Fans of the Bravo-verse had to wait ten whole days to hear from Ariana Madix—the ethereal being at the center of Vanderpump Rules’ #Scandoval—but my god, was it worth the wait.
On Wednesday night, Madix issued a statement via Instagram, marking the first time she’s spoken publicly since news broke that her (now ex) partner of nine years, Tom Sandoval, had allegedly been cheating with their fellow castmate, Raquel Leviss, for months. Both Leviss and Sandoval have apologized twice for the affair, though Sandoval’s first attempt at an apology started with “hey” (red flag #1) and failed to mention Ariana.
The post, which had racked up over 477K likes at the time of publication, features a photo of Madix in Mexico, where she’s reportedly been partying with friends for a wedding. Tanned, grinning, and holding a fan, Madix looks like a vision of vengeful royalty in a flowing ombre green and pink dress. All of this leads me to believe that watermelon may just be the new black.
In the lengthy caption, Madix—in all lower-case text, the sign of a very cool girl, if I do say so myself—expresses gratitude for the “outpouring of love and support” she’s received from friends, family, and strangers alike.
“when i have felt like i couldn’t even stand, you all have given me the strength to continue and seen me through my darkest hours,” she wrote. “to say i have been devastated and broken is an understatement.”
“however, i know that i am not in this alone,” Madix continued. “so many of my closest friends are also grieving this loss right now and reeling from this betrayal on so many levels.”
Closing out the statement, Madix reiterates how “fucking lucky” she feels to have such a strong support system amid a life-altering event. And then, the kicker to end all kickers: “what doesn’t kill me better run.”
The only word I can muster in response to this perfectly crafted sentence is a hearty: “BITCH!” Admiringly, of course. I’m interpreting this as a call to arms—a five-word statement that should prompt both Sandoval and Leviss to piss themselves in fear, given how deep the Ariana Army seems to run. Everyone from current castmates (Scheana Shay, James Kennedy, Kate Maloney, Charli Burnett), to former castmates (Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Dayna Kathan, Brittany Cartwright), to actors (Kaley Cuoco and Kristin Chenoweth), and fellow reality stars (Summer House’s Lindsay Hubbard and Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause) commented on the post with messages of undying support. In the profound words of Doute: “she back 💥🦋.”
A black eye, a restraining order, a series of lackluster confessions…only time will tell what the crème de la crème of reality television scandals will deliver next. In the meantime, I take comfort in knowing the Madix hive has been well-fed and is appropriately nourished for the next stage of the fight.