Ariana Madix Is 'So Strong' After Tom Sandoval Split: 'She Just Has This Crazy Sense of Empowerment'

The Vanderpump Rules star got through an intense reunion this week, but longtime pal Scheana Shay says Madix has been on the upswing since "literally the day after she found out" about her ex's affair

Reality TV Personality Ariana Madix attends the Give Them Lala & Friends VIP launch and viewing party at Shopify LA on February 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty

Ariana Madix appears to be thriving in the wake of Scandoval.

A source tells PEOPLE that Madix, 37, "is so strong, and she did great" while filming the season 10 reunion of Vanderpump Rules on Thursday, which was largely focused on her ex Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss, as well as the fallout from their months-long affair.

The insider adds that Madix and Katie Maloney — who are opening a sandwich shop together called Something About Her — "are putting all of this energy into their business and moving faster than ever towards opening."

Meanwhile, "Tom and Raquel were defensive, and it was basically everyone against them. They are not displaying empathy at all," the source says.

Costar Scheana Shay praised Madix on this week's episode of her Scheananigan's podcast, which dropped Friday, saying it was "disgusting" for Madix to find out about the affair "the way she did."

Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix
Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix. Amanda Edwards/Getty

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"And then, it's just out there for the whole world," Shay said. "But I think the way that the whole world has rallied behind her, she just has this crazy sense of empowerment that she's just pulling through and pushing through, and she's doing as best as she can."

"You know, she got a new haircut, she did a live comedy show. She's getting out there. We went to a concert literally the day after she found out about all," added Shay, 37.

Leviss, 28, previously filed a restraining order against Shay amid the fallout, claiming she "punched me in the face." Although Shay's lawyer Neama Rahmani has since called the allegations "a fabrication," Shay followed the legal orders and kept 100 feet between them during the reunion and did not communicate. Leviss dropped the restraining order on Friday.

Vanderpump Rules Key Art

On March 3, PEOPLE confirmed that Madix and Sandoval, 39, broke up following nine years together after a source said she recently found out about him allegedly cheating on her with Leviss, which drove the split.

"They had been having problems for a while, but this was the final straw for Ariana," the insider said. "She put up with a lot over the years, but she won't sit back and be disrespected this way."

RELATED VIDEO: Vanderpump Rules: Ariana Madix Confronts 'Stranger' Tom Sandoval After Split and Says She Wants Him 'to Die'

As cameras were rolling at the time, the relationship saga played out on season 10 of Vanderpump Rules, leading up to the reunion.

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