Sandoval] was at Labor Day, we were at an event in Orange County, which is a couple hours drive from our house, and he was there with Raquel, which kind of makes sense at the time," Taylor recalled. "Things are starting to add up, like, wait a minute, I just didn't think of it at the time and now looking back, it's just kind of like, oh, I just didn't I didn't think about it." 

Even after nearly 10 years, Taylor said he feels that Sandoval never really had "control" of Madix and will have that over Leviss. 

"[Sandoval] never had control of Ariana. She’s a very strong, independent woman and I feel like he couldn’t control her, and he can control Raquel very easily," Taylor said. "She’s very easily manipulated, and you can control her like that just by looking at her ... She's easily controllable, you can just tell she’s very co-dependent. She’s the definition of co-dependency." 

Of course, there’s no doubt that the Vanderpump Rules scandal has given the show and everyone involved in it a resurgence. But Taylor and Cartwright assure fans that they are not cashing in on Scandoval with the new podcast, When Reality Hits, debuting March 28 via PodcastOne.

"No, it's been in the works for the whole year, so yeah, we teamed up with Podcast One, just getting everything together and we knew it was going to come out March 28 with our first episode and this just happened ... and all the media attention from it," Cartwright said. 

"You know, we're going to have guests on, we're going to talk parenting, we're going to talk reality TV. I want to talk to other villains on reality TV. I want to talk about a little bit of everything," Taylor added. 

And in the midst of all the Vanderpump Rules drama, Taylor has some words of advice for his former best friend Sandoval.

"You know, we all make mistakes in life, and God knows I've made my fair share,” Taylor said. “I think it’s gone to his head a little bit, the nine-person cover band and the little bar in a strip mall, like, that’s getting to his head a little bit and he’s gotta, like, come down to earth and realize what he’s done. Again, it’s coming from me, coming from me doesn’t mean a lot, but just humble yourself a little bit, and show some sympathy." 

"I mean, look at Ariana. She stood by you whether you guys are right for each other or not. She stood by you for how many years? She’s put up with a lot, I see what’s going on behind closed doors," Taylor continued. "What people don't see, she’s put up with a lot. He’s not the easiest person to be around, so, you know, just humble yourself a little bit."