Raquel Leviss, 28, finally spoke out about her two month stay at a mental health facility in Arizona. The Vanderpunp Rules star appeared on Bethenny Frankel‘s podcast on August 16 and talked about her experiencing receiving treatment after her affair with Tom Sandoval rocked her life.
“It was a really scary decision to make,” Raquel said about her decision to enter the facility after taping the Season 10 reunion in late March. “I knew I needed help but I didn’t know what to expect going in,” she added.
Raquel explained that she could’ve gone to the facility before the reunion, which marked the first time she saw her cast members — including Ariana Madix — since her affair with Tom, 40, was exposed. However, Raquel “decided to commit to my work obligation” and sought treatment after she filmed the reunion and her final interview, where she threw Tom under the bus and exposed his lies about the timeline of their relationship.
“I took a flight to Phoenix and went straight to the treatment center. They took my phone. They searched my bags for anything they needed to confiscate,” she explained. “I was thrown into this place where it was a lot of new faces and I was already carrying so much shame, that it was difficult for me to be like, ‘Hi, I’m Raquel!’ But as time went on I was able to warm up and really share my story in an authentic, honest way,” Raquel added, “and I was met with grace and compassion for my peers.”
During her stay at the Meadows in Wickenberg, Arizona, Raquel decided to reclaim her birth name of Rachel. The reality star explained to Bethenny that she came to that decision while she was doing “inner child work” where you write with your left hand in therapy. “My therapist asked me to write my name on the white board. And I wrote Rachel,” she recalled. “And she [the therapist] was like, ‘Interesting. I see you as Rachel to your core. You’re going by Raquel, which is okay, but it’s not true to who you are. It’s a wall you have up.’ ”
“I feel like most of my life I’ve been afraid,” Raquel went on to say. “I’ve struggled with social anxiety. I’ve struggled with judgment from other people. So having a fear of vulnerability makes sense. So I’m just trying to come back to my roots. I’m introducing myself as Rachel.” Also during the interview, Bethenny asked Raquel if she forgives herself for her actions, and Raquel said, “I do.”
Raquel has been living in Arizona with her family since leaving the mental health facility. She was spotted wearing a “Be a good person” hat on July 18. Raquel has not been filming season 11 of Vanderpump Rules, and sources recently told TMZ that the VPR cast feels “confident” Raquel will not return to the show.
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