Raquel Leviss Breaks Silence on Tom Sandoval Affair: 'I Am Not a Victim'

Leviss's statement comes after her affair with her Vanderpump Rules costar Tom Sandoval was made public on Friday

Raquel Leviss is opening up about her months-long affair with Tom Sandoval for the first time.

In a statement shared with Entertainment Tonight, the Vanderpump Rules star, 28, began by saying: "I want to apologize for my actions and my choices foremost to Ariana, and to my friends and the fans so invested in our relationships."

"There is no excuse, I am not a victim and I must own my actions and I deeply regret hurting Ariana," she said. "I am reflecting on my choices, speaking to a counselor and I am learning things about myself such as my patterns of codependency and addiction to being and feeling loved. I have sought emotional validation through intimate connections that are not healthy without regard for my own well-being, sometimes negatively affecting others and often prioritizing the intimate connection over my friendships."

Leviss said she is "taking steps to understand my behavior and make healthier choices."

Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic World Dominion', Tcl Chinese Theatre Imax, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States - 07 Jun 2022 American actress Ariana Madix arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic World Dominion' held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 6, 2022 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States; Raquel Leviss attends the "Give Them Lala Beauty" party hosted by Lala Kent of "Vanderpump Rules" at Beauty & Essex on June 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images); Television personality Tom Sandoval attends the grand opening of Vanderpump à Paris at Paris Las Vegas on April 21, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
From left: Ariana Madix, Raquel Leviss and Tom Sandoval. Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock; Amy Sussman/Getty; Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

"Although I chose to be on a reality show accepting the good and bad that comes with it, beyond my own actions I have been physically assaulted, lost friendships, received death threats and hate emails in addition to having had my privacy violated," she continued. "I have begun counseling to end my unhealthy behavioral cycle, learn to set stronger emotional boundaries and learn to protect my mental health. I don't expect sympathy, understanding or forgiveness."

Added Leviss, "Right now I must focus on my own health and well-being and as I strive to be a better person moving forward, I will prioritize my mental health and learn from my mistakes."

Last week, Sandoval's ex-girlfriend Ariana Madix discovered that he had been cheating on her with Leviss after she found an intimate video and "inappropriate" messages between the two on his phone while he was performing with his band, Tom Sandoval & the Most Extras.

Raquel Leviss, Tom Sandoval and Brittany Cartwright Cauchi attend White Fox After Hours At Delilah Los Angeles
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

The video in question was "a FaceTime call between Tom and Raquel. It had been screen-recorded by Tom. When Ariana found it on Tom's phone, she recorded it and sent [it] to herself," a source told PEOPLE.

Leviss' attorneys later sent a legal notice to Sandoval, Madix and her VPR costars to stop the spread of the video.

The attorneys claimed the video was recorded "illegally" and "without the permission" of Leviss. In the letter addressed to Sandoval, 40, it detailed him as the person who allegedly recorded it.

The reality star's lawyers ordered that anyone who has access to the recording delete it from their phones, the cloud or "any other manner or method in which the recording may exist." They also demanded to be informed of "all people to whom you have forwarded this recording or who you may have allowed to view this recording."

In the letter to Madix, lawyers noted that while they "appreciate the distress that this may have caused you," it is illegal to re-record the footage and could expose her to "criminal and civil penalties."

RELATED VIDEO: Vanderpump Rules Stars Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix Split as Cameras Pick Back Up for Bravo Show

After Madix discovered the recording, a source told PEOPLE that she was "completely blindsided."

"This is someone she thought she knew; someone she planned to spend the rest of her life with. You can't even put into words that betrayal," the insider shared.

By Friday afternoon, sources confirmed to PEOPLE that the two were done. They had been in a monogamous relationship for nine years.

The secret romance between Sandoval and Madix has been going on "for upwards of 6 months," an insider said — "all the while, Tom was sleeping next to Ariana in bed."

"Ariana had been there for Raquel when she went through her split with James [Kennedy]. She thought they were friends," a second source said. "This isn't something you do to a friend."

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Vanderpump Rules airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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