The 'Vanderpump Rules' star wasn't paid for her 3-part interview with Bethenny Frankel.
Rachel Leviss wasn't paid a cent for opening up to Bethenny Frankel about her time on Vanderpump Rules and Tom Sandoval cheating on Ariana Madix in her first interview since the explosive season 10 reunion aired.
A source tells ET, "Rachel wasn’t paid for her interview with Bethenny. Bethenny offered her an unedited long-form platform where she could speak freely. Rachel knew no other outlet would give her that freedom."
ET has learned Leviss' interview with Frankel is three parts. Part two will be released on Thursday, Aug. 17, and part three will debut on Friday, Aug. 18. The entire interview and video will then be released on YouTube on either Friday or Saturday. Leviss will be addressing the many rumors and misconceptions surrounding her time on Vanderpump Rules.
In early March, Madix and Sandoval announced the end of their relationship after being together since 2013 when she first joined Vanderpump Rules. It wasn't long before news broke that Sandoval was cheating on Madix with Leviss. The cheating scandal, often referred to as Scandoval, was a major plot point in season 10 of the Bravo reality series.
The 28-year-old reality star has kept a low profile since the affair was revealed in March, and checked into a mental health treatment facility for three months. She surfaced for the first time on July 18 in Tucson, Arizona, donning a baggy look and a hat that read: "Be a good person."
"I'm OK. I'm hanging in there," Leviss told Frankel in Wednesday's interview. "It's been a whirlwind. It's been chaos, but I've taken some time to myself to reflect and try to understand my actions and I finally have come to a place where it makes sense to me."
Leviss explains to The Real Housewives of New York City alum why she needed to step away from the spotlight for a moment. "Part of the reason why I wanted to take some time away is just because it was so chaotic and loud, and there was such vitriol online."
Leviss says she chose to go to the treatment facility so that she could try to "understand her behaviors."
"My goal was to really get down to the bottom of, 'OK, why am I choosing men that are unavailable? Why do I keep finding myself in unhealthy relationships? What are the things that I need to change about my behavior?'" Leviss ponders. "And in knowing that I needed to make a change, I first had to know what leads to those behaviors."
On Wednesday, Frankel posted a photo of herself with Leviss on Instagram to promote the interview, writing, "A woman’s voice is very powerful. Now Rachel is using hers to tell her own story…for the first time…"
Frankel – who admits she didn’t watch Vanderpump Rules until the affair took over the news cycle – says she felt sympathy for Leviss while witnessing the backlash she received online and knew her life was being "exploited" without compensation.
Leviss agrees with the Skinny Girl creator, noting, "It's so nice to have you validate that experience because for a moment I thought I was going crazy. And it’s true, reality TV is edited, it is contrived to create a certain storyline. So it’s not all factual."
Leviss also recalls what her friendship was like with Madix before the affair.
"Ariana and I were not best friends," she reveals. "We were acquaintances who became friends through the show. … We never had a deep conversation that I would have with a best friend. It’s painful to think I hurt her in this way because that wasn’t my intention. … I call these people my friends because I really did believe they were my friends."
Frankel asks Leviss how she felt about Madix being painted as "America's sweetheart" and receiving endorsement deals and making talk show appearances in the wake of the cheating scandal.
"Part of me says, good for you, because take advantage of these opportunities while they come your way," Leviss responds. "But it is hurtful to me just to think that — my nature is very kind and forgiving and understanding of other people, so the concept of me being the ultimate reality TV villain just blows my mind."
She adds, "And the way that she spoke to me at the reunion, I feel like it was uncalled for."
Leviss also weighs in on Madix and Sandoval's relationship.
"I would not be involved in this affair, secrecy-type situation if I thought there was longevity in this relationship between Tom and Ariana," she notes. "The people closest to them can see their relationship has not been what they portray on camera. Tom always told me they’re a brand, they’re an image. … They’re business partners."