Leviss departed the Bravo show after her affair with Madix's boyfriend was exposed — 11 months later, the new season premiere has forced her to "accept" that decision, even as she's still "grieving"
While discussing the Vanderpump Rules season 11 premiere on the latest episode of her podcast Rachel Goes Rogue, Leviss reflected on her decision to continue communicating with ex Tom Sandoval after apologizing for their affair to Ariana Madix. She noted that she still owes Madix an apology for her behavior.
"It was hard to see because I'm in a different place than I was back then,” she explained of seeing the premiere. “It's a weird time warp when you're watching a show like this and living one reality in that moment and then, months later when the episodes air, you're living in another reality but you're also reliving those moments that they captured on camera. And so it's a nod to my younger self who was still in love and infatuated.”
“I feel like, with my apology that I made at the reunion, I had all the right intentions and I was extremely sorry,” she added. “But there's another part of an apology, which is your actions afterward — they have to align with what you're saying. And by sending him letters and being in contact for a good amount of time, I still want to take this time now to apologize again because I am in a different place than I was back then, and I can see things a lot clearer now."
Leviss said she wants to take “accountability” for her actions, sharing, "I got emotional watching that. You know, like, I recognized that my behavior was so hurtful to her."
The former pageant queen admitted that she has mixed emotions about her decision to not return for season 11 of VPR.
“I am watching this show and I'm really having to accept the fact that I'm not on it this season, and that was a decision that I really had a lot of weight in making,” she said. “I didn't take that lightly, and so it's almost like a part of me grieving what could have been in a different parallel timeline. But I do think of that I made the right decision by not going back.”
Later in the episode, Leviss said she was “just happy” to not be part of the Bravo series, adding, “I'm so happy that I've been able to find more peace in my life and my day to day is stable and as serene as it could be in this stage in my life, I believe. ... I do worry about things that are going to come up this season, but I'm just happy that I'm not in it like I used to be."
She also shared that she's not bothered her former VPR costars are calling her Raquel throughout the premiere, saying, "It doesn't feel off to me at all." However, she did note that it's actually "a little bit weirder" to hear people who knew her as Raquel calling her Rachel after deciding to use her birth name in August.
"It is hard seeing Scheana and Ariana — you know, two people that I did call friends,” she explained. “I think that I have a lot more resentment toward Scheana, so I think the thorn for me is just seeing Scheana's face. And, you know, I'm working through that. ... I don't want to always feel that way when I look at her, but I guess right now it's just not an enjoyable thing for me."
Despite seeing her former friends on the small screen, Leviss plans to continue watching VPR, sharing, "I was on the edge of my seat [during the premiere]. But I think that's just because this [show] had been a part of my life for so long."
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Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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