The 'Vanderpump Rules' star was in a relationship with Ariana Madix when he hooked up with Leviss.
Tom Sandoval is detailing his first kiss with Raquel Leviss. The Vanderpump Rules star appeared on the latest episode of the Howie Mandel Does Stuff Podcast, and opened up in detail for the first time about the start of his affair with Leviss, which began amid his nearly decade-long romance with Ariana Madix.
Sandoval explained that, over the last year, he began to "feel trapped" in his relationship with Madix and realized that he needed to "make a change to feel alive again, to feel motivated, to feel optimistic again."
Enter Leviss, who came along "at the worst time ever" for Sandoval because he was "yearning for a connection."
"As Raquel and I became really good friends," he explained. "... I thought she was so awesome. Getting to know her. she's so kind, she's smart, she's witty, she's fun, she's down for it, she's beautiful."
One night, Sandoval and Leviss stayed up talking "till the sun came up." Then they found themselves back at the home he shared with Madix, hanging out in the backyard as he was locked out.
"We kissed. It was, like, magnetic. We were talking, moving closer... and all of a sudden we're just kissing," he recalled. "I felt something that I hadn't felt in so long emotionally."
Later in the interview, Sandoval admitted that "it wasn't just a kiss" that first night.
"That's what started something," he said of the kiss. "And then we backed off, but then..."
"We have a fire pit and a thing. Yeah. And it was kind of... yeah," he said. "The feeling and the connection that we had just got me to really throw everything off to the side and not think logically."
Afterward, Sandoval said he went to therapy to "try to figure out what the hell I'm going to do."
"The feelings were something very, very strong. Those feelings that I had started to take over in a sense. Logic, all that s**t went out the window," he said. "... Our connection was healthy, but the environment that it created -- the lying, the sneaking around -- was very unhealthy. But time was always fleeting. Every time we were around each other it felt like it could be the last time we'd see each other. It made us both obsessive over trying to see each other and stuff."
As for where Sandoval and Leviss stand now, he said, "We're really good friends. We're not putting any label on it."
"We're also just kind of taking a break," Sandoval noted, adding that his and Leviss' friendship does not include benefits "right now."
Watch the video below for more on the scandal.